Posts Tagged ‘Education’

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

It seems these days that the good name of massage therapy has been severely tarnished. The media has a tendency to sexualize massage and the emergence of  many  non-licensed “Massage Parlors” don’t help to justify the legitimacy of massage as proper healthcare. I can’t tell you how many times my profession gets mocked in a social setting by using the terms “rubdown”, “masseuse”, & “happy ending.”

The concept that massage therapy can be easily misconstrued is not difficult to see. Many clients are asked to disrobe in a private room and have someone touch them in a soothing way. History hasn’t helped this misconception either. Many times throughout history, brothels have been masked by the facade of a massage therapy studio. The truth is there is that Massage THERAPY is nothing like the misconception people may have of the profession.

Truth to the matter is that licensed massage therapists go through extensive schooling as well as testing the therapists knowledge on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, as well as moral code. It truly is a slap in the face of the profession and those who have invested their time, money, and passion into the business of helping people. Understand that there is nothing wrong with your significant other giving you a massage at the end of a hard workday, but when you need more specific help you can rest assured that massage therapist out there trained in understanding the complex relationships of muscles and movement associated with the human body.

In the field of massage therapy there are many different modalities that show how diverse the profession can be utilize to the benefit of  the public. Continuing education that is required for massage therapist to retain their license allows the therapist to excel and keep them at the forefront of their specific specialties.   It is this reason you are seeing the Allied healthcare community become more supportive of the profession and why you see massage therapists in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and chiropractors. The medical professionals understand and trust the importance and many benefits of therapeutic massage.

 

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“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence”

David Hume

I know that I write and post a lot about the benefits of massage and how it is great for general health and well-being. It’s easy to assume that when reading this it’s biased and swayed because it’s my business and I am a massage therapist, but the real truth is that I never believed that massage was anything more than just a luxury. That statement right there is blasphemous to my fellow therapists I’m sure, but I have to be honest so that you understand that Massage Therapy has truly changed my life!

Like many of people who only understand massage from what they see in the media, I really thought that massage was all about relaxing with candlelight, incense, and ambient music. It wasn’t until I applied for the Physical Therapist’s Assistant program at my local community college and was denied due to a lack of volunteer hours, that I was introduced to the clinical side of massage. I decided it would be worth my while to at least give it a shot, so I applied and was required to take several medical pre requisites. Pre requisites for a massage class? I knew at this point massage therapy had to be more serious than what I interpreted.

After getting accepted into the program, I was introduced to the program director and future mentor Steve Jurch. From day one Steve took a very scientific and clinical approach to how massage, or soft tissue treatment, can really make a difference in overall health and wellness. Throughout the program, which was almost 2 years long total, I learned more about biomechnical movement, muscular anatomy, and kinesiology than I had ever thought I would. I was also able to see and experience first hand how different the therapeutic approach really was and how immediately the results could be. It changed the way I felt, moved, and even perceived my environment.

My belief in massage therapy became greater and greater over the years, but in the early stages of my career I was still reluctant and somewhat skeptical. I had to ask many questions and do significant continuing education before I started seeing my treatments really effect people in a positive way. There have been many clients that I have worked with since then that have avoided surgery, regained range of motion, reduced painful and stressful symptoms, and so much more! Massage therapy has been around for many years and has been used to treat people for all kinds of aches, pains, disorders, and illness with great results. How can I not believe in this after seeing first hand many different times!?

It may have taken me some time to convert my skepticism, but I have been a massage therapist for over 10 years and let me tell you…if it can change my mind, I’m sure that it can change yours as well!

“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

Voltaire

This morning on a commercial break while watching the news I watched 3 back to back ads for over-the-counter pain medications. First off, I was baffled as to why they would play 3 different ads for the same product and secondly I was taken away by the fact that there are people out there take take OTC pain meds multiple times on a daily basis!

As soon as I could, I had to get to a computer and do some research and what I found was quite mind-blowing. Pain killers are the number one purchased OTC drug and many that are taking these pain killers are misusing them. In a study done by WebMD, it showed that ” nearly half of the 175 million adults who take over-the-counter pain relievers admit to exceeding the recommended dose, and few are aware of the potential risks.” The same research informs that “16,500 people die and 103,000 are hospitalized each year because of NSAID-related problems.”

over-the-counter pain killers can help manage but over time they do more bad than good.

over-the-counter pain killers can help manage but over time they do more bad than good.

Just like almost all medications that are ingested in pill form, they have to be processed by the liver and after time of continual use of the drugs, the liver can start having problems of it’s own. In addition, after repetitive use of drugs, the body adapts to the medication and more is require to achieve the same result. You can easily see how this is very unsafe and can potentially be fatal.

Low Back pain is at the top of the list for the needs of pain medications

Low Back pain is at the top of the list for the needs of pain medications

Now I’m not knocking pain medication all together, but there should be no real reason that you have to take it on a daily basis. After all, the medication only treats the symptoms not the cause. To really be effective you need to try and figure out the cause and then treat appropriately. In my experience as a massage therapist, I have found that many people are taking pain medications due to low back pain and severe headaches. In many of these cases these conditions are accompanied by poor posture. Without getting to in depth (I will save that for another BLOG), when the body starts loosing it’s correct posture, structures start to shift. Muscles on one side of the body become tight and on the other side of the body become overstretched. This in itself can cause significant and noticeable pain, but add to that when the muscular imbalance occurs that joints that were meant to move smoothly become compressed and dysfunctional. Blood vessels and nerves can become compressed if the postural alignment is to far from the norm.

Overuse and Misuse of OTC pain killers can cause serious Liver damage.

Overuse and Misuse of OTC pain killers can cause serious Liver damage.

