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Massage therapists are naturally nurturing, intuitive individuals. They dedicate their careers to helping others release pain and get their bodies back into balance. However, if a massage therapist doesn’t take great care to avoid it, they may be on a path toward the opposite effect on their own health.
Remember, you best serve your clients by putting yourself first. It’s hard to give a great treatment if you feel run down or have aches of your own. Hours of performing massage therapy can take a toll on the body. Prevent injury or weariness by following these simple steps:
(It’s a great idea to practice these tips with a fellow practitioner before using with patients.)
- It’s common to work with a client lying prone (lying face down) or supine (lying face up) on the table. However, these positions mean that the therapist must bend over the client (the angle can vary further depending on the height of the table). If sustained for long periods of time, this bent position can lead to back problems. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Change your patient’s position so you’re not in one position for the duration of each massage. For example, you can try positioning the patient in the side-line position, which will allow you to remain upright. Depending on what technique you use, you can also have the client sit in a chair in front of you for a Tui Na Asian bodywork treatment.
- Also, feel free to alter your position in relation to your client’s (even if their position remains the same). It’s common to place yourself at the client’s head so that you’re able to provide long strokes down the back. However, the longer your reach the more you are bending at a ninety degree angle. Try a variation on your own position so that sometimes you are at the patient’s side.
- An electric massage table can work wonders. It will allow you to easily adjust table height per client (and prevent you from bending over lower than necessary).
- Remember to keep your wrists straight as you massage. This will prevent carpal tunnel and loss of sensation in the hands as you apply pressure (which can lead to nerve damage).
Are you a little “wound up” with comp exams? Treat yourself to an unwinding massage this week. You deserve it!
A recent fad has been sweeping the country: ionic foot detoxes. You may not recognize the name, but you probably have seen the infomercials about foot patches or foot baths that pull all the toxins out of your body through your feet, leaving you with a patch or bath full of brown liquid (aka the toxins). But is it all just a scam? Or is there actual scientific proof to support these claims?
I decided to try it out for myself with Pacific College Alumna and Oncology Specialist Christine Adamo, LAc, and see for myself what the scoop is all about. Christine is a supporter of “true” ionic detoxes and uses them in her practice, particularly with her cancer patients to help with the side effects of chemotherapy.
First off, I say “true” because Christine warned me upfront about the many false companies out there who claim that the brown water produced in their bath or patch is the result of toxins coming out of the body. “This is NOT true,” Christine said. The water changes color naturally because of the chemical reaction between the electricity and the salt water, not because of toxins. So, don’t be fooled by the infomercials. It’s actually, the debris that begin to form in the water that are the toxins.
Don’t just take Christine’s word for it; the scientific evidence speaks for itself. “We can do a test and you can see for yourself if you’d like?” asked Christine, before we began the detox.
“Why not!” I said. Afterall, what better way to determine a treatment’s efficacy than with a scientific experiment?
We decided to do a urine pH test before the detox and then another pH test after the detox to compare the results. My first pH test showed to be more on the acidic side of normal. I was ready to see if this detox would really change my pH level in just 30 minutes.
The main point of these detoxes is to make the body’s pH more “alkaline,” but what exactly is the importance of being alkaline?
An alkaline body is crucial to a person’s health. Diseases thrive in an acidic environment. So basically, the less acidic your body is and the more alkaline, the less prone you are to contracting a disease, such as osteoporosis or cancer, according to Christine.
The Center for Disease Control reports that up to 85% of all illness are caused by toxins and pollutants in our bodies. The human body functions best when the ions are balanced at 80% negative and 20% positive. So how do we achieve this?
What we put into our body, such as the foods we consume, have either acidic or alkalizing properties. Check out the food charts for yourself here. The more of the higher alkaline foods you can incorporate into your diet the better. An ionic detox, helps to facilitate the alkalization process through the process of ionization, which removes “free radicals” from the body.
How do ionic detoxes fit into Chinese medicine?
