Old Trend, New Risks: Heavy Weight Training
With more opportunities to exercise than ever, a greater selection of exercise options, and the subsequent opinions supporting and challenging their merits, it's easy to be confused as to which approach is best.
News in Brief
Parker University Launches New Open-Access Research Journal for Chiropractic; Western States, Cleveland-KC Name New Deans of Chiropractic Colleges; Sherman College Goes Tobacco-Free; Life University Wins 11 Awards.
Practice Pearls: There's More to ROM Than Meets the Eye
As part of my neuromusculoskeletal examination, I perform range-of-motion (ROM) evaluations. I can "eyeball" the range and measure, I can use a goniometer and measure, I can use my phone app and measure, or I can use various other instruments to help determine degrees of motion.
Prompting Memory: How to Stimulate Cognition
Recently I gave a talk titled, The Art of Memoir – Tapping the Past to Sharpen the Present at a senior lunch event in Austin, Texas.
Official NCCAOM Practice Tests
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is excited to announce the launch of the new NCCAOM Exam Preparation Center.
State by State: Chiropractic Leads Changes in Health Care
Monumental legislative bills in support of the chiropractic profession were passed recently in Washington, West Virginia and Oregon. Here is a review of this important legislation, state by state...
Reducing Allostatic Load & Stress Through Heightened Awareness
Your contemporary mental health and psychotherapy colleagues may often approach the treatment of allostatic load as a mental health condition and use prescription psycho-pharmaceutical medicine to affect general and specific central nervous system (CNS) pathways and brain neuro-chemistry medicine to alleviate the associated symptoms.
Cyber Threat Checklist: Defend Your Business With These 10 Steps
Living in an internet connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the internet to connect us with customers, store data, and find information has opened the door for many small business owners to grow and flourish.
Prevention: Stop Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
The recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with quality of life, and this particular infection is much more common than most people realize.
Transforming Exam Delivery
The NBCE Board of Directors has never wavered on its promise to deliver an excellent, on-campus computerized testing experience to students. Likewise, there has never been a compromise to the delivery of fair, valid and legally defensible exams.
Bastyr University: On the Front Lines of the Pain Epidemic
At University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle region's only Level I Trauma and Burn Center, the demands for in-patient care are dramatically different from a private clinic environment.
Paving the Way to Integrative Health & Wellness
Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) launched the integrative health and wellness (IHW) caucus in October, 2018.
Diagnosing & Treating Aggressive Energy
Recently, there has been an article, and subsequent discussion, about the subject of Aggressive Energy (AKA "AE"), including ways to detect its presence and an alternative method of treating it.
Dropping Insurance: 4 Steps
My office manager just got off the phone with the secretary of a long-standing patient. I have treated this woman and 10 members of her family for more than a decade. She has, as have all of my patients, paid my fee at the time of service since I dropped insurance in 1997.
New Opportunities for DCs
For decades, the model chiropractic practice has been the single-doctor practice. Recent surveys have found that approximately two-thirds of U.S. doctors of chiropractic still practice this way, with another 20 percent practicing in multiple-chiropractor practices.
Better With Chiropractic
While chiropractic care is receiving high levels of exposure these days, most pain patients who consult with a health provider still do so with their primary-care MD. And of course, that means in most cases, they're receiving standard medical care, not chiropractic.
Acupuncture's Standard of Care
Both a concern and critique of acupuncture, frequently espoused by the bio-medical community is, "there is no standard of care in acupuncture." The following is why I believe this statement is disingenuous at best.
Multi-Dimensional Acupuncture: 3D, 4D & 5D
Maggie is an intuitive healer and workshop leader who I met on a recent hike. While we were talking she told me how she had to take it easy because of her knees. She said that her doctor told her that she has the early signs of arthritis.
NBCE to Reinstitute Computer-Based Exams
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has announced it will reinstate computer-based testing in January 2019 courtesy of a partnership with testing and assessment solutions provider Prometric.
Chiropractic's Next Frontier: Adjusting the Microbiome
Restoring a healthy microbiome to help treat disease may be the next frontier in chiropractic offices around the country.
