resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Taking Care of Yourself so You Can Take Care of Your Clients
By Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE
Most of my therapeutic bodywork, believe it or not, takes place in the shower. With a little soap, water and silicone cups, I can address most issues or simply keep my tissue healthy and prevent future injury. As a 15-year veteran of massage therapy and a 40-something woman, it's vital to provide self care that enables me to work on clients.
Since 2006, I have been working with major league baseball players and, more recently, NFL athletes. Keeping my body healthy and moving freely is just as important as the professional athletes I work on and using silicone cups in the shower allows me to do that. Ideally, it would be nice to schedule some time on the massage table and get the kind of treatment I provide to clients. But working six days a week and being a busy mother of two didn't allow for that earlier this year. When I finally was able to get a massage treatment, my first in nearly four months, I was shocked at the ease in which my body accepted it. I had cringed at the thought of how long it had been between massages and, amazingly enough, nothing was hurting. All I could do over that hectic period was get in some running. Thanks to these wonderful cups and vacuum therapy, I was able to self-treat and keep my body moving injury-free in between massages.
I have used vacuum therapies for nine of my 15 years as a licensed massage therapist in Florida. This modality is a modern adaptation of cupping therapy most commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. This modernized work has proven to be a resourceful modality in my practice. It allows me to bring bloodflow, create space and makes easy work of what would otherwise be very cumbersome on my body as I treat clients. Clients come to me from all over and are referred from various sources simply to experience the wonder of how this remarkable modality feels as it manipulates the tissue. I've had great success using vacuum therapies alone or in conjunction with other modalities such as trigger point and myofacsial work.
One of my favorite and most effective treatments is pretreating before a run, especially a 5K race. As a typical three-times-a-week runner, I aim for half-hour sessions and this treatment, which can also be done post-run, is an effective alternative to stretching. Clients come in all the time with various issues from running. Personally, I experience bilateral tightness in my lower legs. Fortunately, there's a cup for that and I'm only a shower away from relief.
Using the silicone cup is simple and effective and I use the same techniques with clients that I do for self-care. Once in the shower, I soak up and soap up creating a soapy medium for gentle gliding. By squeezing a cup, then placing it on the skin and releasing the hold, the vacuum is created. I begin gliding the cup over the tissue clearing proximal before distal areas honoring the intermediate lymphatic system. I am able to open up the gentle lymphatic system and bring nutrients and oxygen to the tissue. The feeling is unlike anything else as space is created between the layers of soft tissue as I lift the cup while gliding. Another tremendous benefit of gliding the cups is on the tibia and the tibialis anterior to treat and prevent shin splints. With the smallest cup available, I am able to glide over the muscle and bone with the malleable cup. No other modality compares to the sensation and efficacy when working this area. My legs feel alive as bloodflow is brought in leaving me invigorated. This gliding technique has proven useful to wake up my legs before a run and is equally advantageous on my heavy legs after running.
Sometimes more focus work is needed and that's when I use the cups over specific trigger points for a bigger release in the muscle tissue. Hips receive much relief while parking cups on trigger points in the piriformis and gluteus minimus. In only a few minutes, the muscle releases providing newfound freedom of movement. Placement of the cup on the hamstring muscle belly while touching the toes keeps the work dynamic. The tensor fascia latae also benefits with a cup placed for two to three minutes to help soften this area and have more range of motion in the hips. Diligent use of the cups for self-care has proved essential in keeping me injury-free. But that wasn't always the case.
About five years ago, I enjoyed cycling but I had an issue arise in my lower legs as I increased my time and distance on the bike. I started experiencing tightness and shooting pain in my lower leg area. It would happen randomly and wasn't predictable with any given movement. After about a month of dealing with this issue, I wondered what I would do if a client came in with this issue? The answer was easy, I would use vacuum therapy to create space, stretch the fascia and bring blood flow to the area. While in the shower, I worked on my lower leg using soap and water and a small silicone cup. After about 15 minutes, I was able to rid myself of this very uncomfortable issue. Thankfully, as I have been better at shower self-care, it has not returned.
Running and cycling aren't the only activities that affect my body. Traveling can also take its toll. Whether driving or flying, different issues may arise and I always have cups with me. After driving longer distances, my neck and jaw tend to get tight. It's great to release my jaw before speaking at a workshop for three days as I will be doing a lot of talking. I am also able to address neck issues by placing cups over hypertonistic areas of my levator scapula and trigger points. When incorporating range of motion, I can free up movement tremendously. When flying, my shoulder may become fatigued while walking through an airport pulling luggage behind. I find this an unnatural task to do for an extended period of time. My legs may also feel heavy and stagnant after sitting for hours on an airplane when on a direct flight. Once at the hotel, I can address these issues when refreshing my travel weary body in the shower. Another favorite routine I like to enjoy when staying at a hotel is enjoying a hot bath.
Make it a spa moment. Often, I like to treat myself to a relaxing spa moment at a hotel or home. As a massage therapist, I work to help others relax and have a better quality of movement. It's a good idea to indulge as well. This can be created easily at home or in a hotel. Start by creating ambient lighting in the bathroom by either a small lamp or a lit candle. Fill the space with relaxing music with either a phone or a tablet. Add desired water temperature to the bathtub adding epsom salts and essential oil. I sink into the bathtub with the cup close at hand. As the water melts my achy muscles, I glide and park the cup over areas of my body needing attention. By taking a moment of reflection, I can slow the hands of time. Now I'm definitely ready for a massage treatment.
Once on the table after nearly four months, my body received deep work without any discomfort. As my glutes and illiotibial band were being manipulated, my tissue was soft as it accepted the bodywork. I was truly amazed and pleased at how I had kept any issues from arising by keeping my tissue open and clear with silicone cups in the shower. Bringing nutrient rich blood to hydrate my muscle tissue, soften my fascia to bring new found freedom of movement has been a lifesaver and kept me going. I use the cups on myself just as I would in treatment for clients and the training and self application has paid off.
Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE, specializes in therapeutic and sports massage, as well as VacuTherapies. She is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping and provides national workshops for massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. Stacie focuses on her private practice in Florida, as well as working nationally with MLB and NFL professional athletes. For more information, visit www.StacieNevelus.com.
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