resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Aromatic Allergy Relief
The end of summer and early fall is often a time when people exhibit symptoms of allergy (allergic rhinitis). There are blooming weeds and even sensitivity to mold that forms on fallen leaves. Sometimes, it's hard to tell whether the itching eyes, congestion, sneezing and even sore throat are this allergic response, rather than the common cold. But, fortunately, in either case, essential oils can provide relief.
For the massage therapist, this information is helpful when you have your own symptoms of allergy and don't want to alarm your clients or take over the counter medicines that can also make you drowsy. It can also be a benefit to both you and the clients who show up for their appointment, bleary-eyed and congested.
A ground-breaking piece of information came to my attention recently, provided by Robert Tisserand, via the Tisserand Insitute. It has applications for many conditions, including allergic response. "Some very new research has revealed that the brain is 'drained' by lymph vessels, showing for the first time a direct connection between the brain and the immune system. This suggests that inhaled essential oils could have effects on our immune system, which could have great relevance, again, in the treatment of some neurological diseases." (www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7560/full/nature14432.html)
We know that both allergies and colds are related to the immune system — in the former, the immune system produces histamine when it comes into contact with a certain substance; in the latter, the immune system is not strong enough to resist a viral load. How wonderful to have this evidence now that simple inhalation of essential oils can positively affect the immune system. Inhalation is also the fastest and most direct method of essential oil delivery, too. For the massage therapist, this means all you have to do is diffuse essences in the office or treatment room in order to create a therapeutic effect on the client and yourself. To increase exposure for the client, adding an essential oil to the massage blend prolongs the inhalation of essential oil molecules, even when the client no longer notices the aroma. Once an essential oil has exhausted the olfactory nerve and delivered its information to the brain, the experience of aroma is lowered, or disappears. However, essential oil molecules remain in the air, diffusing from the skin, where they are still inhaled and have effects.
Aromatherapists have often said that essential oils "boost the immune system." And that comment could mean anything from the ability to create white blood cells, to the stimulation of white blood cells already present, to taking an active role in overcoming the invasion. For allergies, there are several oils that are able to lower histamine levels. Certain essential oils also have anti-inflammatory and decongesting properties. Since there are many to choose from, the LMT can make a blend and vary it, too. That is a bigger benefit for the therapist, who is breathing the essential oil molecules in the same location for a long time. But it also allows for more specific effects to be selected, both on physical and mental/emotional levels, and targeted for the best outcome for a client's immediate needs.
When dealing with a known allergic respiratory response, there are two essential oils that are said to lower histamine levels: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Blue Tansy (Tannacetum annum). Fortunately, one or two drops of either is sufficient, as both are blue in color and will turn massage oils this color. I've used German chamomile (also called chamomile blue) in high dilution without creating issues with clothing or linens. Of the two, the tansy has a sweeter scent, but even German chamomile is acceptable when blended with other essences.
For those who suffer from allergic bronchial asthma, an uncommon essential oil from Morocco, Amni Visnaga has proven effective. It appears to stabilize the mast cell and prevent histamine release, and has also shown promise with allergic bronchial asthma because it is said to dilate the bronchia and relieve bronchial spasms. Use this sparingly because it is also photo-sensitizing, hepatotoxic in large, prolonged doses, and is said to have a very unpleasant aroma.
More common anti-inflammatory essential oils include: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis). Both of these would be preferred in blends for children. In the decongestant category, there is: Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis), Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis), Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), and Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole). Adding a citrus essential oil to the blend creates relaxation and relieves anxiety. It can also make the blend have a more pleasant aroma. Sweet orange (Citrus Sinensis var. dulcis) is often chosen as it is not considered photosensitizing.
A sample diffusion blend might include, 5 drops per small area nebulizing diffuser:
A sample massage oil might include, in 1 oz carrier: