resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05
Understanding Stimulus Response by Engaging with Readers
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
I open this column with a sincere thank you to all who responded to the last three columns. The responses and discussions have been thoughtful and inspiring. Many of you asked how you could help bring about or implement the suggestions.In a word, get involved. Oops, that was two words, sorry. Some of you forwarded the columns to your State Massage Boards. Great, keep the heat on. Show up and let them hear your concerns. You will be heard, as very few care enough to show up to give Boards input and without your input, they do the best they can think of at the time. They are good meaning, dedicated volunteers who put in a lot of time and effort. They appreciate input. Get involved. Stimulus is the only way to get a response. Oh, and stay involved.
When our Stakeholder groups meet, they met in secret. The AMTA Board of Directors, who claim to be a member driven association, have kept their agenda secret from members for years now. When all the Stakeholders meet together, it is in secret. It is time we demand transparency and openness from all our Stakeholders and organizations. If what they are doing is so good for us, why can't we know about it? If you have to hide and work in secret you are not serving the profession or the public, you are serving yourselves. Leaders should never be blindly trusted, they must be held accountable, as history shows, power corrupts. Get involved and stay involved. Citizen involvement keeps societies free.
My volunteer time in the AMTA and on the Iowa Board of Massage was not only rewarding and productive, but a very valuable, career enhancing experience. Get involved and stay involved. You will get out of your profession what you put into it. A few passionate, driven people most often change the world. Become one of them.
To my fellow educators of this profession, it is time you get actively involved and lead. If you cannot or feel you dare not endanger your gigs or attendance, join the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and help support teacher standards and all the work the AFMTE is doing for you. Educators are the "Brain Trust" of our profession and need to be heard. The AFMTE can be your voice if you become active and no one will know it is you, because you become part of the voice of the massage education community. It is a great group to be a part of and to hang with. Get involved. Stay involved.
A generation of massage educators is reaching the age where they are passing the torch and even leaving the planet. This generation founded the modern massage movement in the U.S. Most are now in their 60's and beyond and many are still doing very well and are very active. Others are slowing down or retiring, and sadly, some are leaving us. For those of you who desire to study with the Masters and to learn from their true wisdom, don't put it off.
A Better Way
It is human nature to look for a better way and to resist changing to it. One of the delights of writing this column is the people who strike up conversations with me about the topics I write on. About 10 years ago, Lawrence Woods, a therapist from Indianapolis, challenged me on a therapy tip I had published. After several correspondences, we agreed we were both right. Our conversations continued and I found him to be quite an innovative therapist who had been trained by the best of the best around the world. As I travel through Indiana frequently, I decided to make an appointment with him and receive some treatment. His work was excellent and I continued to receive therapy from him whenever travel schedules allowed. About five years ago, he revealed to me what he had been researching and working on for a number of years. It was the perfection of a concept that has been around for decades, that I had seen in various forms from time to time, but it never worked consistently or predictably. If it worked, great, if not, you did something else. Lawrence had finally taken this concept and put together a system for treating soft-tissue that is predictable, consistent, painless to the patient and relatively easy on the therapist. Using Sherrington's Second Law, precise kinesiology and anatomy, a lot of insight and thousands of clinic hours of trial and error, he has developed a system that has completely changed the way I approach soft tissue therapy.
After decades of deliberately manipulating the painful muscular tissues of my clients, I found I no longer have to inflict discomfort on my clients to help them feel better or hurt myself in the process. There is no longer any need to cause pain or even "mild discomfort" to change the tonus of muscles. This other approach, which he calls Neural Reset Therapy® or NRT, seems to affect the hypertonicity of muscles much more profoundly than any other method that I'm aware of. I have been a therapist for 28 years and it's only been the past couple years, since learning NRT, that I have been enjoying treating people as much as I did in the beginning years of my career as a massage therapist.
I have felt and taught for some time that massage is a stimulus response mechanism, not as mechanical as some assume. We are stimulating mechano-receptors to elicit the inhibition response back to a target muscle or point. However, we have been walking a fine line between the mechano-receptors and the nociceptors, trying to keep our stimulus strong enough to elicit a response, which requires discomfort for the patient, but not so strong as to cause pain and the resulting protective contraction. I knew there had to be a better way to utilize the body's reciprocal inhibition mechanism in a way that would last beyond the moment of movement to "reset" the tonus of a muscle. Lawrence has achieved that with his NRT. Look interesting? Watch for more explanations of how to better address soft tissue faster and easier than ever before.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.