resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Important Therapies for Breast Health and Wellness
By William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE
With an increase in research and an increase in information and knowledge comes an increase in self-awareness. This couldn't more pertinent than with the subject of breast cancer and breast care.Breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy in women, with approximately 200,000 being diagnosed in the United States every year and 40,000 women fatally succumbing to this disease. Along with early breast cancer detection, there are many techniques that may benefit prevention and survival rates.
The breast is composed of different layers of tissue types; connective, adipose and glandular, which overlay the pectoralis muscles located over the rib cage. The subcutaneous adipose connective tissue and fat endow the breast with its size and shape. Lymph nodes and lymph vessels collectively comprise the breast's lymphatic system and work with a chain of lymph nodes that run up the center of the breast bone called the mammary chain and all drain to the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary) region.
The lymphatic system works as the body's garbage collection system, clearing the area of infection, bacteria, metabolic waste and any other stagnation. This natural action protects the area from the formation of unhealthy tissue, which can steadily progress to tissue damage and disease. With as many as 500 lymph nodes in the neck, chest, breast and axillary areas, it becomes more evident how maintaining a free flowing lymphatic system aids in the well-being of a woman's breast.
Additional causes that can compromise the health of the breasts are issues that women are truly becoming aware of; stress, poor diet, poor posture, trauma and even the possibility of excess debris from the lungs becoming lodged in the fatty tissue of the breasts. Even though the current research is inconclusive, there are countless reports linking aluminum based antiperspirants and parabens with the growth of breast cancer cells. Even the bra has come under question, with the underwire and tight fit potentially restricting natural lymph flow.
Today, women are becoming more proactive when it comes to breast health and are changing their dietary and exercise habits in conjunction with taking part in the benefits of massage therapy as part of their wellness protocol. Massage, either by a professional licensed therapist or through self-massage techniques, is looked upon as a foundational treatment for maintaining healthy breast tissue. Techniques used in modalities such as manual lymph drainage, swedish massage or myofascial release can be used effectively to stimulate circulation and loosen the fascia. If the area has soft tissue restrictions, there can be impeded lymphatic drainage blocking the elimination of waste products, ultimately storing them in the breast area.
Not only can massage aid in lymphatic flow, stimulation of circulation, stretching of connective tissue and promoting general relaxation, but recent medical studies support the use of massage for increasing the production of the natural hormone oxytocin. Numerous medical reports show that oxytocin induces significant growth inhibition of breast cancer cells, along with a change in cell phenotype, as well as an ability to remove free radicals associated with cellular metabolic processes.
The techniques used in vacuum therapies are a perfect addition to the previously mentioned modalities (as well as many others) and greatly accelerate the benefits of many types of treatments. Traditional cupping therapy has been used throughout history by many cultures for an assortment of treatments including insect stings, snake bites, respiratory conditions and injury recovery. Breast cupping emerged as a common treatment for lactating dysfunctions such as engorged nipples or inflamed breasts and resulted in the creation of the common breast pump.
Vacuum therapies combine the lifting action with pumping movements to stimulate the lymphatic cleansing process and release any drainage restrictions such as adhesions or scars. This cleansing and opening of drainage pathways aids the breast tissue by decreasing the accumulated waste products that often accompany inflammation and the treatment aids in the rejuvenation of the breast, as well as assisting the body to break down any benign cysts in the area. Vacuum therapies have demonstrated a dramatic detoxifying effect, allowing for a healthy pH of the blood and surrounding tissue.
For those who have had procedures such as lumpectomies, cyst removal and even radical mastectomies, vacuum therapies have such amazing benefits that open up and enhance lymphatic drainage, remove restrictions in lymph flow, posture and movement, and reduce pain and discomfort. Large cone-shaped cups are currently used to prepare patients for reconstructive surgeries, aiding or replacing the need for painful tissue expanders. Women who have breast reductions or enhancements have experienced elimination of unsightly and restrictive scars with gentle vacuum therapy techniques.
Home breast care can easily be done in the shower with a comfortable silicone cup and the treatment can be used over the entire body for overall health and lymphatic drainage. This is such a simple way to offset the restrictions from bras and tight clothing, stress and lifestyle which sometimes cannot be easily changed. All women can reap the benefits of vacuum therapies for breast health and wellness, whether performed at a professional office or for home care because healthy breast tissue is the best deffense against breast cancer.
William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE, is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping, hosting workshops and demonstrations. William is also a Massage Therapy instructor and owner of MindBody Therapeutics in Philadelphia, as well an author of "Deep Tissue Manual" used by local massage schools. William works with clients who have a wide variety of muscular, postural, and pain dysfunctions and conditions. For more information, visit www.MBTPhilly.com and www.massagecupping.com.
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