You will read many articles that dispute the fact that there is no scientific research or proof that pain has anything to do with improper posture, but I say find out for yourself. Massage Therapy has been proven to relieve pain in the muscle fibers as well as alleviate headaches and help to restore posture, all with no real negative side effects. Ask any person who has received a massage if they felt better afterwards and if their pain was reduced and that should be proof enough that therapeutic massage is a better option than consistently over using OTC pain killers. It’s natural, it has been used for thousands of years, and it gets results!

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
Henry David Thoreau

Mr. Thoreau couldn’t be more from the truth in that quote!  I meet so many people who claim they are just too busy for anything,  but yet don’t seem to be productive or reach goals. As for me this past week  has been very busy and productive, so here is your update:

  • Teaching is back in full effect at Trident Technical College’s Massage Therapy Program and the students are doing very well…I am so proud of them! It’s hard to believe that the first 7 weeks are almost over. Now it’s time to get into the good stuff!
  • Business has been flourishing with many new clients and many new conditions that put my skills to the test. I have had the opportunity to start working with managing the symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome as well as help a golfer improve his game, just  to name a few. It’s a great feeling and an awesome learning experience!
  • The next issue of the newsletter, ‘getting DEFINED:’ is being finished up and will be released on Monday evening! If you would like to receive a copy,  email me at definedmassage@gmail.com so I can add you to the mailing list. Topics covered in this issue are Forward Head Posture, Chiropractic for Toddlers, and The evils of Sugar!
  • My new radio show, Healthy U on www.kinetichifi.com will have it’s second episode today from 2-4pm EST. Listen in as I chat with Melissa DiMaggio about nutrition and more specifically,  Integrative Nutrition.  You don’t wanna miss this!
  • Lastly, if you have any topics that you would like me to address in my Blog or talk about on the show,  please leave your comments below. Thanks so much!

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
Tony Robbins

As you may know if you follow my blog, and if you don’t you are about to find out, that I am very passionate about providing information about health and wellness to as many people as I  can.  I really feel that as  a  society we don’t take care of ourselves as well as we need to and I don’t feel that it is because we don’t want to ,  but because many of us don ‘t know how go about it properly. As the old cliche’ goes, ” Knowledge is power”  and we need that power to achieve our goals. It is with this thought that I try to convey and teach information through my newsletters, this blog, and even everyday conversation.

I am pleased to announce that I  am able to take this passion of mine to the next level with my very own radio show, Healthy U! The first show is this Saturday the 22nd from 2-4pm and  you can listen online at www.kinetichifi.com, it’s just that easy! The show is scheduled for every Saturday at the same times. Below is the description and mission statement of sorts for Healthy U:


“Welcome to Healthy U, a show designed to promote better health and wellness.  Our health and fitness are important to our livelihood but unfortunately don’t seem to make its way on to the priority list for many people. Healthy U’s goal is to inspire, educate, and support the health and wellness of the community through research and identification of specialists’ right in our own community that provide tips and additional education. The show will be completely interactive so that the listeners and the host can discuss the latest trends in health, fitness, nutrition, and other topics that spread wellness to us and others.”

If you would like to, you can follow the action and contact me with any questions, comments,  or ideas via:

email: healthyuradio@gmail.com

facebook: www.facebook.com/healthuradio

twitter: @healthyuradio

 

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Benjamin Franklin

Writing is a great way to express information and educate many. I enjoy educating the masses about massage therapy. I don’t believe that there is enough understanding and I believe that there are too many misconceptions about the profession. My writings are designed to help people understand the need, benefits, and details of massage therapy and how it should be a component of regular healthcare.

Blogging is a great way to get the word out, but so are newsletters and featured articles in magazines. I try to Blog every other week and compose a newsletter on weeks in between. The articles that I write for several magazines in the addition to my other writings  all have the intention on getting out as much education to the public out as possible.

If you enjoy the writings on the Blog here then you should check out the Media Room on my website (www.definedmassage.com) to view articles that I have written as well as past issues of my newsletter, ‘getting: DEFINED’. You can also sign up to be on the mailing list for the newsletter. Thank you for reading and your desire to learn!

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
– William Arthur Ward

In the massage therapy profession, as with many other professions, continuing education plays an important role in technique development and improved results. A massage therapist usually chooses their continuing education based on their interests, the skills they would like to enhance, and the goals that they would most like to achieve with their clients.

My greatest interests in developing my skills are movement patterns, biomechanics, weight training, nutrition, and most importantly how to efficiently treat conditions that limit the function and healing. This weekend I had the privilege and honor to take a Comprehensive Sports Massage CEU(continuing education unit) class by my mentor and renowned therapist Steve Jurch. With almost 20 years experience in the field, Steve is an athletic trainer and massage therapist who taught me in college and helped to develop me into the therapist I am today.
The course that I took this weekend taught me many things that will definitely produce better results, as well as help prove the legitimacy of this profession as a vital part of the health care field. If you are a therapist, I highly recommend expanding your knowledge on how to treat conditions that are more commonly seen in the sports field but can be applied to people in everyday situations. If you are a client and you are looking for results in treating conditions that have been debilitating and negatively effecting your everyday functions, then I highly recommend seeking a therapist with a background in this training or training that is similar.
Some of the interesting concepts that were taught in this weekends course that may be of interest to you:
  • Studies have show that static stretching before activity reduces power and output, instead consider dynamic warm-ups and stretching at the end.
  • Ways to prepare the body for activity and recovery after activity through massage therapy.
  • Understanding of how Scapular motion is important in prevention of shoulder and neck conditions.
  • More effectively treating low back dysfunctions, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries and so much more…
  • For more information, please visit www.jurchperformanceeducation.com