resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
When Does Aromatherapy Exceed Your Scope of Practice?
People in the healing arts want to help others. Massage therapists, like other professionals who work with the public in ways that affect their body, want to do as much as possible to insure their client's well-being. But, all health professions have their parameters, including an accepted legal scope of practice. As massage practitioners, we know that as much as we might like to, we don't adjust the bones of the neck and spine. If we do, we are working outside our scope of practice and doing that can have legal consequences. When does using essential oils cross that line?
Until now, aromatic massage oils, scented towels and face cradles and diffusion in the massage room or office have been standard and accepted ways to incorporate aromatherapy into a massage practice. When doing so, the practitioner is expected to know and follow safety guidelines, too. Standard safe practices includes always diluting essences before topical use and not applying the essential oils that are known to be phototoxic on the skin of a client that will be exposed to sunlight within 17 hours.
For more in-depth information on this, please refer to a previous article on skin sensitivity. One thing it is important to mention regarding topical application is that, when it comes to skin reaction and toxicity issues, it doesn't matter how pure the essential oils used are. For example, the purest, highest quality expressed lemon oil will have enough furocoumarin content to create an uncomfortable, long lasting burn (photodermatitis) or rash (berloque dermatitis) with sun exposure.
Most know that the scope of practice for massage does not include diagnosis and prescription.Therefore, when it comes to using aromatherapy, it's best not to directly prescribe a certain essential oil for your client's needs. Instead, offer to create a blend that has been suggested in books for alleviating pain, inflammation, etc.
What is probably the most controversial issue for massage scope of practice and in the practice of aromatherapy in general, is prescribing essential oils to be taken orally for any condition. In certain circles, it has of late, become a popular notion that it is safe to ingest essential oils, either as drops on the tongue, in water or in gel caps. Many of the people conveying this idea have had no medical background, no training in anatomy and physiology or aroma-chemistry and could easily be drawing mistaken conclusions from other information, like that issued by the FDA in guidelines for food preparation. But no matter where this information has come from, suggesting ingestion to a client is out of the scope of practice for a massage therapist and could be seen as practicing medicine without a license.
Can or will suggesting ingestion of essential oils have consequences? Some toxic reactions can be seen quickly, such as gastritis or burning of oral mucosa. Others, as is the case when habitually eating ingredients in certain kinds of fast foods, could take a while to show up. Even then, symptoms may not be quickly traced to the use of ingested essential oils. But still, it bears noting that consequences do exist and ingestion of these powerful substances is best left to a qualified medical practitioner who has also had a strong education in the use of essential oils.
When it comes to what happens when essential oils are ingested, Registered Aromatherapist and LMT, Katharine Koeppen, had this to say in a blog on her website, www.Aromaceuticals.com: "In this case, essential oils may have time to act upon some digestive system issues, but by the time they reach the small intestine, they are absorbed into the circulatory system and taken up by the liver. There, they are broken down into various phytochemicals, which are then further metabolized. Problems can occur when the liver decides it prefers to process other substances first, and phytochemicals accumulate in line waiting to be processed, sometimes accumulating in toxic amounts. For example, the liver doesn't 'like' 1,8 cineole, a common bioactive fraction of peppermint, tea tree, niaouli and many eucalyptus. Taken orally in improper doses, 1,8 cineole can quickly accumulate to the point where it causes liver failure. In a child, less than 2 milliliters are a deadly dose. In an individual with compromised liver function, even small amounts of oils containing 1,8 cineole taken orally can cause dangerously elevated liver enzymes in a matter of a few days.
"There is also the matter of drug interactions. All essential oils have some sort of effect upon P450 liver detoxification enzymes. Some inhibit or accelerate phase 1 enzymes, some inhibit or accelerate phase 2 enzymes, and still some interact with both phase 1 and 2 enzymes. This does not pose a problem with the majority of essential oils when inhalation therapy or topical application is used, but does create problems with oral ingestion. If a pharmaceutical medication has a narrow therapeutic window, it is undesirable (and may be downright dangerous) to limit the effectiveness of the drug by slowing or speeding up the way it is processed in the body.
"There are different protocols for ingesting essential oils, depending on the part of the body that the aromatherapy needs to target. If you don't know these protocols, don't take essential oils orally. Taking oils incorrectly may cause burning of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea or may be altogether ineffective.
A surprising number of consumers believe that all natural remedies are safe, and see no problem using essential oils with abandon. A person who would never consider taking half a bottle of aspirin in a sitting has no problem downing a teaspoon of highly concentrated essential oil."
Massage therapists work hard to get through school, pass exams, build a practice and take required CE courses. It is worth staying within the scope of practice to avoid jeopardizing this hard-earned privilege. I agree with Katharine that, "Unless you have the time and energy to devote to your own serious research, or wish to invest in classes covering aroma-chemistry, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, don't experiment with ingesting essential oils. If you find this suggestion intimidating and still feel you must take aromatics orally, book a consultation with a qualified clinical aromatherapist for guidance." It certainly isn't a good idea to put a practice or another person in jeopardy by crossing the line and prescribing ingestion of essential oils for clients.
Author's Note: In a recent letter to Do-Terra, the FDA said, "Failure to implement lasting corrective action on violations may result in regulatory action being initiated by FDA without further notice." This regulatory action could affect the industry as a whole, not just individuals who choose to practice medicine without a license. Read the complete letter at http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2014/ucm415809.htm.