A new study led by researchers at New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) examines the validity, sensitivity and specificity of symptoms for detecting breast cancer-related related lymphedema.
Canada needs to broaden its approach to palliative care to provide support to patients with serious chronic illnesses, not just those with cancer, suggests a group of doctors who deal with end-of-life care.
In this episode of Practice Points, Don Dillon talks about revisiting a practitioner's delivery of care model and thinking about ways to deliver the best possible patient outcomes in a more efficient yet effective manner. For more on this topic, also read Dillon's article, Tools, team, technology.
Older military veterans frequently show improvements in pain intensity over time. However, opioids, some mental health conditions and certain pain diagnoses are associated with lower likelihood of improvement, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain.
The provincial government in British Columbia is taking steps to address the issue of chronic pain with the recent $50,000 funding to Pain BC announced by Health Minister Terry Lake.
While corresponding to the shoulder in terms of position and joint type, hip conditions and treatment differ from the shoulder. Both attach the extremity to the torso and both are ball and socket joints. However, beyond that, they differ profoundly.
In 2010, a patient of mine was diagnosed with bilateral venous insufficiency. At the time, she was prescribed a general topical cream to aid in decreasing the swelling and discolouration that was already occurring in her lower legs.   
VANCOUVER – When patients visit Dr. Vahid Sahiholnasab for a routine check-up, he often asks to review their electronic fitness trackers.
I work with a dynamic population of seniors that wish to remain active and also continue in the workforce. In today’s reality, most seniors still need to work because pensions are not enough and they have to continue earning an income to support their daily lives and those of their family’s. A RMT needs to consider all aspects of the patient’s life, and how they cope with the physical, emotional, mental and social stressors that they face.
HALIFAX – It's a quandary for health-care professionals that has caught the attention of experts across the country: should family members and loved ones be told about a patient's struggle with mental-health issues?
The National Pain Strategy, released this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, places strong emphasis on self management and patient education as critical pathways for improving treatment of chronic pain, especially the leading malady, back pain.
With the intense focus on the looming legalization of physician-assisted dying, the kind of help most Canadians facing death will actually seek for easing their suffering seems to have quietly faded into the background.
In this episode of Practice Points, Don Dillon tackles the issue of proposed regulation of health care clinics in Ontario, and presents some possible alternatives for the massage therapy profession and other stakeholders to consider.For more on this topic, read Dillon's article, Proposed Ontario Clinic Regulation - An Alternative.
Massage therapists fall into one of two obvious categories – we are either fiercely independent, or the ultimate team player hungry for networking in a multi-disciplinary environment. Some of us wander down both career arteries to find what's best in sync with our mission and mantra. Others know before having completed the board exam that it's self-employment or bust.
A number of years ago I conducted my practice out of a fitness club. In the busy lobby it was common that, while awaiting my next appointment, an existing patron would approach me.  
RMT and media personality Margaret Wallis-Duffy presented at the recent Massage Therapy Canada Business Forum on how the profession can thrive in a multidisciplinary practice. In her presentation, she emphasized several elements that are vital for the RMT practice to succeed and flourish.
The recently launched Massago app for mobile RMT service in the GTA hopes to address an underserved portion of the massage therapy market.
OTTAWA – Ottawa business owners Lucille Perrault and Larry Poirier seem to be riding the wave of one of the fastest growing membership-based registered massage therapy companies in Canada. They have already opened one Massage Addict clinic in Westboro, with another opening on Bank St. in Ottawa this year, and three more clinics set to open by the end of 2017.
Nothing is more influential than word of mouth when it comes to making a buying decision. The challenge for most businesses is they can't influence or control what their customer will say, when they say it, and to whom.
The 2013 Pew Internet & American Life Project by Pew Research Center found that 59 per cent of American adults had looked online for health information in the previous year (72 per cent of all adult internet users), with the most popular issues being specific diseases and treatments.
For many business owners, the lure of social media is hard to resist. It offers the ability to reach and engage their market on their own terms, to promote their products and services, and the freedom to do it all from the kitchen table or smart phone. And the best part is that it's free. Or is it?
We are often asked to provide guidance on how website content should be written for optimal results. What we advise is you need to be aware that your content must be written to appeal to two very different audiences: the search engine robots and the human site visitors.
Up until a few years ago, not only did people share almost every post and tweet they found the least bit interesting, they would routinely thank others for doing the same. This resulted in both companies and individuals having the ability to build large, engaged followings, which could potentially be leveraged to generate business.
