Treating Disease with Medical Massage

Posted by & filed under Alternative Medicine, Conventional Medicine, Massage.

Treating disease with medical massageThere’s no doubt that massage therapy can be just what the doctor ordered to relax and unwind. It can also be just what the doctor ordered to treat a variety of health issues. Treating disease with medical massage has appeared more and more in the mainstream as both health care providers and patients have discovered the benefits of this 4,000-year-old practice.

What is medical massage?

Medical massage uses many of the same techniques and movements of traditional massage, however, medical massage is outcomes-based. According to Medical Massage Practitioners of America, medical massage is results oriented, and the treatment is specifically directed to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a physician.

The roots of medical massage involve addressing abnormalities in reflex zones that include the skin, muscles, connective tissue, and the periosteum. These abnormalities can cause pain, discomfort, limited range of motion, and other symptoms. Using massage can eliminate the abnormalities and improve health.

Patients often look to medical massage as an alternative to conventional treatments because many disciplines or modalities of medical massage focus on the treatment of the diagnosed condition, versus only on relaxation and overall wellness.

Proven effectiveness

Through the years, studies have shown a direct link between using massage therapy and reducing high blood pressure, incrementing low blood pressure, and alleviating chronic pain, tendonitis, and frozen shoulder. There also have been three major breakthroughs that show massage can have a significant impact on treating certain conditions.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that people who received Swedish Massage showed measurable positive effects on their immune system. Findings show that the treatment could help in managing inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

Researchers have found links between massage and increased stability in older patients and a reduced risk of falling. A study found that therapeutic massage can positively influence factors that can cause older adults to fall, including postural stability and blood pressure.

Finally, researchers at the University of Miami have found that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. A study of 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems revealed participants experienced a 54% drop in cortisol levels immediately after massage. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that increases blood pressure and blood sugar and suppresses the immune system.

In addition to these known outcomes, medical massage has been prescribed to treat common medical issues, including:

• Fibromyalgia
• Arthritis
• Sciatica
• Scoliosis
• Thoracic outlet syndrome
• Whiplash
• Sports injuries
• Stress-related disorders

If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, medical massage could be just what the doctor ordered. While treating disease with medical massage can be effective, it’s important to first talk to your health care provider about your condition and how to integrate treatment options. After that, it’s also important to ensure your massage therapist has experience or training in components of medical massage.

For more information about the benefits of massage therapy and all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, browse our blogs here.

Career In Massage

Top 5 Benefits of Tuina (Tui Na) Massage

Posted by & filed under Alternative Medicine, Massage.

Benefits of Tuina MassageA type of massage that is becoming more and more popular for both practitioners and clients is Tui Na massage, or Tuina massage. Pronounced “twee-nah,” Tui Na massage is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine that addresses specific patterns of disharmony in the body. Here are five benefits of Tui Na massage people are discovering every day.

Tui Na is a complete system of medicine.

Tui Na, along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, are the main components of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As such, Tui Na can be used to treat specific areas, or it can be used to improve the overall Qi or energy flow throughout the body. Because Tui Na is a complete system, the treatment often helps both these components at the same time. Tui Na is thought to be the oldest system of bodywork practiced today.

It uses the principles of acupuncture.

Acupuncture involves releasing and connecting energy at 12 specified points throughout the body through the use of tiny needles. Similarly, Tui Na, which means “pushing and grasping,” addresses the same points using manual stimulation. Tui Na rectifies anatomical abnormalities of both inner and outer surfaces by altering the energy levels of the biological system and adjusting the bio-information of the body.

It can be used with acupuncture.

Because it is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine and because it employs the same principles, Tui Na can also be used as a complement to acupuncture treatment. Using both treatment modalities can be an effective approach to working with energy and addressing and restoring its flow.

It relieves a variety of disorders.

Tui Na massage can relieve multiple disorders including insomnia, constipation, headaches, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and emotional problems. It can also treat disorders related to digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Many people seek the treatment for stiff neck, distension of shoulders, sciatica, and sore back. Tui Na can be used to address both internal diseases and external injuries.

