resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
Spinal-Cord Injuries: Saying No to Steroids
With steroids, epidural and otherwise, in the news lately for their overuse when treating back pain (and their danger when tainted by fungal meningitis), it was high time for a policy change, and we've got one, from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
In a previous column, I discussed the history and definition of evidence-based practice (EBP), and expressed concerns with how the concept has been narrowly construed by some academics and payers.
Wisconsin Exam in the Spotlight
You've passed your national boards with flying colors, including Part IV, the practical examination, at a combined cost of more than $3,000.
Chiropractic Research: A Moral Issue
This year I've had the opportunity to go to three great chiropractic research conferences; the ACC-RAC, the Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS) Congress and the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress.
Exercises for Back Pain: Low-Compression Training Program
This program is intended for two groups of people: 1) those who want to engage in resistance exercises for the major regions of their body without developing back pain in the process; and 2) those who already have back pain and want to do resistance exercises, but consistently re-irritate their back when trying to do so.
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
Medical Payola (Part 2)
Not only has Medtronic made billions selling expensive screws and hardware for highly controversial spine fusions, but a Senate investigation also found Medtronic felt compelled to write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians that downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, Infuse.
The Pallof Press for Core Stability Evaluation
Many people become injured because of instability, weakness and poor neural-sequencing patterns in the core. Lack of bracing and support from the inner core cylinder during coronal and transverse movements makes the body vulnerable to compensation injuries.
Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss
There is a lot of focus in the acupuncture world on fertility and helping women get pregnant. It's exhilarating to hear the news that a patient is expecting a baby. The other side of that is pregnancy loss. That includes abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
News in Brief
Cancer Treatment Centers of America Continues Support of Chiropractic; ACBOH Announces 2013 Practical, Written Exam Dates; PCORI Approves Funding for Research on Spinal Stenosis; Macquarie University to Cease Offering Chiropractic Program.
History Repeating Itself in Wisconsin?
Thirteen years ago, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) "agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that [the association] orchestrated a conspiracy among WCA members to increase prices for chiropractic services and to boycott third-party payers to obtain higher reimbursement rates."
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
Covering Chiropractic as a Profession, Not a Single Service
Recently Dynamic Chiropractic published a front-page article about various state essential health benefits and referred to Oregon and four other states not currently providing chiropractic as a covered benefit.
Calcium Supplements and Mortality
When the National Institutes of Health's AARP Diet and Health Study reported that men who took calcium supplements had a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared those who didn't, it was the third large cohort in six months with alarming findings regarding calcium supplements.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
Repeating Bone-Density Tests
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women older than age 65 undergo bone-density testing. However, organizations in general have not stated when repeat bone-density testing should be done.
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Business Building: What's Your Strategy?
I know some in our profession love to debate about whether or not spinal curvatures change as a result of our chiropractic adjustment, but I have a question that hits a little more close to the belt than that: Are chiropractors capable of change?
Telecommuting and Technology: Ergonomic and Worker's Comp Considerations
As our world becomes more and more reliant on technology, equipment becomes more dependable and we become increasingly more comfortable with e-mail, the fax machine, the Internet and the smartphone, it is becoming easier and easier to work away from the office.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
Prenatal Massage During the First Trimester
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Among some of the myths and old wives' tales surrounding prenatal massage is the misguided belief that massage should be avoided during the first trimester. It's fair to say that under the skilled hands of a certified prenatal practitioner, massage during the first trimester is not only safe, but can be especially supportive during the transitional first months.
One of the reasons many practitioners and spas refuse to massage first-trimester clients is the fear of causing a miscarriage.Miscarriage is defined as a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, which generally means before 20 weeks gestation. (An early spontaneous abortion occurs within the first 12 weeks; a late spontaneous abortion happens within weeks 12-20.) Almost 90 percent of miscarriages occur within the first eight weeks, so the reasoning concludes that if you avoid the massage, you will avoid the miscarriage. Unfortunately, this logic is not based on science, but rather on litigious concerns.
Miscarriages occur very frequently, perhaps in as often as half of confirmed pregnancies, and most miscarriages can't be avoided. They rarely are caused by anything expectant women do or don't do. In nearly half of all known losses, the embryo was chromosomally abnormal and not viable or able to sustain life. Other possible risk factors include genital and reproductive structural abnormalities (retroversion of the uterus, bicornuate uterus, fibroid tumors, etc.), infections (chlamydia, rubella, listeria, ureaplasma, mycoplasma), maternal disease (diabetes, renal disease, thyroid conditions, nutritional deficiencies), ectopic pregnancies, hormonal imbalances, immunological rejection, maternal age (the older the gravida, the greater the risk of miscarriage), and environmental factors such as first- or second-hand smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to organic solvents, and excessive radiation. Massage is not a contributing factor in any of these physical or environmental circumstances, and is not causative in a miscarriage.
In early pregnancy, symptoms of a miscarriage include bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and lower back, thigh or pelvic pain. In late pregnancy, a miscarriage is accompanied by heavy bleeding, including the passage of blood clots and intense uterine contractions. If a client presents any of these symptoms, massage obviously is contraindicated.
The other explanation practitioners use to avoid first-trimester massage is the issue of morning sickness. Nearly 85 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness and nausea in early pregnancy; for 10 percent of them, the problem persists beyond the first trimester. While it's clearly accepted that massage for anyone nauseous or vomiting is contraindicated, you can make appointments to massage your pregnant clients when they are not experiencing symptoms. These treatments effectively can reduce the severity of symptoms.
There are other suggestions you can make to your pregnant clients to reduce morning sickness. They should eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack before bed will reduce morning nausea. Protein takes a long time to digest, and they won't wake up with an empty, gnawing feeling in their stomachs. Cut up a fresh lemon into wedges and put the wedges in a plastic bag. They can inhale the lemon as needed. One drop of peppermint oil in honey water every hour helps some women. Other women find ginger tea, ginger ale and ginger candies very soothing. Drinking red raspberry-leaf tea or sucking on the pit of an umeboshi plum (found in health food stores or Oriental groceries) can settle the stomach. Stimulation of acupuncture point Pericardium 6 by wearing motion sickness "sea bands" or with digital stimulation is extremely effective in eradicating or minimizing nausea. This point is located on each forearm, 1 1/2 inches below the wrist, in the middle of the inner forearm.
Press for a count of 6-10 and repeat a total of 6-10 times.
Another concern regarding first-trimester massage includes avoidance of abdominal massage due to the fear of dislodging the placenta. This is another unfounded fear. It's strongly advised to ask the client's permission before massaging her abdomen at any stage of the pregnancy, and the abdominal massage always should be done with an open palm, light pressure and gentle effleurage following a clockwise direction, but the placenta is attached firmly to the uterus and appropriate massage will not damage or dislodge this strong attachment.
Properly trained prenatal massage practitioners can safely and effectively address first-trimester concerns. For those of you who work in establishments where first-trimester massage is avoided, liability is a major contributing factor to this decision. Since this business policy has been set by the management, you have to adhere to what management decrees. In private practice, however, you can base your decision on science and appropriate training, not fear or misconceptions.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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