Medical Massage Practitioners of America 

A Comprehensive Post-Graduate Education for Massage Therapists 

                  

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Helpful Tips
For the Professional Massage Therapist:  


Consider the patient who arrives with a complaint of severe pain and restricted range of motion in the neck. As therapists our first instinct may be to “get in there and release those tight tissues”. STOP, these tissues may be creating a protective brace to prevent further injury. Think about the first step in the Medical Massage Practitioner’s protocol:

 Take a thorough case history.

This is where we try to find out what is at the source of this issue. Have they been to a Physician? What was the diagnosis? Do they have a prescription?  When did the pain begin? Has this person had any recent trauma? Does the pain radiate? Is the pain increased or decreased with motion? Is there any position, which increases or decreases the pain? Is the pain constant? The answers to these and many more questions, along with the physician’s diagnosis and prescription will help to guide us towards determining the appropriate treatment. We must not be afraid to treat these conditions and we must have the knowledge and skills available to do so. 

Recommended Reading:

McKenzie, Cervical Injuries

 

 

Properly Applied Palpation (PAP):

I was delighted with the Spring Issue (2004) of the Massage Therapy Journal and the article by Doug Alexander. Finally an accomplished therapist is addressing the issue of palpation and the importance of 'Properly Applied Palpation'. 

So often we find therapists immersed in the thinking process and devoid of PAP. The notion of deep tissue having to be HARD and Strong, has caused many patients much unnecessary pain I am sure. Fortunately, many students in my classes are able to see the results, which can be accomplished with skillful touch and begin to adapt accordingly.

Think in terms of SLOW movement, allowing the tissue to melt under your touch.

Remember fascia responds by transitioning between a solution and a gel, this is accomplished by several factors, including heat , compression , friction and slow steady movement of the tissue. This process of fascia moving from solution to gel and gel to solution is known as thixotropy.

 

 

As a Lifelong learner, I am always open to your input, so feel free to share your thoughts.

 

 

            

            

 

            

              

           

 

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