resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Learning to Pay Attention to the Quality of Touch
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I once received a massage that stands out in my memory. The space was beautiful and inviting. The therapist was attentive as we visited prior to the session. It had been a while since I'd gotten a massage so I was really looking forward to this time to let go and renew.I was happy to relax on the warm table for a few minutes waiting for the session to begin. The therapist quietly entered the room. Then, I felt some quick touches on my back as she moved toward my feet where she abruptly started a vigorous foot massage. It was jolting. I wish I could say this was an isolated occurrence, but actually I've had this kind of experience several times. It reinforces the importance of the quality of our attention and touch at the very start of any session.
On the first day of my workshops, we do a focused attention exercise as we begin to explore gentle holding techniques. Partners sit facing one another and one person is the "receiver" and the other is the "giver" of the attention. The giver silently places their attention on their partner, mindful of acknowledging the individual within. They are instructed if the mind becomes distracted, to gently bring it back to focusing on their partner. After about three minutes, they silently switch roles and repeat the exercise. Then the group is asked to reflect on the experience. The feedback is always the same: the room feels warmer, the energy "softer," they feel calmer and centered and connected to one another. Occasionally, there are tears and always there are hugs as we close the exercise. It's remarkable to witness the shift that occurs in about six minutes. Now, we are ready to begin touching in a more intentional way.
Enhance the Quality of Your Touch
Whatever the context, all touch has quality and intention. The quality of your touch is the physical attributes of the touch itself. For example, touch may be warm or cold, firm or light, fast or slow, rhythmic or sporadic. The intention is what you communicate or convey through the touch. For example, you may use touch to communicate caring, to guide someone, or to greet a friend. Focused touch is touch that's offered gently and mindfully, with awareness of your intention. Beginning any session with a focused touch sets the tone for the entire massage, regardless of the techniques that follow in order to meet the needs of your client. The following are some simple steps that will enhance the quality of your touch as you initiate the touch session.
Centering before you make physical contact with your client affects the quality of your presence and makes the connection with your client more authentic.
Some examples of common centering methods include:
It doesn't matter if you begin the massage at the feet, head or other area; take care to make the initial contact soft and slow. Hold the touch for just a moment before beginning any technique. This allows your client to feel your presence and it establishes trust.
Intend to Connect
Meet your client in the moment. Silently acknowledge the individual within the body you are massaging and their ability to receive what is needed for the rest of the session, whether that is relaxation, healing from an injury or pain relief.
Closing The Session
The quality of your touch at the end of a session is important, too. End with a moment of focused touch and gently pull your hands from the body. This allows your client to continue to enjoy the effects of the massage without the jolt of an abrupt change of energy at the end.
Taking these simple steps will go a long way to build a supportive environment for your clients. I've found that when I take care of the quality of my touch at the beginning of a session, I'm more fulfilled by the experience. I hope you are, too.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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