resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Incorporating Energy Techniques into Massage Therapy Sessions
By Marie-Christine Lochot, LMT
Most of the time, energy modalities are performed by energy practitioners who do those techniques exclusively or by massage therapists who offer them as a separate service within their massage practice.At first sight, it seems pretty logical to do it this way. After all, massage clients take their clothes off; their soft tissue is being rubbed with a lubricant, frictioned and stretched. On the other hand, energy clients keep their clothes on; their energy is being balanced by light touch or none at all. It seems those two types of bodywork cannot co-habitate. What if they could? What would be the advantages for the therapists and their clients? Which challenges would the therapists encounter when introducing this new type of session to their clientele?
Incorporating energy techniques into massage sessions has three main advantages for the massage therapist. The first one is the most obvious: energy techniques are easier on the therapist's body. Everybody in the massage industry knows that massage therapy is physically demanding. Overuse injuries, fatigue and burn out are common occurrences limiting the amount of massages a therapist can give and reducing the longevity of therapist's careers. In 2012, only one out of three massage therapists worked full time (Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Handbook) and in 2009, 6.3 years was the average length of time massage therapists worked in their industry (2009 AMTA Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet).
Including energy techniques into a massage session can reduce the physical strain on the therapist's body without diminishing the final results of relaxation, muscle loosening and pain reduction. Since specific meridians govern specific muscles, an energy intervention on one meridian will induce muscle release making the massage work easier and more productive. Rubbing an acupressure point for two minutes can take away a one sided headache. The second advantage is that energy techniques allow therapists to serve clients who, for health reasons, cannot receive regular massage work, temporarily or forever, on all or on some parts of their body. As an example, consider a client who just had surgery, broke a leg or is going through cancer treatments. The therapist can use energy techniques that will have a positive impact on the areas that cannot be massaged with the usual level of pressure or that cannot be touched. The client will still experience relief. Lastly, some energy interventions can induce relaxation and take pain away in a few minutes. Once the client is relaxed, the remainder of the bodywork can be administered. It may increase the client's satisfaction level with very limited stress on the practitioner's body.
Massage sessions including energy techniques also have many advantages for the client. Energy work is easier on the therapist's body but also on the client's body making the session more pleasant with the same or better results. Even if our society favors the "no pain, no gain" attitude, on the receiving end of bodywork it is appreciable to feel improvement in muscle tightness without feeling pain. Starting a session with relaxing energy interventions will get the clients into a peaceful state right away, therefore enhancing the experience and the feeling of well being. My clients are always amazed how five to ten minutes of energy work on their head can wipe away their stress. Some of those energy techniques can be taught to clients at the end of the massage, giving them stress reduction tools that they can use every day. Finally, energy modalities help with muscular issues, but also have an impact on the organ's health, balance and vitality, increasing the benefits clients get from the massage. Not only will they feel better during and after the session, but at their return visit may comment on other health benefits, like better digestion, more stamina or mood improvement.
Introducing this new type of massage session to current clients must be a thoughtful process. After twelve years of incorporating energy techniques into massage sessions, I have learned sometimes painfully, a few rules. When I say painfully I mean I lost a client because I was so enthusiastic about energy work that I misjudged his willingness to experiment and went overboard, working too much. Not only did I lose his weekly appointment, but also lost his wife's weekly visit!
Here is the basic rule that I learned. Introducing energy interventions to clients should be done the same way most people like being introduced to a new cuisine. Small portions and relating the new techniques to something they are already familiar with will ensure a more favorable and receptive outcome. First, if they tell you as they arrive, "I could not wait to have my massage. I loved so much what you did the last time," this is probably not the good day to try something different. But if they say, "I felt great after the last massage but it lasted only two days," that is an opening for you to propose something new which could bring them longer lasting results.
Second, choose one energy technique at a time and even if they love it, refrain from the urge to use another one. Why? The answer is in three-fold. A second energy intervention would take time away from the regular massage. They loved the first one so leave them with that impression. Not doing another one might make them more open to an increased amount of energy work at their next visit.
Lastly, the energy technique you use has to be one that requires you to touch especially if it is the first time they receive energy work. Remember, they made an appointment for a massage so they want hand contact. A nice chakra clearing moving energy above their body will not satisfy them even if it has some known health benefits. There are a good number of energy interventions that are done making contact with the body. Some others can be adapted to "feel" more like a massage.
Finally touching the body on the meridian lines can produce very good results if you know how to do it. As your clients get more familiar with those new techniques, you might be able to use some energy techniques that don't require touching, especially if they have a health problem that could be helped by such intervention.
It is possible to incorporate energy techniques into massage sessions. Be prepared though to have clients who will never be open to it. It can enhance benefits for your clients and can reduce the physical strain on your body, diminishing your chances of injuries and increasing the longevity of your massage career. It might even make your massage practice more successful. Why don't you give it a try?
Marie-Christine Lochot is a licensed massage therapist, energy bodyworker and educator. Owner of Massage Montclair in New Jersey, she has been a member of the AMTA since 1994 and is nationally certified by NCBTMB. With specialties in Swedish massage, massage for people affected by cancer and energy healing, Marie-Christine coaches and teaches energy healing to laypeople, massage professionals and in the corporate environment. With a diverse background in management and accounting, Marie-Christine also teaches small business and private practice organization. She can be reached at www.massagemontclair.com.
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