First World Spine Care Graduate: Hildah Molate
Hildah Molate, the first World Spine Care (WSC) scholarship student, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic earlier this year and is now working at the WSC community spine clinic in Shoshong, Botswana.
It's Time for a Functional Approach to Chronic Illness
It seems one of the more modern buzzwords is chronic, referring to diseases – that is to say, "ongoing and incurable." However, we can take a different perspective and recognize that, although the body may have been traumatized and injured, healing should always be viewed in the realm of possibility.
Is Primary Spine Care the Answer for Chiropractic?
Recently, we sat down with Mark Studin, DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP, to discuss the state of chiropractic and why primary spine care may hold the key to chiropractic's future. Read what he had to share in this exclusive interview.
Catch the Workplace Wellness Wave
Do you offer workplace wellness services to local businesses? If not, you might want to consider this lucrative channel for expanding your practice. Workplace wellness programs and wellness-related benefits have grown in popularity over the past several decades.
Missed Causes of LBP: It's the Syndrome, Not the Subluxation
When I read the chart notes of other chiropractors, I am usually disappointed. They list what vertebrae are fixated or misaligned. They may describe the involved fascia and muscles.
Regenerative Medicine: How to Do It by the Books
The "lay of the land" for regenerative therapies, including but certainly not limited to adult stem-cell treatments, seems to change almost daily.
TCM Codes for the World
I just received an email concerning the ICD-TM11 codes. The World Health Organization (WHO) will be presenting the new ICD-11 codes to World Health Assembly very soon.
A Novel Way to Prevent Elderly Falls: Toe Strength
In any given year, nearly 40 percent of senior citizens ages 70 and older will fall at least once. Each fall significantly increases the risk of not only sprains, strains and contusions, but also fractures.
Spring Allergies & The Spleen: Looking at Pattern Differentiation
As the season of Spring fades away and we shift into the warm summer months, many patients suffer from chronic allergies. This is by far one of the most common issues I see in the clinic as well as often mistreated and misdiagnosed.
The Acupuncturist and the Opioid Crisis: Conquering Pain & Addiction in the U.S.
The current opioid epidemic dominates the discussion among national health leaders, recovery advocates and families nationwide. Opioids include heroin as well as prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.
Choosing Our Words Wisely ... Language MattersWhen you visit a massage therapy website or pick up a rack card for massage therapy services, one of the first things you might register is how a practitioner refers to you. Are you a patient or a client? A diabetic, or a person with diabetes? A cancer survivor, or a person with a cancer history? You look at how they discuss their clients, and their work.
These terms are also important in our professional conversations, when we discuss our work with others. Whether it's an informal social media thread, or a conversation with a nurse, language matters.
Debates about language can quickly become passionate and fierce. When does a label describe a person, and when does it limit or reduce someone to—well—a label? When does a label reveal a personal bias, or a treasured group identity? Many people throw off labels entirely. Others embrace them. Most people identify with some labels, but not others.
One of our professional obligations is to use thoughtful language about our work and about the people we serve. Language has the power to welcome, reassure and support people. It also has the power to offend, injure, or dismiss people.
In cancer care, massage therapists have many different ways to describe their clients and their work. Do we do oncology massage? Massage therapy for people with cancer? Something else?
How We Talk about Clients
"Person-first" or "People-first" language began in movements for the rights of people with disabilities. It designates the person as most important, followed by the diagnosis or disability. Following this lead, I choose "client with cancer," "clients with cancer and cancer histories," or "people with cancer and cancer histories."
The person-first approach honors the person. This is essential, because people tell us that cancer treatment can make them feel more like a disease or a body part than a person. Yet some of the descriptors above can also feel like a mouthful. After repeating, "clients with cancer and cancer histories," many times, it's worth searching for a sensible shorthand alternative.
For that, "oncology client," or "oncology massage client," are strong possibilities. This shorthand is not person-first, but it emphasizes the work I do, and the context in which I do it. It does not focus on the client's diagnosis so much as the clinical aspect: I am providing services in cancer care.
