For the Professional
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:
a thorough case history.
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.
Applied Palpation (PAP):
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
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.
in terms of SLOW movement, allowing the tissue to melt under your touch.
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.
a Lifelong learner, I am always open to your input, so feel free to
share your thoughts.