resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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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