Other attempts at shorthand, resulting in "the cancer client," are well-intended but come off as less sensitive. It is possible that "cancer client" came when "cancer patient" was transplanted from the medical setting to the massage therapy setting.
Cancer client sounds awkward to me. It sounds too much like "cancer person," and I start visualizing people in packs, all sharing a diagnosis. Even "breast cancer client," while making it easier to discuss appropriate massage care, can feel reductionist. "Client with breast cancer" only takes a microsecond longer to say or write.
Trying this on: "cancer client," "thyroid cancer client," "pancreatic cancer client." Although these call up common clinical considerations, they don't sound clinical, nor as sensitive. It doesn't describe how I think about my clients, or care for them. It doesn't describe the context.
Moreover, "cancer client" more flagrantly violates the person-first rule. I always feel a little twitchy when I hear it. Better would be something like "oncology client," or "oncology massage client."
Anything but "cancer massage"
This brings us to the language describing the work itself. When I hear "cancer massage," I imagine someone directly massaging a tumor, which we would certainly not do. We take pains to learn about any and all tumor sites in order to avoid pressing on them. "Cancer massage" doesn't sound clinical. I see it as too casual and informal, and not up to the task of truly describing the work. "Oncology massage" is better because again, the work is done in the context of cancer care. But it falls short, as well: The massage techniques themselves should not be the only focus.
Oncology massage Therapy, or OMT
"Oncology massage therapy," (OMT for short), is the most descriptive term I've found. It describes a whole approach, not just the hands-on massage part. It captures the interview, the clinical thinking, the therapeutic relationship, the precautions, along with the specific hands-on modifications.
It also captures the therapeutic aims of the work. The inclusion of "therapy" makes it sound as serious as it is: Oncology massage therapy aims to reduce symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment. It is designed to help clients cope, supporting them through their experiences. In recent years, I've added "therapy" onto the end of each instance of "oncology massage." I've come to see its critical place in our work.
Having solved this, at least for my own practice, I can loop back to the question of how to refer to my clients when I'm discussing my work with other professionals. Here's one more possibility: "OMT clients." Short, descriptive, respectful. Done. At least for now.
Not the Language Police
Although language is important, I am not qualified to be the language police. I slip up sometimes in teaching and conversation. I don't get it right for every client, reader, or MT.
These days, there is plenty of language to think about. People hold strong views on how we should tell stories of cancer diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, and beyond. There are cancer journeys and cancer battles, and survivors and thrivers. There is beating cancer, and surrendering to the experience.
If you Google "language of cancer," you'll find many opinions about the militarization and demilitarization of the language describing experiences of cancer. You'll see people weigh in about how these terms make them feel while they're in the middle of it. For some, "kicking cancer's butt" is violent imagery, and they feel weak, inadequate, and blamed for not being able to somehow kick butt. For others, the same images are inspiring and motivating. To each their own.
I try to take my cues from my clients in conversation, and balance that with what I'm comfortable hearing from my own mouth. For example, "cancer thrivers" feels forced, and a bit trendy. I counseled one OMT to choose something different for a website because it looked like she might be trying too hard to get it correct. I wanted her to speak to those, as well, who don't necessarily feel like they are thriving, but who need her care.
Unless or until "thriving" settles in to stay for a while, "survivorship" is more natural for me to say. My speaking and writing style is a little more neutral and old-fashioned. Because people sometimes feel strongly about one word over another, I try to land wherever we can all be the most comfortable. I'm curious about where other OMTs and OMT clients land, as well.
Listen for the Humanity
Language describes human experience, so it's important to choose our words wisely. However, in most cases, I don't have to get that language perfectly right to connect with my clients. My clients don't necessarily need me to be fully up-to-date and hip. They need my presence, and my listening ears. They need me to ask, "Is this the way you'd describe you/it/the experience?" They need me to ask what things are like for them, and to respond with care and skill. So I listen for the humanity in words.
For my clients, I look for words that describe as open and expansive an experience as possible. For my own work, I settle on language that is clinical and professional. In the end, I hope my speech is as thoughtful as my hands, and that both are in service of my clients.