The Ontario Clinic Regulation Working Group has released feedback and submissions from various stakeholders regarding the proposed regulation of health care clinics in Ontario.
The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) is extending its presenters' deadline until August 17 2016 for its Biennial Educational Congress.
You may not recognize the names of the massage therapists profiled below, but you might recognize their patients: singers, actors and elite athletes.
Have you ever visited a website or social media site, posted a comment or a picture that you assumed would be either private or not associated with you?
Shannon Marshall, RMT at Toronto's Hospital For Sick Children, talks about how massage therapy is helping care for kids with life limiting illness, particularly those in palliative care. She also offers some insights for those registered massage therapists who are considering a career in a hospital setting.
At the recent Massage Therapy Canada Business Forum, Andrew Lewarne, executive director and CEO of the Registered Massage Therapists Association of Ontario (RMTAO), gave an overview of the association's proposed five-year plan for the profession.
The Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association Ontario Chapter 2016 AGM and Conference took place at the Burlington Waterfront Hotel on May 1st. A fantastic agenda was put together by the AGM Organizing Committee, which started with Remo Bucci telling attendees everything they needed to know about being a sport massage therapist. He discussed in detail what it's like to travel to major games. The highlight of his presentation was his talk about the effects of this travel on one's personal life – a very truthful, enlightening and thought-provoking account of his experiences.
The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) has announced the appointment of a new registrar and CEO, Eric Wredenhagen.
The Registered Massage Therapists Association of British Columbia (RMTBC) has launched a new continuing education workshop that focuses on cultural diversity in health care.
The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC) was within its rights under the Health Professions Act when it imposed interim conditions on a massage therapist accused of sexual misconduct. This was the decision Monday of the B.C. Court of Appeal (BCCA) overturning an earlier ruling by a Supreme Court judge.
Perhaps the most dynamic part of our industry, is the story of the hands behind it. Individuals are attracted to the profession for radically different reasons and they run the gamut from sudden unemployment to health concerns to unexpected epiphanies. Often, it’s not a direct path after high school. For many, it’s a second or possibly third career choice.
The Registered Massage Therapists Association of B.C. (RMTBC) will be hosting its biennial conference on April 16 to 18 at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, B.C.
Vancouver, B.C. – Langara College has announced that the first cohort from the registered massage therapy program has graduated. Langara's two-year program was launched in 2013 and is the first public post-secondary institution in B.C. to offer training in this field of study.
OTTAWA – It seems some federal workers don't want to be caught sitting down on the job.
Researchers from Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute – both in London, Ont. – recognize that adolescents with emerging mental health concerns require a different treatment framework than adults.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation 2016 Stroke Report reveals an increasingly powerful relationship between stroke and dementia due in part to covert strokes Canadians don't realize are happening.
Females are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, according to a review of existing scientific literature led by the University of Cambridge.
Two factors – metabolism and gut microbes – have been credited by researchers as key players in the fight against obesity. However, there is an ongoing debate about whether exercise or diet better promotes metabolism and healthy shifts in gut microbes, the microscopic organisms in the intestines that break down food and can contribute to decreased obesity.
CALGARY – Experts say it's faith in all things natural combined with a distrust of science and possibly authority that leads some to bypass the medical system – even to the point where they put themselves or their children at risk.
Morneau Shepell Inc., a human resources consulting and technology company, has announced the launch of InfluenceCare – a program built to deliver the right recovery support at the earliest time using evidence-based diagnoses of mental health conditions, assessments of musculoskeletal conditions, treatment recommendations and immediate access to resources to accelerate an employee's return-to-work.
Older adults who met twice-weekly strength training guidelines had lower odds of dying in a new analysis by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Columbia University. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.
Women with high concentrations of vitamin D have been found to have a much lower chance of developing cancer, according to a recently published study.
MIAMI – After a few weeks of working out at CrossFit, Charles Banfield says his back hurt constantly and his joints felt terrible. The 47-year-old's aches and pains were so bad, he initially blamed his bed and purchased a new mattress.
Patients recovering from heart attacks or other heart trouble could cut their risk of another heart incident by half if they incorporate stress management into their treatment, according to research from Duke Health in Durham, North Carolina.
CHICAGO – When it comes to aging, the focus is not just on living longer, quality of life is equally important. According to the National Institute on Aging, people aged 50 and older need more of some vitamins and minerals than younger adults do.
Massage therapy shows promise for reducing pain intensity and severity, as well as fatigue and anxiety in cancer populations compared to the active comparators evaluated in a new systematic review.
