resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Taking Care of Yourself so You Can Take Care of Your Clients
By Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE
Most of my therapeutic bodywork, believe it or not, takes place in the shower. With a little soap, water and silicone cups, I can address most issues or simply keep my tissue healthy and prevent future injury. As a 15-year veteran of massage therapy and a 40-something woman, it's vital to provide self care that enables me to work on clients.
Since 2006, I have been working with major league baseball players and, more recently, NFL athletes. Keeping my body healthy and moving freely is just as important as the professional athletes I work on and using silicone cups in the shower allows me to do that. Ideally, it would be nice to schedule some time on the massage table and get the kind of treatment I provide to clients. But working six days a week and being a busy mother of two didn't allow for that earlier this year. When I finally was able to get a massage treatment, my first in nearly four months, I was shocked at the ease in which my body accepted it. I had cringed at the thought of how long it had been between massages and, amazingly enough, nothing was hurting. All I could do over that hectic period was get in some running. Thanks to these wonderful cups and vacuum therapy, I was able to self-treat and keep my body moving injury-free in between massages.
I have used vacuum therapies for nine of my 15 years as a licensed massage therapist in Florida. This modality is a modern adaptation of cupping therapy most commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. This modernized work has proven to be a resourceful modality in my practice. It allows me to bring bloodflow, create space and makes easy work of what would otherwise be very cumbersome on my body as I treat clients. Clients come to me from all over and are referred from various sources simply to experience the wonder of how this remarkable modality feels as it manipulates the tissue. I've had great success using vacuum therapies alone or in conjunction with other modalities such as trigger point and myofacsial work.
One of my favorite and most effective treatments is pretreating before a run, especially a 5K race. As a typical three-times-a-week runner, I aim for half-hour sessions and this treatment, which can also be done post-run, is an effective alternative to stretching. Clients come in all the time with various issues from running. Personally, I experience bilateral tightness in my lower legs. Fortunately, there's a cup for that and I'm only a shower away from relief.
Using the silicone cup is simple and effective and I use the same techniques with clients that I do for self-care. Once in the shower, I soak up and soap up creating a soapy medium for gentle gliding. By squeezing a cup, then placing it on the skin and releasing the hold, the vacuum is created. I begin gliding the cup over the tissue clearing proximal before distal areas honoring the intermediate lymphatic system. I am able to open up the gentle lymphatic system and bring nutrients and oxygen to the tissue. The feeling is unlike anything else as space is created between the layers of soft tissue as I lift the cup while gliding. Another tremendous benefit of gliding the cups is on the tibia and the tibialis anterior to treat and prevent shin splints. With the smallest cup available, I am able to glide over the muscle and bone with the malleable cup. No other modality compares to the sensation and efficacy when working this area. My legs feel alive as bloodflow is brought in leaving me invigorated. This gliding technique has proven useful to wake up my legs before a run and is equally advantageous on my heavy legs after running.
Sometimes more focus work is needed and that's when I use the cups over specific trigger points for a bigger release in the muscle tissue. Hips receive much relief while parking cups on trigger points in the piriformis and gluteus minimus. In only a few minutes, the muscle releases providing newfound freedom of movement. Placement of the cup on the hamstring muscle belly while touching the toes keeps the work dynamic. The tensor fascia latae also benefits with a cup placed for two to three minutes to help soften this area and have more range of motion in the hips. Diligent use of the cups for self-care has proved essential in keeping me injury-free. But that wasn't always the case.
About five years ago, I enjoyed cycling but I had an issue arise in my lower legs as I increased my time and distance on the bike. I started experiencing tightness and shooting pain in my lower leg area. It would happen randomly and wasn't predictable with any given movement. After about a month of dealing with this issue, I wondered what I would do if a client came in with this issue? The answer was easy, I would use vacuum therapy to create space, stretch the fascia and bring blood flow to the area. While in the shower, I worked on my lower leg using soap and water and a small silicone cup. After about 15 minutes, I was able to rid myself of this very uncomfortable issue. Thankfully, as I have been better at shower self-care, it has not returned.
Running and cycling aren't the only activities that affect my body. Traveling can also take its toll. Whether driving or flying, different issues may arise and I always have cups with me. After driving longer distances, my neck and jaw tend to get tight. It's great to release my jaw before speaking at a workshop for three days as I will be doing a lot of talking. I am also able to address neck issues by placing cups over hypertonistic areas of my levator scapula and trigger points. When incorporating range of motion, I can free up movement tremendously. When flying, my shoulder may become fatigued while walking through an airport pulling luggage behind. I find this an unnatural task to do for an extended period of time. My legs may also feel heavy and stagnant after sitting for hours on an airplane when on a direct flight. Once at the hotel, I can address these issues when refreshing my travel weary body in the shower. Another favorite routine I like to enjoy when staying at a hotel is enjoying a hot bath.
Make it a spa moment. Often, I like to treat myself to a relaxing spa moment at a hotel or home. As a massage therapist, I work to help others relax and have a better quality of movement. It's a good idea to indulge as well. This can be created easily at home or in a hotel. Start by creating ambient lighting in the bathroom by either a small lamp or a lit candle. Fill the space with relaxing music with either a phone or a tablet. Add desired water temperature to the bathtub adding epsom salts and essential oil. I sink into the bathtub with the cup close at hand. As the water melts my achy muscles, I glide and park the cup over areas of my body needing attention. By taking a moment of reflection, I can slow the hands of time. Now I'm definitely ready for a massage treatment.
Once on the table after nearly four months, my body received deep work without any discomfort. As my glutes and illiotibial band were being manipulated, my tissue was soft as it accepted the bodywork. I was truly amazed and pleased at how I had kept any issues from arising by keeping my tissue open and clear with silicone cups in the shower. Bringing nutrient rich blood to hydrate my muscle tissue, soften my fascia to bring new found freedom of movement has been a lifesaver and kept me going. I use the cups on myself just as I would in treatment for clients and the training and self application has paid off.
Stacie Nevelus, LMT, CMCE, specializes in therapeutic and sports massage, as well as VacuTherapies. She is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping and MediCupping and provides national workshops for massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. Stacie focuses on her private practice in Florida, as well as working nationally with MLB and NFL professional athletes. For more information, visit www.StacieNevelus.com.
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