resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Incorporating Energy Techniques into Massage Therapy Sessions
By Marie-Christine Lochot, LMT
Most of the time, energy modalities are performed by energy practitioners who do those techniques exclusively or by massage therapists who offer them as a separate service within their massage practice.At first sight, it seems pretty logical to do it this way. After all, massage clients take their clothes off; their soft tissue is being rubbed with a lubricant, frictioned and stretched. On the other hand, energy clients keep their clothes on; their energy is being balanced by light touch or none at all. It seems those two types of bodywork cannot co-habitate. What if they could? What would be the advantages for the therapists and their clients? Which challenges would the therapists encounter when introducing this new type of session to their clientele?
Incorporating energy techniques into massage sessions has three main advantages for the massage therapist. The first one is the most obvious: energy techniques are easier on the therapist's body. Everybody in the massage industry knows that massage therapy is physically demanding. Overuse injuries, fatigue and burn out are common occurrences limiting the amount of massages a therapist can give and reducing the longevity of therapist's careers. In 2012, only one out of three massage therapists worked full time (Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Handbook) and in 2009, 6.3 years was the average length of time massage therapists worked in their industry (2009 AMTA Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet).
Including energy techniques into a massage session can reduce the physical strain on the therapist's body without diminishing the final results of relaxation, muscle loosening and pain reduction. Since specific meridians govern specific muscles, an energy intervention on one meridian will induce muscle release making the massage work easier and more productive. Rubbing an acupressure point for two minutes can take away a one sided headache. The second advantage is that energy techniques allow therapists to serve clients who, for health reasons, cannot receive regular massage work, temporarily or forever, on all or on some parts of their body. As an example, consider a client who just had surgery, broke a leg or is going through cancer treatments. The therapist can use energy techniques that will have a positive impact on the areas that cannot be massaged with the usual level of pressure or that cannot be touched. The client will still experience relief. Lastly, some energy interventions can induce relaxation and take pain away in a few minutes. Once the client is relaxed, the remainder of the bodywork can be administered. It may increase the client's satisfaction level with very limited stress on the practitioner's body.
Massage sessions including energy techniques also have many advantages for the client. Energy work is easier on the therapist's body but also on the client's body making the session more pleasant with the same or better results. Even if our society favors the "no pain, no gain" attitude, on the receiving end of bodywork it is appreciable to feel improvement in muscle tightness without feeling pain. Starting a session with relaxing energy interventions will get the clients into a peaceful state right away, therefore enhancing the experience and the feeling of well being. My clients are always amazed how five to ten minutes of energy work on their head can wipe away their stress. Some of those energy techniques can be taught to clients at the end of the massage, giving them stress reduction tools that they can use every day. Finally, energy modalities help with muscular issues, but also have an impact on the organ's health, balance and vitality, increasing the benefits clients get from the massage. Not only will they feel better during and after the session, but at their return visit may comment on other health benefits, like better digestion, more stamina or mood improvement.
Introducing this new type of massage session to current clients must be a thoughtful process. After twelve years of incorporating energy techniques into massage sessions, I have learned sometimes painfully, a few rules. When I say painfully I mean I lost a client because I was so enthusiastic about energy work that I misjudged his willingness to experiment and went overboard, working too much. Not only did I lose his weekly appointment, but also lost his wife's weekly visit!
Here is the basic rule that I learned. Introducing energy interventions to clients should be done the same way most people like being introduced to a new cuisine. Small portions and relating the new techniques to something they are already familiar with will ensure a more favorable and receptive outcome. First, if they tell you as they arrive, "I could not wait to have my massage. I loved so much what you did the last time," this is probably not the good day to try something different. But if they say, "I felt great after the last massage but it lasted only two days," that is an opening for you to propose something new which could bring them longer lasting results.
Second, choose one energy technique at a time and even if they love it, refrain from the urge to use another one. Why? The answer is in three-fold. A second energy intervention would take time away from the regular massage. They loved the first one so leave them with that impression. Not doing another one might make them more open to an increased amount of energy work at their next visit.
Lastly, the energy technique you use has to be one that requires you to touch especially if it is the first time they receive energy work. Remember, they made an appointment for a massage so they want hand contact. A nice chakra clearing moving energy above their body will not satisfy them even if it has some known health benefits. There are a good number of energy interventions that are done making contact with the body. Some others can be adapted to "feel" more like a massage.
Finally touching the body on the meridian lines can produce very good results if you know how to do it. As your clients get more familiar with those new techniques, you might be able to use some energy techniques that don't require touching, especially if they have a health problem that could be helped by such intervention.
It is possible to incorporate energy techniques into massage sessions. Be prepared though to have clients who will never be open to it. It can enhance benefits for your clients and can reduce the physical strain on your body, diminishing your chances of injuries and increasing the longevity of your massage career. It might even make your massage practice more successful. Why don't you give it a try?
Marie-Christine Lochot is a licensed massage therapist, energy bodyworker and educator. Owner of Massage Montclair in New Jersey, she has been a member of the AMTA since 1994 and is nationally certified by NCBTMB. With specialties in Swedish massage, massage for people affected by cancer and energy healing, Marie-Christine coaches and teaches energy healing to laypeople, massage professionals and in the corporate environment. With a diverse background in management and accounting, Marie-Christine also teaches small business and private practice organization. She can be reached at www.massagemontclair.com.
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