Women who do the same tasks as men often face a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in their neck and upper limbs, according to a researcher from McGill University in Montreal.
Inability to manage negative emotional and somatic stress is associated with opioid misuse in adults with chronic pain, according to new research reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society,
LONDON, ONT. – Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute have developed clinical practice guidelines for managing neuropathic pain with patients who have experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI). Lawson Health claims the document is the first of its kind in Canada.
LOUDON, N.H. – He was one of NASCAR's first superstars, but Fred Lorenzen's memories of his Hall of Fame career have dimmed as he battles dementia. His Daytona 500 victory, the wins he piled up to become NASCAR's first $100,000 driver, his life on the road, all have been largely extinguished.
OTTAWA – The Canadian military is trying out a "bionic" knee brace developed by a Halifax-based company.
Funding competition for the 2016 Massage Therapy Research Fund (MTRF) is now open and applications for research funding are now being accepted, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) has announced.
The potential of light as a non-invasive, highly-focused alternative to pain medication was made more apparent thanks to research conducted by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre.
Older people are increasingly active, and this lifestyle shift has contributed to the rise in average age of a person experiencing a spinal cord injury.
A abundance of fascia science and clinical understandings were featured at the Fourth International Fascia Research Congress, held last November in Boston. Following are some of the highlights from the fascia conference that I find worth sharing with fellow massage therapy professionals.
Breaking a major bone may increase risk of widespread chronic body pain in later life, a new study has found.
It may seem counterintuitive that exercise could help people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, but a new study finds that a low-impact exercise program is improving quality of life for many older adults with these conditions.
There is growing concern in the health care community about increasing incidents of prescription painkiller addiction and related deaths, and the significant toll it's taking on the health care system.
Any massage therapist practicing for a length of time typically confronts two obstacles: work capacity is limited by the strength and endurance of the practitioner and second, income is directly limited by work capacity. Subject to fatigue and wear-and-tear from years of caring for others, a massage therapist's work capacity and income can descend a slippery slope over the length of their career.
We know that Canada's population is aging. Among the many statistics that have been reported is how in 2015, the proportion of Canadian seniors surpassed that of youth under 15 for the first time. The gap will continue to widen over the next 20 years.
Funding home care and long-term care is fast becoming the main challenge of our outdated medicare system.The system was developed in the mid-20th century for a young population that mostly required acute care from hospitals and physicians. But that need is changing rapidly with our aging population.
The world was shocked when news of the death of yet another legendary music icon broke last week. Prince, who was well known for hits like "Kiss" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead in his home in Minneapolis.
Patient-centred care is currently dominating many discussions in the health care community and promises to continue to be a hot topic of conversation moving forward. It was certainly the theme for many health care conferences I’ve attended this past year.
Ontario clinic regulation was proposed late 2015 by 13 regulatory health colleges, including the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, to address perceived wide-spread infractions committed by businesses employing regulated health professionals.
All across Canada provincial governments are grappling with ever growing healthcare demands in the face of shrinking resources. Our enviable publicly funded health system is now well into a downward spiral of unenviable disrepair. As patients are becoming more knowledgeable about their own care, and as doctors develop a wider array of options available to treat diseases, the costs are increasing.
Remember going through your program as a massage therapy student? To me it felt like I was a little fish in a big ocean. It involved years of intensity, no life outside of school, all those internships, examinations, testing and tons of stress – then the board examinations, more anxiety and the continuous expense. How did it feel to finally get your practise number? I was excited, relieved, somewhat overwhelmed and, not to forget the most important fact, I was finally a professional. Suddenly, I felt like the big whale.
Today marks the 6th year of the Bell Let's Talk Day, a national campaign to raise awareness about mental illness and get people talking about this invisible disability that affects one in five Canadians.
Our profession can be guilty of floating some pretty novel notions. As a practitioner, practice manager, lecturer, trainer and previous assessor in the auto-insurance realm, I have seen convictions RMTs treat as factual – even gospel – without critically examining their plausibility.  
This year is ending with a somewhat positive development from Manitoba, which can potentially have a big impact on massage therapists across the country.
