resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Educating Massage Clients: What's Appropriate and What's Not
All massage therapy experiences should be provided in a safe, comfortable and trusting environment. No one should ever do anything to your body that you have not given permission for. A therapist should never be sexual in any way with a client. That includes sexual touching, sexually explicit comments to or any sexual act whatsoever. Every well-trained massage therapist understands – or should understand – the guidelines that follow.
After initially greeting a new client, the therapist and client agree on the type of session, if it was not clearly prescribed when booking the appointment. In a spa or wellness setting, a client may have selected a particular type of treatment and this should be clear without discussion. However, the therapist always asks if there are any areas you particularly want worked on or completely avoided.
The extent of the history-taking depends on why the client is there. If they are coming for a relaxation massage, the therapist will ask certain questions to make sure the treatment is safe. At a minimum, the therapist should ask about any surgeries, medical conditions, medication, injuries, pain, skin conditions, allergies to anything the therapist may be using and any sensitive areas. A woman should be asked if she is pregnant.
Who's In Charge?
The client is always in charge. If a therapist of any kind ever does anything that makes a client emotionally or sexually uncomfortable, the client should speak up immediately or just tell the therapist they want to terminate the session and leave. Clients see a massage therapist for many reasons. Some come for a relaxing massage, postsurgical or post-cancer treatment, or for pain or injury treatment. In some types of massage and bodywork, there may be some physical discomfort. Be sure that you and your client have agreed on how much discomfort is okay and how much is too much. For example, if treating for an injury, there may be some discomfort, which is part of the treatment process. If a client comes for some myofascial or Rolfing work, inform them that this kind of treatment, which is very different from massage, can be quite painful.
Nudity and Draping
Every client should undress and dress in private; the state of undress is up to the client. Some clients remain fully clothed except for their shoes. Others wear a hospital-type gown, leave their underwear on or are nude. A client should always be securely covered or draped with a sheet or towel, which should be tucked in or draped in such a way that it will not easily move.
The entire session is about the client and what they need to have in this particular session. How much pressure is used, where the therapist works and doesn't work, and if you talk or remain quiet is all up to the client. It's not about the therapist's needs.
There is a power differential between practitioner and client. The power differential is inherent in any therapeutic relationship. There is an implicit acknowledgment that the practitioner has more knowledge in this area than the client. The power differential exists for the purpose of bringing benefit to the more vulnerable individual. In healthcare, the power differential is amplified by the physical aspects of practice. The client is usually lying down and unclothed, which has the psychological effect of increasing the imbalance of power. Maintaining professional boundaries is the responsibility of the practitioner, even if the client requests or instructs the practitioner to behave otherwise. The practitioner also has a duty to stay aware of how the power differential may affect the client's ability to raise concerns.
Appropriate and Not
A massage therapist should never touch the genital area of the client. This is either sexual abuse or prostitution. In most parts of the U.S., massage of the breast is off limits. In the few states where it is legal, there must be written consent by the client. In other countries (for example, in certain provinces of Canada), where the training is much more extensive, breast massage is part of massage therapy training and is permitted where appropriate. There are cases where breast massage may be indicated. For example, if a nursing mother has a blocked milk duct, breast massage is sometimes indicated. Or if there is a painful post-surgical scar, certain types of massage therapy may be helpful. However, it is never appropriate to perform massage on or touch a woman's nipples.
The area of the upper inner thigh, either in front or back, is an area that is rarely touched. More specifically, the therapist never works within two to three inches of the genital at the inner thigh. It can evoke sexual stimulation, fear or both. It is a private area that is left to intimate partners. The only exception to this guideline is when there is an injury to the muscles or tendons in this area. In this case, the client has come to the therapist to work on this issue and has explicitly agreed to be treated in this area. When this is done respectfully and with draping, it is not a problem. The therapist carefully and securely drapes the client's upper inner thigh with a sheet or towel before working.
The buttock area is generally included in a massage therapy session but doesn't have to be if this is not an area you want worked on. Work on or very close to the anus or motions that clearly open the cheeks of the buttock should never happen.
Reporting an incident: If the client feels their boundaries have been crossed or violated, they should say something immediately. some people freeze physically, emotionally and verbally when they have experienced posttraumatic stress disorder at some time in their life and this could be a problem. Inappropriate actions by therapists can be reported to the police, the Massage Therapy Board of Registration and/or the District Attorney's office. These types of actions cannot be tolerated and do great harm to those in our profession who do an admirable job in helping people live more pain free lives. Make sure your clients are educated as to appropriate behavor for them and for you, so there is no miscommunication or misunderstandings and your practice can continue to thrive.