resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Branding: Set Your Practice Apart
Dr. Brad started his practice seven years ago on a shoestring budget. He created his generic logo in five minutes using a website because he didn't have the time to figure out how to make something special.
Little Sticker, Big Impact
It's the end of an election year. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were the subject of conversation for everyone, everywhere for the entire 2016 calendar year. I don't think any of us can deny that this election affected us all very deeply on a personal level.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion. For example, aperitifs – drinks consumed before a meal to stimulate appetite and digestion – were originally derived from bitter herbs.
A Simple Protocol for Holiday Stress
It's winter, a time when we should be deep in reflection, eating warming foods and sleeping long hours. Following nature's rhythms, we restore our bodies and minds in preparation for the renewal of spring.
Another Chance to Make a Difference
Just a few months ago, "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy" hit Louisiana. During this storm, one area experienced 31 inches of rain in 15 hours as almost 7 trillion gallons of water rained down in just one week across the state.
End of an Era Looms at NYCC
New York Chiropractic College recently announced that Dr. Frank Nicchi will retire in August 2017 after 36 years with the college, the past 17 as president.
All Fiber Is Not Created Equal
Sometimes the best place to start is at the end. So, the conclusion of this article is that all fiber is good ... but some fiber is better. Let's break it down. There are two main types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
A Q & A About Updated Codes
Yes, indeed there was an update to ICD-10 on Oct.1, 2016. This is a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and this type of update will occur every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Dedicated to Defending Chiropractic
Whether you're a veteran DC or a first-trimester student, the name George McAndrews should be part and parcel of your professional vernacular, as familiar as the word chiropractic.
A First for the Profession: CCE Accredits First Chiropractic Residencies
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has awarded accreditation to all five chiropractic residency programs currently administered at Veterans Administration facilities, "the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education," according to a VA press release announcing the milestone.
Assessing Core Stability and ROM: 5 Basic Checks
One of the first steps in addressing core stability is assessing static posture, ranges of motion, and motion of the pelvic bones, sacrum, femurs, lumbar spine and thoracic spine.
What We Can Learn From Spine Surgery
Patients with lumbar stenosis presumably present for conservative care to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery. However, providing clear guidance to these patients can be difficult for a number of reasons.
6 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet
People often ask me what defines success. Success, for me, is simple: doing exactly what you want to do in life. Whether it's the kind of practice you run, your life at home, your hobbies or something else, it's achieving anything you put your mind to.
Meshing TCM With Environmental Pediatrics: Where's the Overlap?
Pediatrics has a long history within Chinese medicine dating back to the late Han dynasty (i.e., the late 200s CE), with the two primary areas of emphasis being herbal medicine and xiao er tui na (pediatric massage).
DVT: Know the Signs and You Could Save a Life
I lost a friend several months ago. He died from a pulmonary embolism (PE) secondary to a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) that originated in his lower leg. Bobby was in his mid-60s, soft-spoken and had a big heart.
A Letter to the Profession from the New President at AAAOM
Volunteering for a national, nonprofit organization brings with it such highs, lows, and accomplishments, as well as a steep learning curve.
News in Brief
New President / CEO Takes Office at Yo San University. Electroacupuncture for Constipation?
2016: A Year in the Life of Acupuncture
Happy Holidays, may you, your family and friends have peace, joy and blessings throughout this special time of year. As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back and celebrate the many events and accomplishments for the profession of acupuncture.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Pt. 2)
Most overuse injuries are benign, but there are some high-risk injuries that, if unrecognized or inappropriately treated, can result in significant loss in time from the sport or even require leaving the sport.
Can a Multivitamin Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence?
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multivitamin supplements in cancer prevention. However, with respect to preventing breast cancer recurrence, an important study was published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2011 by Kwan ML, et al.
Chiro School Reunion: Whatever Happened to...?
I opened the door to the closet slowly, carefully, since I knew it contained a large number of precariously stacked file boxes. It also held numerous outdated gizmos with electrical cords of various lengths that could trip or strangle a person.
Southwest Acupuncture College Brings It to Division 1 Athletes
When Michael Phelps' photograph with the distinctive round marks left by cupping went viral, the Division 1 student athletes treated through the Dal Ward Athletic Center at the University of Colorado (CU) could relate.
Molecular Motors: Tiny Machines Behind the Rhythm of Life
In the clinic, we aim to restore healthy patterns of movement for qi that has gotten trapped or misdirected, or may have even collapsed. We may be focused on freeing stagnation, releasing heat or redirecting counterflow qi, but it often comes down to helping re-establish a flow of sorts.
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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