Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2011

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reader forum WHAT YOU ARE SAYING Straight Talk Thank you for your work in educating massage therapists on working with people with cancer ["The Progression of Oncology Massage," by Gayle MacDonald, May/June 2011, page 32]. I also practice and teach oncology massage. I was a corporate research scientist and changed my profession to become a massage therapist after receiving tremendous emotional and energy healing from Esalen Massage after experiencing two kinds of cancer. It is useful for massage therapists to understand that the fundamental objectives of oncology massage may differ somewhat from the practice of Swedish massage. Sure, clients with cancer have muscle tension, but oncology massage can do so much to relieve their emotional distress, fear, and anxiety. Oncology treatments can leave a patient with trauma in the body from painful and debilitating interventions, and a feeling of separation of the affected parts of the body from the whole. Gentle, nurturing, holistic massage can help cancer clients feel something good in the body, perhaps for the fi rst time in a long while, and help them to feel the body in a whole, connected way again. They can experience an immediate, positive shift in their overall level of peace and well-being, which can inspire them to know that it is possible to feel normal again. These benefi ts are invaluable for someone who has been traumatized by the cancer experience. This can be achieved through attentive contact, gentle muscle engagement, and energy clearing, without aggressive forcing of the muscle tissue. LINDA G. MEANS MONROEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA may/june 2011 Straight Talk About Cancer THE PROGRESSION OF ONCOLOGY MASSAGE By Gayle MacDonald CHEMOTHERAPY CONSIDERATIONS By Tracy Walton Energy Work and the Spiritual Process Rosen Method Massage After Botox? By Ruth Werner poisons such as arsenic and calomel (a mercury-based preparation), and the liberal use of opioid-based drugs. I believe it is a great disappointment that Americans are largely unaware of this unique American reinvention of medicine and the presence of more than 70,000 osteopathic physicians across the country who offer a different view of medicine and approach to health. I certainly hope that integrative Dr. Weil's Vision I read with some interest the article in the March/April 2011 issue of Massage & Bodywork by Dr. Andrew Weil ["A Vision of Integrative Medicine," page 42]. The increased growth of integrative medicine is indeed a welcome change to the current focus of allopathic medicine. The commendable characteristics of integrative medicine mentioned in the article included "a healing approach that encompasses body, mind, and spirit," and "[the] doctor's … primary role is to support the optimal functioning of their patients' innate healing systems, not the management of disease." There is similarity in those passages to an approach to medicine that developed in the late 19th century in the American Midwest. The triune nature of Man was a term coined by Andrew Taylor Still, DO, the founder of osteopathy, whereby the human body is considered to be one single unit comprising mind, body, and spirit. The principles of osteopathy also include viewing the body as capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance and that treatment is based on removing obstacles in the restoration of health. Dr. Still's life's work was to establish a new approach to medicine that eschewed the then accepted practices of "heroic medicine": purging by emetics, bloodletting, ingestion of medicine, and its predecessor, osteopathic medicine, get the recognition they deserve. As the struggle to address escalating health- care costs continue, holistic approaches such as these should be among the fi rst to be considered. However, integrative medicine and osteopathic medicine will need ample support and a change in funding allocation from the National Institutes of Health if they are to become "inquiry- driven and based in good science." Good research costs money. MATTHEW D. STEWART NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK Case Reporting I want to thank Diana Thompson for the wonderful article "The Case for Case Reporting" [January/February 2011, page 114]. I am a hospice massage therapist for a major metropolitan hospital and have experienced many varied dynamics within this area of practice. It is lonely, that is for certain. I work with all demographics, from infants to centenarians. I have been wanting to write about my experiences in some form: memoir, manual, or articles. Beginning with case reporting seems to be as likely a place to start as any. You have given a wonderful template in your article from which to work. Thank you for doing your thing. HANNA EAKIN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA Boost your practice with ABMP's Website Builder—free for members on ABMP.com 15

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