resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Massage Combats PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops in response to a traumatic event. The event often includes physical and/or psychological harm to an individual or a loved one. Triggers of PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or man-made disasters, accidents, or military combat. Post-traumatic stress is the inability to dissociate the trauma from the past and live without fear of the future. Evidence demonstrates that massage therapy eases suffering caused by this disorder and assists in the recovery process.
Trauma and PTSD
After the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the perspective of the world changed forever. Since, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Chilean and Kasuri earthquakes, hurricane Katrina, countless wars and famine, PTSD has risen to unprecedented levels. According to the National Center for PTSD, 7.7 million in the United States have suffered from PTSD.
Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a major RAND study.1 Most of the 1.64 million will return home from war without problems and readjust successfully. However, 18.5 percent of all returning service members meet criteria for either PTSD or depression.1
Symptoms include: flashbacks and/or nightmares, avoidance/numbing, a feeling of estrangement from others, hyperarousal/hypervigilance, and a feeling of constantly being in danger. Other common symptoms include: sleep disturbance, physical pain, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts, and no longer feeling at home in one's body.2
However common the disorder, stigma may hinder individuals from receiving treatment. In 2008, it was reported that only half of military service members who have returned from Iraq with PTSD or major depression have sought treatment.1 Stigma includes factors such as being concerned that one will be viewed or treated differently by peers or military leaders if they are receiving mental health treatment. Other barriers to receiving care include not being able to get time off work, lack of information about where to find help and not having adequate transportation to get to the location where care is available. Stigma and barriers seem to affect both genders, especially males, who are not as likely to pursue professional help as females.3
Sgt. Travis Runnels, Combat Veteran of the 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army, (himself a sufferer of PTSD) said, “Team strength is emphasized within the units and nobody wants to feel like the loose link. Sometimes a cry for help is confused with being weak, instead of taken for the serious disorder it is. Understand that PTSD needs proper medical treatment and sometimes intervention.” Runnels found that massage and alternative medicine were a real compliment to his conventional treatment. However, for a long time he had a hard time with doctors touching him, let alone someone that he was not comfortable with. Ultimately, at the right time with the correct counseling resources, he was able to control his reactions and unwind enough to the point where he was able to receive massage. “Massage helped me to learn to relax, let my guard down, and begin to feel safe and comfortable within my body and mind,” said Runnels.
Traditional treatment includes pharmacology and psychotherapies, cognitive behavioral programs, exposure therapies, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Cognitive behavioral treatments include: psychoeducation, anxiety management, exposure and cognitive restructuring. According to the National Center of PTSD,4 specific cognitive behavioral therapies including prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy and EMDR are best used as initial treatments of PTSD. Group and family therapies along with alternative methods continue to be studied.4
Treatment is provided by TRICARE Prime, a health care plan for active duty military personnel, the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Since 1998, the DoD has required soldiers to complete a pre-and post-deployment health assessment, and more recently has mandated a post-deployment health reassessment to be completed six months after the service member returns home.5
Based on the combined screening, clinicians identified 20.3 percent of active duty and 42.4 percent of reserve soldiers as requiring mental health treatment, according to a 2007 study.6 Mental health treatment by the Veterans Administration is helping those with PTSD; 49-59 percent of those who had PTSD symptoms identified after the first assessment, report improvements six months later.6 However, those who didn't initiate treatment at that time, tend to get worse. Several community health programs are also becoming more readily available, one being a DE-STRESS program (Delivery of Self-Training and Education for Stressful Situations), that utilizes an interactive Web site to complete an eight-week program designed to help manage and treat PTSD.5
A revolutionary change in the treatment of PTSD has begun with a holistic approach at the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center in Texas.7 The program, created by clinical psychologist John Fortunato, was launched in the summer of 2007 after a long struggle for funding. His six- to nine-month program includes a rigorous 35-hour treatment week that combines group and individual therapies that include alternative therapies such as: massage, reiki, qigong, tai qi, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, exercise, games, hot-stone therapy treatments and "rehearsal therapy", which includes telling your most painful memories over and over until they lose their power.
Fortunato uses acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety, panic and tension-induced pain. Reiki treatments are used to assist in treating hyperarousal symptoms. According to Fortunato, "In order to stay alive, their bodies have been hyperaroused for so long, that they come back and cannot turn it off. Their body doesn't even remember how to relax again, and because of that they don't sleep and are irritable. ... The massage has helped soldiers sleep."
And the holistic healing approach for soldiers is paying off: 12 of the 37 soldiers have returned to their units and only two have ended up having to take medical discharges from the army.
According to a 2005 study,8 positive changes have been shown in biochemistry following massage therapy including reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine. By decreasing the clients' cortisol levels with bodywork, a client can reduce the constant feelings of hyperarousal and danger. By increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain, an ease of suffering and anxiety is felt.8
A study on sexual abuse victims suffering from PTSD conducted by Cynthia Price, concluded victims of PTSD showed a significant decrease in physiological and physical symptoms, after massage and body-oriented therapy (in addition to psychotherapy).9
Alternative medicine, massage and bodywork, along with traditional methods, can help victims of PTSD in the recovery process. With PTSD numbers on the rise, and more troops coming home every day, there are plenty of sufferers in need. In the hands of a well-intentioned therapist, massage for clients with PTSD acknowledges and helps to restore the most basic human needs of safety, trust, control, self-worth and intimacy. When these needs are satisfied in the context of a healthy therapeutic relationship, an individual may not only succeed but re-learn or discover for the first time how to thrive.2
For a comprehensive list of PTSD resources go to: http://ptsdcombat.blogspot.com/2007/01/need-transition-help-free-resources.html.