resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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?
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Employing the Whole Person Approach to Massage
I was reminded again of the need to address aspects of a condition that might not be immediately apparent when one of my aromatherapy students called me for advice about which essential oils to use for her teenage son. He had been in a serious, head-on car collision and had not been sent to the hospital by responding officers. They had apparently thought the behavior caused by his concussion might instead be drug or alcohol related (they weren't). When a mother's instinct led my student to take her son to the ER, doctors found there was serious trauma to the head, neck, shoulders and upper spine. They also said his concussion required 24 hour observation. Now, he was coming home and she worried that she might not be able to help him relieve his symptoms by only using lavender oil. Her immediate thought was about the pain and his difficulty sleeping.
As she spoke, I realized she was also angry and in shock, just like her son was likely to be. After all, going home to sleep instead of getting to the hospital could have led to serious repercussions to his health. I was not being called upon for massage services, but at some point this boy would certainly be in the capable hands of a massage therapist to help address the muscular-skeletal situation. And if the massage therapist wanted to get powerful results, they would want to consider this whole situation, just as I did now. Doing this meant that, along with choosing sedative and anti-inflammatory essential oils, I would include those essences that would address emotional shock, tension, and anger. In order to do this, knowledge of what is called the "subtle" properties of essential oils is necessary.
Shock, as an acute stress reaction, is a psychological condition. It happens in response to intensely traumatic events and affects the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. At first, the person may appear to be in a daze or unresponsive to the reality of the situation. That state will move toward the observable physiological symptoms, including agitation, hyperactivity, anxiety, impaired judgement, confusion, detachment, and depression. Tachycardia, sweating and pallor may also be present. While some of the more obvious signs of shock can disappear within several days, we now know that post traumatic shock syndrome (PTSD) can last a lifetime, taking the form of "panic attacks" or more severe depression, and even violent behavior, to self or others.
Addressing shock as soon as possible seems advisable. I suggested that to a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and sleep promoting blend of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana), and Roman chamomile (Anthemus nobilis), my student should add neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and/or ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) to counteract shock, and patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) to create a feeling of grounded stability in the body. To augment the grounding properties and specifically address anger, myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) could be included. If myrrh or patchouli were not available, atlas cedarwood, (Cedrus atlantica) could substitute. It brings strength and confidence during stressful times, and the Roman chamomile would work on the anger aspect. If cost is an issue, ylang ylang is a less expensive flower essence than neroli. However, neroli also brings spiritual connection and only a drop is needed to bestow the subtle effect. This blend would be used in diffusion, so it would help both mother and son. Any of the ingredients could be added later to carrier oil for massage. As time goes on, this blend should be adjusted when different emotions or physical needs appear.
Adding the subtle properties of an essential oil to the consideration of a blend is a way to treat the whole person. Doing so augments the desired outcome for all clients, not just those suffering from traumatic events. Because it can take time to learn these aspects of essential oils, I recommend several books for reference to have in the library. (The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, by Salvatore Battaglia includes subtle effects in the descriptions of oils. Another good resource for subtle properties is Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay.) Eventually, after using them for this purpose, the subtle properties will spring to mind automatically.
Author's Note: Farewell to Readers
With an article on my favorite aspect of aromatherapy – the way it is used to benefit the whole person, body, mind and spirit – I am taking my leave as a columnist Massage Today. For fourteen years, I've been privileged to write these articles. I am grateful that I have been able to provide the knowledge and experience of an independent, professional aromatherapist and convey the resources I have come to know and trust. In an age of increasing Internet publications that often fall, sometimes dangerously short of reality and safe practice, this is even more important. Over the years, I have offered the best of my own experience and information, and enjoyed a wonderful relationship with both readers and my excellent editors, past and present. But now, it is time to pass the baton on to a younger generation to receive their insights and wisdom.