Tui Na massage integrates well and can be used with various modalities.

Tui Na can be used as an integrative treatment with traditional medicine. In addition, it can be used with other forms of alternative medicine, including Shiatsu massage, sports massage, deep-tissue neuromuscular bodywork, and myofacial release.

If you’re suffering from a physical ailment or looking for an alternative, holistic approach to overall wellness, Tui Na massage may be an effective option. Learn more about the health benefits of Tui Na Massage Therapy here.

Career In Massage

How Much Does Massage School Cost?

Posted by & filed under Alternative Medicine, Careers, Massage.

Paying for Massage Therapy SchoolA career in massage therapy is great for many reasons: You get to help people feel better – almost instantly. You can have a flexible schedule, and in many situations, you can even be your own boss. Moreover, you can have huge earning power starting right away. Massage therapists have a median salary of $37,180 per year. And some can make up to $75,390 annually

With so much going for the career, you may wonder about what it takes to become a massage therapist. Specifically, how much does massage school cost? And, how does the expense compare to that of a four-year university degree?

Assessing expenses

Massage therapy schools vary in price and quality throughout the country. When selecting a school, it’s important to look for one that is nationally accredited and will ensure you get the education you need to become licensed in the state you want to practice in. The Acupuncture Massage College in Miami is highly regarded and offers a complete, comprehensive Massage Therapy program for $10,865.96.

This fee includes:

  • Tuition: $9,850
  • School fees: $575
  • Licensing fees: $440.96 

Weighing costs

The overall expense of a four-year university is significantly higher. According to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was $32,405 for private colleges, $9,410 for in-state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents at public universities.

Based on this, massage therapy school at AMC is approximately one-third of the cost to attend just one year at a private college.

In addition, that one year of study at a private college will not provide the background and education to be “ready” to work with the earning potential of a massage therapist.

The AMC massage therapy program can provide the training to become a massage therapist in only 8 ½ months, for one-third of the costs.

Saving for the investment

If you’re thinking about massage therapy school, keep in mind there are ways to make the experience as affordable as possible.

First, it’s important to always apply for financial aid. The federal government offers many options for students, and you may not realize what types of aid are available, or what you might qualify for. Based on this, it pays to talk to a financial aid representative at the school and go ahead with the paperwork.

Second, at AMC, we also advise people to be aware of their spending while in school. Students should make sure to not borrow too much in student loans, to live within their means, and to try to work while going to school, even if it’s just part-time. These steps can help keep the tuition payments affordable and help students manage their expenses during school and after they graduate. More tips for saving money and living with a “student budget” are available here.

Going to college, whether it’s massage therapy school or a four-year university, is an investment in yourself and your future. To learn more about how to become a massage therapist, download our free ebook. And to learn more about attending AMC’s Massage Therapy School, take the next step by reviewing our admissions process.

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A Day in the Life of an Acupuncturist

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Careers.

how_to_become_an_acupunturistAcupuncture and Chinese Medicine are natural and effective healing systems that have existed for thousands of years. In the last 50 years, practice of these system have spread all over the world, and the growing interest has increased the demand for more acupuncturists. With this demand have come more questions about what exactly acupuncturists do, and specifically what is a day in the life of an acupuncturist like?

Acupuncture practice then and now

Back when acupuncture originated, acupuncture practice was passed down from generation to generation. At that time, acupuncturists used stone knives or sharp-edged tools to treat pain and diseases. As the practice progressed, needles made of animal bones, bamboo, gold, and silver were developed. The needles became thinner and thinner, and were sterilized with fire. Later, the theories of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine developed significantly, along with the quality of needles.

Now most acupuncturists use disposable steel needles to treat a variety of conditions, such as pain, anxiety, depression, infertility, and internal medicine diseases. And today, acupuncturists play an integral role in their patients’ health and wellness.

The typical day of an acupuncturist

In many states an acupuncturist is considered a primary care physician. As such, the
acupuncturist typically has several appointments throughout the day in which they meet with patients, ask questions about their medical history, and uncover reasons patients may be stressed or in pain.

