resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
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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