resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Do No Harm, Do Some Good
"Make a habit of two things — to help, or at least to do no harm."
It's a common misconception that physicians who take the Hippocratic Oath swear to "do no harm." Actually, they don't; this phrase appears in the context of a different work by Hippocrates where he first instructs doctors to "help." Nevertheless, the words "do no harm" have the force of truth behind them that appeals to health care practitioners, as well as to clients and patients. Of course, individuals seeking health care hope not just to avoid harm, but also to receive help with their healing. We like to think that the people to whom we entrust the health of our bodies and minds share these two basic commitments: to do no harm and to do some good. Let me share with you my own point of view about what these ideals mean in our profession.
Do No Harm
All therapeutic situations involve a power differential, with the practitioner in a position of authority. Our clients accept a certain level of vulnerability because they believe that our therapeutic work is in their best interest. While we need clients' trust in order to help them, we must take care to avoid abusing that trust in any way. Here are a few basic principles that are important for all therapists to follow.
First, know your limits. Whenever we work with clients, we have a responsibility not to disrupt their well-being or increase whatever pain and suffering they are already experiencing. One way to help guarantee this is to always stay within your scope of practice. Know the limits of your training. Be honest with your clients about what you know and what you don't know, and don't practice techniques that you are not trained to apply. This principle is incorporated in the modern Hippocratic Oath: "I will not be ashamed to say 'I know not,' nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery."
Next, establish clear boundaries. There are many different types of boundaries involved in performing hands-on therapeutic work. Among the most important are sexual boundaries. Injunctions against sexual activity with clients go all the way back to Hippocrates' time, and are still critical for us today. Sexual involvement is just one way in which the boundaries between therapist and client may get blurred. A therapist who asks their lawyer client for legal advice while they are on the table is also crossing a boundary. As the person with greater authority in the therapeutic encounter, it's our responsibility to keep our relationships with clients safe, clear and healthy.
Be usre to maintain client confidentiality. Our ethical standards affect more than how we treat our clients; they also affect how we treat information about our clients. In the course of our work, we learn a great deal of personal information about people's lives and bodies, and sharing those details inappropriately is a serious violation of trust. For many health care professionals, a breach of patient confidentiality not only violates the Hippocratic Oath, but also breaks the law. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), passed in 1996, sets strict guidelines regulating the use, disclosure, and transfer of personal health information. Even if you're not required by law to be fully HIPAA-compliant (many of us who don't directly bill insurance companies are not), it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these regulations (www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/). Regardless of our legal obligations, we all have an ethical duty to respect our clients' privacy.
Don't mistake your own needs for your clients' needs. If you haven't taken care of yourself first, you may impose what you need onto others without regard to their reality. A therapist's lack of self-awareness can translate into irrelevant or even inappropriate treatment. "Do no harm" requires us to have the food, sleep, human contact and care that allow us to provide for the client's needs, not our own.
Do Some Good
For most of us, practicing massage isn't just a way to make a living. We entered this field because we want to do some good in the world and help improve people's lives. We gain satisfaction from providing our clients with relaxation, comfort, greater freedom of movement and relief from pain. Staying connected to our impulse to help people can strengthen our motivation and deepen our level of fulfillment with our work. Here are just a few suggestions of ways to reinforce that commitment.
There are many, many people in the world who would benefit from your services, but who cannot easily access or afford them. Working with senior citizens, terminally ill patients, drug-addicted infants or people living in battered-person shelters could bring you a kind of satisfaction with your work that cannot compete with money. One businessman I know started a free health club for pregnant teens with a massage clinic where many therapists volunteer.
Within your practice, look for ways to make your work more accessible. For example, you might modify your policies to maintain a sliding scale for those who cannot afford your fees, while still charging a normal rate to most of your clients.
Consider taking on a client or two for free. For many years, in addition to having a sliding scale, I would offer my services to one client each year at no charge. Doing so reminded me that I was in this work because I loved it, not just because it made me money. I was surprised to find that many people felt they could not accept my offer of free services. Whenever I found somebody who could, however, they helped me cultivate the habit of doing some good for its own sake.
While doing no harm is essential for every massage therapist, not all of us are in a position to take these further, altruistic steps. We need to take care of our own needs before we can extend help to others. When I began practicing, the last thing on my mind was giving away my services for free. But as soon as I had enough for me, I got a lot of pleasure from helping people without financial benefit to myself. I strongly believe that our identities as successful entrepreneurs and as compassionate, socially conscious human beings are not only compatible, but mutually reinforcing. Once we have what we need, we can share the excess, and the satisfaction of sharing our gifts and talents can help to sustain us in our profession for the long term.