During examinations, the acupuncturist assesses the patient’s pulse and looks for other physical clues about his or her health, including:

• Shape, color, and coating of the tongue
• Color and texture of skin
• Posture
• Soft tissue condition
• Nerves
• Blood vessels

The acupuncturist then determines which acupuncture technique will be most effective and sets a course for treatment. In the actual acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts small needles into the skin at specified areas. For some procedures, the needles are heated, or are combined with electricity to create a mild current. The needles stay in place for 15 minutes to an hour and then are gently removed. Acupuncture procedures may be performed weekly or biweekly, or even annually, depending on the diagnoses and treatment plan.

Other aspects of the acupuncturist’s day include following up with patients, performing administrative tasks, and meeting with healthcare colleagues.

Exciting victories, ongoing passion

One of the many things that keep the day in the life of an acupuncturist exciting is seeing again and again the positive results that come from acupuncture. In just one example experienced at AMC, a patient came to the clinic on crutches. She had been suffering from lower back pain for five weeks and had gone to the emergency room four times. She had thousands of dollars in medical bills, but her pain persisted. However, after five acupuncture treatments, her lower back pain dissipated and she no long needed crutches.

Stories like these are not uncommon, and they are what keep so many acupuncturists excited and passionate about their career.

If this day in the life — helping others and making a difference — sounds appealing, take a next step and determine if you have many of the common personality traits we find in students at AMC’s Acupuncture School. And for more information about becoming an acupuncturist, download our free course catalog.


5 Myths About Alternative Medicine Careers

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Careers.

5 Myths About Alternative Medicine CareersWhile constantly increasing in popularity and use, alternative medicine can still seem like unchartered territory. And alternative medicine careers are often not immediately viewed as viable, professional ways to work in the field of health care.

This is the result of many misperceptions that continue today, despite the wealth of research and studies on the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. The following are five myths about alternative medicine careers, and the facts that many people may not realize.

MYTH: A career in alternative medicine only means being an acupuncturist.

FACT: While it’s often the practice most researched and explored by consumers, acupuncture is only one of the many areas of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine also includes chiropractic medicine, massage therapy, and homeopathy.

MYTH: People with careers in alternative medicine practice only new-age medicine that doesn’t really work.

FACT: Treatment methods in TCM are honed to precisely correct imbalances found in particular individuals. TCM is often effective when traditional treatments are not, and the practice rarely produces negative side effects.

Fifty percent of patients visiting TCM practitioners in the United States seek remediation of drug side effects, enhancement of therapeutic effects of medications, and fortification of the immune system.

One of the reasons for the acceptance of acupuncture is that its underlying mechanisms are defined. Its effects on the nervous system and on the endogenous opioids have been proven to create pain-relieving, biochemical, and systemic changes. Acupuncture is a potent intervention for pain and drug detoxification and other issues that traditional medicine approaches inadequately address.

MYTH: Alternative medicine is not widely accepted as a career.

FACT: TCM, including acupuncture, has been around for over 3,000 years and is recognized by the World Health Organization as a viable medical protocol. The practice is widely used in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Thirty-nine percent of European hospitals have an acupuncture clinic.

MYTH: The field of alternative medicine is fragmented with no real structure.

FACT: TCM is a complete organized medical system — the second largest in the world. There are over 60 accredited colleges in the country, all approved by the U.S Secretary of Education.

MYTH: People who have alternative medicine careers use a one-size-fits-all approach.

FACT: TCM is a unique system for diagnosing and treating disease throughout the human body. Its approach is uniquely holistic and individualistic, treating each person for his or her distinctive manifestations of illness rather than a pre-defined set of signs and symptoms.

This type of diagnosis is called personal pattern discrimination, and it is the fundamental prescriptive method in TCM. It creates a very specific foundation for each patient from which treatment methods are chosen.

The truth about careers in alternative medicine

Careers in alternative medicine are legitimate and rewarding, with huge growth potential in an increasingly in-demand market. If you’re considering making a switch in your profession, download our free ebook Four Steps to Changing Career Paths.

Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.