resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Conversation With Dr. Betty Edmond
This month's column is an exclusive interview with Betty Edmond MD, newly elected CEO/President of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas.
The winter season is upon us and offers unique challenges for the clinician and patient alike. To effectively navigate through the winter season there are two main TCM medicinals, Huang Qi and Gan Jiang, to consider, as well as two important formulas which feature these two TCM treasures.
Anti-Aging With Dr. Ping Zhang
Jennifer Waters, TCM practitioner and writer of the Acupuncture Today column, "Talking With the Masters" sat down with Dr. Ping Zhang to discuss aniti-aging with acupuncture.
Crow Like the Rooster
As we welcome in the Year of the Rooster, we look at some of its major characteristics: confidence and communication, which suits the image we have of the Rooster...strutting in the farmyard, crowing to the others that it's time to wake up.
News in Brief
Updated Neck Pain & Whiplash Guideline; Attention, IHS DCs; New VP of Institutional Advancement At Palmer; N.J. DC Interns At U.S. Olympic Training Center; Chiropractic Society Of R.I. On The Front Lines.
Shoulder Rehab: Start With the Scapula
The scapula is an incredible display of elegance and movement within the biomechanics of human motion. It's evolved for mobility and stability in the scapulo-thoracic region, giving us the ability to do things that are uniquely human, such as throwing with accuracy.
An Education in Gluten Sensitivity
A relatively new syndrome officially documented as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or gluten sensitivity (GS) was officially recognized and published in the new list of gluten-related disorders in 2012.
True Practice Mobility for the Chiropractic Profession
When natural disasters occur, chiropractors can literally travel to the other side of the world to offer humanitarian relief in less than a day. The chiropractor's license to legally practice, however, can't make it past the state line.
A New Year and Vision for the ACA
Inadequate pain management coupled with the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has taken a severe toll on the lives of millions of people in the United States. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids.
Let's Clear Up the Collection Confusion
This is an often-misunderstood practice swirling with misinformation. First, a few basics: Insurance is a contract between the patient and the insurance company. The insurance company is simply making a payment for services or care on behalf of the patient.
Low Back Pain in Running Athletes
After 7 million years of adapting to upright postures, the lumbar spine and pelvis have become remarkably adept at managing ground-reactive forces associated with running.
An Opportunity & a Responsibility
Nearly 80 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose every day, and spine-related pain is one of the principle drivers of opioid use. This unfortunate situation creates both an opportunity and a responsibility.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 2)
Protocols & treatment Timing
Nutrition for Menopause: Front-Line Therapy for All Phases
Of all the changes women experience during their reproductive life, there is no doubt the most dreaded are the three phases of menopause. This is not surprising since all of the symptoms associated with menopause are replete with unpleasantness.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Country Needs Us Between Elections, Too; Continuing Care: We Aren't There Yet; Our Associations Need to Do More.
Qigong for Substance Abuse
It is commonly believed that substance abuse, in addition to harming one’s physiological state, hurts the spirit. There is also a belief that one’s spirit does not weaken due to substance abuse, but rather, the person finds solace in addiction due to an already weak spirit.
Five Branches University Has First Hospital TCM Residency
Established in 1984, Five Branches University (FBU) has campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose, Calif., which serve the communities of Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay, and Silicon Valley.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 1)
The earliest Chinese reference to channels is in the Mawangdui Medical Manuscripts,1 which are dated to the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (475 BC-221 AD). The text presents 11 channels. There are no acupuncture points listed in those channels.
Another Step Forward for Chiropractic
Chiropractic is now available to 86,000-plus Latter-Day Saints missionaries and you are invited to become a provider. LDS membership in not required; our only concern is that our missionaries get the best quality care available.
Flirting With Alternative Therapies
There are about as many adjunct therapies being marketed to acupuncturists as there are acupuncturists. While some may remain purist in their application of traditional Chinese medicine, others choose to explore new horizons of treatment.
The Case Report: A Valuable Tool
Case reports are a valuable form of descriptive research. The most basic form of practice-based research, a case report is a detailed account of the history, presenting symptoms, assessment, observations, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient, discussed in the context of prior and potential future research.
January, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 01
What's In It For Me? It's Not Just About the Client
By Ann Brown, LMT
We all know that massage therapy benefits the client, but what about the massage therapist? If you have ever been on the receiving end of an expert massage therapist's hands, then you know how soothing, relaxed and healed your body and mind feels.However, massage therapy is not one-sided. There are many benefits of becoming a massage therapist - from helping others receive a feeling of well-being to receiving a few health benefits of your own. Believe it or not, depending on the type of massage and how it's applied, practitioners may notice a difference in how THEY feel after the application of a treatment.
I know many of us get into this profession to give back and to help clients with their health, rehabilitation and/or wellness goals, and many times we see them get better and improve and it quickly shows us mentally and emotionally that we are connecting with the client and achieving outcomes that positively affect them. But I think this profession has some modalities that can even benefit the LMT in ways that improve their physical well being, too.