EmoBridge has introduced what it claims is the world's first smart wristband for accurately tracking and analyzing daily stress levels and sleep patterns to help people live a more well-balanced, peaceful life. The new Sensmi is built with patented, hospital-grade GSR-PRO bio-sensing technology that tracks brainwave activity through galvanic skin response (GSR) and a proprietary algorithm that disperses data that is easily understandable. Sensmi provides users with straightforward results and easy-to-follow instructions on how to confront lifestyle stressors.
iMag contains a 100 per cent naturally occurring form of magnesium chloride. Its zero stability constant makes it the most bioavailable form of the magnesium ion for humans. iMag is sourced from the Ancient Underground Zechstein Seabed, a mineral deposit in the Netherlands which has been preserved underground for over 250 million years, making it naturally pure and free of pollution and heavy metal toxins. The people at iMag are focused on purity and quality, and stress that this precious form of natural magnesium is not only unprocessed, but unlike most other products. It is packaged in glass, as opposed to plastic, which is known to leach chemicals that have been linked to cancer, mental, hormonal and even fertility problems. iMag can be found at ineedmag.com, which is also linked to its sister website that serves as a comprehensive data resource for all things magnesium: imagnesium.com. iMag is a proud Canadian company founded by Matt Selma.
Vitality Depot has launched Pain Gone, a clinically tested pen-like device that patients can use for pain management.
Length Tension Testing provides clear and comprehensive descriptions and photos for assessing flexibility and length tension in the muscles of the lower quadrant. Book 1, Lower Quadrant includes techniques for the lumbar spine and pelvis, hip, knee, and foot and ankle, while Book 2, Upper Quadrant features techniques for the cervical spine, temporomandibular joint, thoracic spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist and hand.Each technique listing includes concise, standardized descriptions of the actions and positions involved, high-quality colour photos and alternative positions to accommodate patient variability and comfort. Most of these tests can be adapted into treatment techniques. These resources are designed to help physiotherapists, kinesiologists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and osteopaths improve patient care, and they will be invaluable references for students at the college and university level, book proponents say.Length Tension Testing is written by Paolo Sanzo and Murray MacHutchon. Sanzo is an assistant professor in the school of kinesiology and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Lakehead University. A practicing physiotherapist at the Victoriaville Physiotherapy Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont., Sanzo is also an examiner and instructor with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. MacHutchon is a physiotherapist at Pembina Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic in Winnipeg, Man. He is also an examiner and instructor with the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Brain Stars: Glia Illuminating CranioSacral Therapy by Tad Wanveer, LMBT, CST-D, has simplified the complexity of the function of glial cells within the craniosacral system. Upledger Institute International is excited to announce the release of this highly informative book.The information presented, along with the author's own numerous illustrations, make it a valuable resource to any CranioSacral Therapist (CST) desiring to grow in their understanding of how the body functions, and for those wanting to further their ability to help their patients overcome dysfunction. CranioSacral therapists have a wealth of knowledge to gain and nothing to lose by reading this book, according to Upledger Institute.Brain Stars: Glia Illuminating CranioSacral Therapy can be purchased at: shop.iahe.com for $74.95.
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services has launched JOINTstat, a diagnostic blood test for rheumatoid arthritis. The JOINTstat blood test is the first test of its kind available in Canada that aids in the early detection and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. When caught and treated early, rheumatoid arthritis outcomes can be greatly improved.
Massage therapists have a new convenient option for processing client payments. Amazon is taking direct aim at mobile payment systems such as Square by introducing the Amazon Local Register, a credit-card processing device and mobile app designed to help small business owners accept payments through their smartphones and tablets. The move places the largest U.S. e-commerce retailer in competition with Square and other established mobile payment processing systems such as PayPal Here and Intuit's GoPayment.
Massage Warehouse, providers of high quality, cost-effective massage products, announces the release of its paraben-free line of Massage FX lotions and creams. Parabens, preservatives that are quickly absorbed through the skin, have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells. Some researchers suggest that methylparaben, which is widely used in cosmetics and skin creams, may increase risk of breast cancer, or accelerate the growth of these tumors.
July 17, 2014 – Laser Therapy University will host a free webinar entitled, A Look BACK at the Spine,  featuring Drs. Christopher Carraway and Brian Fitzpatrick. The webinar will be held on Thursday, July 24, at 1:00 p.m. (EST).
Dr. Chris Oswald had been practicing chiropractic in the Toronto area for 16 years when he reached a point of frustration and decided to change the game.
While people usually think of sports when talking about athletic activity, most Canadians engage in some form of physical activity every day. Whether it’s lifting an infant into a highchair, running for the bus or bending to reach a fallen sock behind the dryer, people move and exert their bodies constantly – sometimes feeling the pain from those movements.
May 20, 2014 – Tiger Woods still doesn't know when he'll return. For a while, he didn't know whether he would return at all. On Monday, Woods said his back injury became so debilitating this year it caused him to doubt his ability to play golf again.

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