resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Power of Touch: A Basic Human Need
"Countless variations of 'hands-on' therapy have been devised and practiced in every culture we know of, all honoring and elaborating the timeless traditions of primate grooming. The ubiquity, antiquity and variety of these practices can mean only one thing: back-scratching is more than politics. We all need to be touched." - Frank R. Wilson, author of The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture.
The evolution of human touch has progressed from the grooming behaviors of our primate ancestors to the variety of well-developed systems of manual therapies we know today. Yet, at every stop along the time line, our fundamental need for touch has remained critical to our epic story. This account of human touch is not a laundry list of techniques or scientific principles related to anatomy, physiology or pathology; the importance of touch goes beyond time and space, or art and science. Rather, it is about human interaction and human development at its most basic level.
Touch takes place on the canvas of human experience. Healthy, positive touch is intended to help and to heal, and the application of healthy touch takes many forms. Massage, for example, is the structured form of applied touch, administered with purpose and by way of thoughtful techniques based on knowledge. Touch can be an expression of our unique human nature and brings us many benefits. J. Lionel Taylor, author of The Stages of Human Life wrote: "The greatest sense in our body is our touch sense. It is probably the chief sense in the processes of sleeping and waking; it gives us our knowledge of depth or thickness and form; we feel, we love and hate, are touchy and are touched, through the touch corpuscles of our skin."
Primate grooming behaviors are the origins of healthy touch and I believe that it is both a basic need and an invaluable inheritance derived from our animal origins. Do you believe that humans exhibit both learned and instinctual touch behavior? I do. Touch, as Frank R. Wilson says, is ancient. Primitive man and woman inherited the social structure and function of grooming from their primate relatives. Of course, we have changed them significantly during our evolutionary process. For example, human models of leadership have emerged in place of alliances formed through grooming. But the principle remains the same.
For both species, touch continues to be a crucial element of care giving and the primary way we show love to our young. We know that positive, loving touch is a way to provide a sense of security, and massage therapists of yesterday and today know that touch remains essential to our health and well being. Research and observation shows us that primate grooming behaviors are a central feature of social life. Grooming establishes and maintains a social hierarchy within the community and between family members. It provides a way to give love and comfort, especially to their young. It's even used to apologize for offenses committed against another member of the group as a way to make up and move on. Some of those grooming behaviors include scratching, hugging, holding, slapping, pressing, dabbing, pulling, sucking, rubbing and licking. That behavior is woven into the social fabric of primate life. Grooming is a deeply ingrained behavior - a habit millions of years in use.
Over time, forms of grooming changed as humans evolved. As we began to stand upright, our bodies were no longer so exposed to the sun. Needing less protection from the elements, we lost our protective covering of thick, course hair.
As our skin became more exposed, it became more sensitive. The dexterous, sensitive primate hand evolved into an even more intricate instrument — the human hand. Developments in human hand dexterity and sensitivity, increased intelligence and the advent of language all contributed to more evolved touch behavior. Humans could now apply caring hands to soothe and heal. Eventually, that led to systematic touch techniques.
Though its form and function has changed considerably, the fundamental value of touch remains intact. Touch is a bonding agent, a means of pain relief and perhaps most importantly, a way to say, "I care." The inherent human need for touch has always been a part of our story, and it continues to this day. I give thanks to all the people in this field for helping the world with your healing hands.