Traditionally, we think of acupuncture and herbal medicine as being the main components of Chinese medicine. The ionic foot detoxes we see today are a more modern invention, but magnetism itself, has been used to accompany traditional Chinese methods medicinally in China for over 2,000 years.
Acupuncturists use a variety of modern tools now adays, that weren’t invented yet back in ancient Chinese times. Tools besides the ionic detox machine, such as the electrical stimulation machine work to accompany acupuncture. Both of these tools work with acupuncture to clear heat in the body.
“Every physician has a set of tools in his/her tool bag; sometimes you have to branch out to find more tools,” Christine said.
So, the crucial question: Did it work?
OM in the news this week. Check it out!
You graduate with your acupuncture or massage therapy degree and are ready to take on the world. You are skilled and enthusiastic to make a name (and some money) for yourself in a career that helps people to feel great. But how do you put your education into practice? What steps do you need to take now that you’re out of school and in the workforce? How do you get clients in the door (and keep them coming back)? Pacific College is here to help you flourish even after you leave our campus. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Set up your website. Think of your website as the first sign that you’re opening shop. It should be created before you ever open your doors. A website will lend you credibility. A prospective patient browsing your website has the opportunity to get a feel for who you are before they even meet you in person. The quality of your website can make the difference between a “just looking” patient and a getting an appointment. Having a website provides you with the space that a brochure, business card, or a newspaper ad cannot. When people are shopping for a practitioner online, the more information they can access about you and how you practice, the better. We’ve talked about this a bit before here, in our article “12 Reasons You Need a Website” The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides free websites for diplomats at http://www.nccaomdiplomates.com/
Talk the talk. Self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to most of us. But it’s time to set aside any reservations you have about talking the talk. It’s not bragging, it’s advocating. And if you don’t promote yourself, how can you expect it of others? You don’t have to shout your name from the rooftops to get attention, but you do need to get creative. David Fireside, Owner of Urban Decompression a massage studio in Chicago, has an interesting suggestion. Fireside says, “When someone asks you what you do for a living, don’t reply ‘I am a massage therapist’, tell them you are a ‘relaxation specialist’ or you ‘facilitate the healing of soft tissue injuries’ or ‘help people deal with chronic pain’.” The key, says Fireside, is to say something about massage therapy and your skill that will engage the other person in a conversation.
There are two halves to the equation: you must get out there and meet people, but you must also be memorable when you do. The Massamio Blog has some great advice on getting creative when it comes on places to meet your potential clients, “Get involved with groups where your target market is hanging out. Is your ideal client a well-to-do stay at home mom? Where’s that mommy hanging out? At the salon, the library, neighborhood cleanup day, the gym, 5K walk/runs? Yes, there’s always joining the chamber of commerce, but we know you can get more creative than that!” Wherever you make your connections, make sure you always leave the potential client with something to remember you by: your business card. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) advises, “Always be prepared with your business cards and a 30-second “elevator speech” regarding the benefits of massage therapy.” The same goes for acupuncturists. A business card is imperative for getting your information out there in an effective and professional manner. If you’re a massage therapist, you can build your credibility and become a member of the various massage organizations for support, CEU information, and advice on opening your practice. Many even offer members the use of their logos and other images to put on your business card.
The Pacific College community has probably noticed the illustrated Acupuncture Energy Charts hanging around the PCOM clinic. Well, did you know they were actually created by PCOM Faculty Member Michael Spatuzzi? Who says you can’t be an “artistic” healer? We love this chart and how it depicts the commonly used points and their energies via color coded shapes and symbols.
We asked Michael what inspired him to create this piece, which combines art and Oriental medicine: “I made the chart many years ago because I wanted an attractive visual aid to remember the qualities of the acupuncture points,” Spatuzzi said.
Would you like your own Acupuncture Energy Chart to hang in your acupuncture practice or even at home? Visit: www.AcupunctureChart.com for ordering info. Let us know if you love this chart too and better yet, post a picture of your own of something that artistically inspires you…