Great Physical Therapy
A friend of mine who is a massage practitioner credits Thai massage for healing a knee injury. Six months after starting Thai massage classes, he tore cartilage in his left knee during Tae Kwon Do training. Giving Thai massage actually improved his range of motion. "Giving the massage was great physical therapy," he said.
Thai massage is what I like to call a "working massage." Therapists use traditional massage techniques to move the client into a set of stretches to help improve joints and muscles. It's usually performed on the floor. Sometimes called "lazy man's yoga." Thai massage will also help with circulation and release toxins from the body. Since the practitioners often use their feet, hands, legs and elbows to stretch the client they too are improving their range of motion in order to implement the movements.
Many people also report feeling more refreshed and energized after a Thai massage. That's because energy moves along the body through pathways. Through movement and massage, energy is allowed to flow freely along these pathways making it a win-win for everybody in the room.
One of the best ways for a practitioner to benefit from performing a service is to access what's in their own environment. What chemicals are you using to clean the rooms and equipment? What changes can you make to improve the environment not only for your clients, but for you. After all, you will be spending hours a day inside these rooms so why not make the best of it? If you can avoid the use of hazardous materials and incorporate more eco-friendly and organic methods you will be limiting exposure to toxic materials for everyone.
The healing power of Himalayan salt is astounding. Many people have seen the Himalayan salt stone lamps which provide a warm glow and help purify the air. By releasing negative ions into the air these lamps help kill bacteria, mold, odor and other pollutants. These warmers can be found in many styles, shapes and sizes and can be implemented into services such as a manicure where a client will place their hands on the warm hand carved stone during treatment.
These days, there are many uses for Himalayan salt that have a positive impact on the environment, especially in the spa industry where we are seeing more demand for these types of services. We have been using handcrafted Himalayan salt stones to replace the traditional basalt stones used in our traditional stone massage. The 84 trace minerals found in the salt penetrates into the skin and body which in turn can have a multitude of benefits. Since the therapist is touching these stones, they are also getting exposure to these minerals, as well. The stones are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and cleanup is easy. The stones are hand carved into round, oval and teardrop and many therapists love the unique shapes of the stones and the teardrop has a dull point to help with trigger point work and allowing the therapists to take some of the pressure off their thumbs.
A nontoxic hospital grade disinfectant is sprayed on the stones and dried with a cotton towel. This EPA-registered disinfectant is made primarily from thyme oil and has no toxicity at all in it. It is truly beneficial for client and therapist alike.
Everyone knows how healing it can be to sit in a hot tub or take a water aerobics class. Just being in water helps take pressure off of joints and warms the muscles. A type of aquatic therapy called Watsu (Shiatsu in the water) takes it one step further. Using a trained practitioner to help support the client, Watsu is said to help relax the muscles, decrease pain, improve lung capacity, and increase flexibility. This practice is being embraced by many hospitals and rehabilitation clinics and can be done anywhere there is a pool. Since the practitioner joins the client in the pool they are also taking advantage of the water's therapeutic benefits. The cradling of the client and stretching is felt by both client and therapist and the stretching benefits and hydrostatic pressure of the water benefit both.
Not Your Typical Massage
The head is often overlooked, but needs just as much attention as other parts of the body. CranioSacral Therapy is nothing new. By massaging the head, patients can overcome ailments such as migraine headaches not to mention neck and back pain. It helps release compression to the areas leaving clients more relaxed and pain-free. I spoke with a craniosacral provider who says in calming the client he also becomes more calm - evening out the energy in the treatment room. The CS therapist loves the fact that he can get such a positive response from the body of his client and that, in turn, really resonates that he has found a profession that his intention and hands on work is benefiting the client's wellness and health goals.
This also applies to TMJ therapy (temporal mandibular joint, aka. the jaw), often targeting clients who grind their teeth at night or experience jaw popping. While a practitioner may not benefit directly from the technique performed in this massage, I do know of one therapist who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and is able to make a living off of TMJ work. Since practitioners only work on the jaw area he is able to perform the service without any limitations despite his disability.
Making a Career Out of It
Besides the residual benefits obtained by working on clients, there are many reasons to choose the career path to becoming a massage therapist and industry demand is on the rise. Massage therapy is a growing business and being a massage therapist can give you a sense of job stability, which should give you peace of mind in this volatile economy. For some, becoming a massage therapist can also mean financial stability. Therapists can charge anywhere from $40 to $100 per hour and make a comfortable living.
Working outside of a corporate environment can also mean more flexibility and setting your own schedule. And since you are working with so many other therapists you can also receive many free massages, too. I know I am speaking to an audience of mostly massage therapists, so I do hope we will all promote the benefits of massage therapy and encourage people we know to enter into schools for massage therapy. Looking at some recent studies done by the International Spa Association, it is trending that there is a real shortage of massage therapists entering school and even graduating from school and I hope we will all encourage folks to try this profession that gives back in so many ways.
As you can see, being a massage therapists has many benefits that goes a lot deeper than just helping our clients feel better. As important as that is, it's also important to be able to make decisions that will have a positive impact on your life. With a few simple adjustments in the way you do things and the types of services being offered, you can have a lasting impact on your own health and well-being and at the same time serve those clients who have come to depend on us to make them feel better.
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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