Meet the experts: Massage Therapy Canada's editorial advisory board

Meet the experts: Massage Therapy Canada's editorial advisory board

Massage Therapy Canada magazine has invited thought leaders in the massage therapy profession

Trusting touch

Trusting touch

For more than 16 years, registered massage therapist (RMT) Chris O’Connor worked with people going through various mental health issues

For more than 16 years, registered massage therapist (RMT) Chris O’Connor worked with people going through various mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders.
Music therapy decreases pain in patients recovering from spine surgery, compared to a control group of patients who received standard postoperative care alone, according to results of a new study.
An extra layer of fat won't provide a cushion against pain – in fact, obese people are more sensitive to pressure pain than those who are not overweight, and they are equally susceptible to extremes of hot and cold.
MAYWOOD, Ill. – Paralysis is just one of the many serious health problems faced by patients who suffer spinal cord injuries.
Frail and critically ill patients can safely bike in the intensive care unit, even early in their ICU stay. These are the exciting findings from an in-bed cycle program that aims to get hospital patients – even in intensive care units – pedalling as soon as possible with therapeutic bicycles, so they are functioning better by the time they leave hospital.
OTTAWA – More money for child and youth services would boost Canada's economy and patient health, a new report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada suggests, buttressing Ottawa's push for targeted mental health investments.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Getting a tattoo may hurt, but giving one is no picnic, either.That's the finding of the first study ever to directly measure the physical stresses that lead to aches and pains in tattoo artists—workers who support a multibillion-dollar American industry, but who often don't have access to workers' compensation if they get injured.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a clinical practice guideline for the treatment of low back pain, which recommends non-drug, conservative approaches as the first line of treatment.
The Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative (CCGI) has launched a series of video resources for clinicians and patients in an effort to promote the effective application of recently released clinical practice guidelines.
CHICAGO – Older adults who suffer from arthritis need to keep moving to be functionally independent. But in an examination of a goal that is daunting for most of this aging population, a new Northwestern Medicine study found that performing even a third of the recommended activity is beneficial.
VANCOUVER – Just down the street from Crosstown Clinic at a flea market in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Michael Totten, 44, said his life spiralled into illicit drug use after he was prescribed the painkiller Percocet following a back injury.
A yoga program for children with cancer can be carried out even during cancer treatment, and has quality of life (QOL) benefits for the children as well as their parents, suggests a study in Rehabilitation Oncology, the official journal of the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
Dynamic Health Therapy, owned and operated by Sean-Michael Latimour, a registered massage therapist, and his wife Adrianne, has become a focal point of health and wellness in Keswick, Ont. What’s more, the couple has figured out how to scale up and create a highly lucrative business model.
For those of you who have created a LinkedIn profile just because it seemed like the right thing to do, consider this your secret strategy session to finding new opportunities, new clients, or just keeping on top of industry news.
As a massage therapist, last-minute cancellations and no-shows are a major hurdle to overcome. Just a few empty time slots here and there can cost you a lot of money in the long run. For a practice that charges $90 per hour for a massage therapy session, just five empty, hour-long slots a week can mean a loss of more than $20,000 in revenue over the course of a year.
Health-care facilities can be stressful places for patients and visitors, with depressing waiting rooms, rows of uncomfortable seating, a blaring television. But designers of some medical spaces are remedying the situation.
According to a study commissioned by GoDaddy, 60 per cent of small businesses don't have a website. Factor in that, according to Google, 97 per cent of consumers search online for businesses and products before making a purchase, and it could be argued that having a professional website is essential for success. Regardless of your industry, your website needs to accomplish some key objectives.
For well over a decade RMTs have continued to migrate to technology in their practices to simplify day-to-day business activities through online software, reduce time spent each day on patient administration and improve patient services.  
When Lisa Blanden got a phone call from the insurance company about a client who was claiming more than $3,000 worth of massage therapy treatments, she checked her records and was flabbergasted. She knew the client was being dishonest.
In this episode of Practice Points, Don Dillon talks about RMTs' pricing strategy and the best way to set the right price for the service you provide. Is your massage therapy service optimally priced?For more on this topic, check out Dillon's article, Pricing your massage therapy service.
If your business isn't already on social media, I'm sure you've at least thought about it. According to eMarketer, 88 per cent of businesses use social media as a marketing tool. And yet, a 2015 study by Simply Measured showed that 60 per cent of companies don't know if their social media efforts are even working.
I've been deliberating for some time over whether to raise my professional service fees. My practice is located in a small city where an automaker – the major industry in this town – laid off thousands of workers years ago. Tourism and other industries have suffered, and I suspect many shopkeepers and service providers have wrestled with their pricing decisions for fear of customer reprisal. It causes me to reflect on how I, and my colleagues, set pricing.
Ever wonder whether there’s another way of providing people the benefits of massage therapy without them having to leave home and just when they need it? Well, there’s an app for that.
As health professionals we are very educated and we know how to differentiate things like a sacroiliac dysfunction from a disc injury – but very few of us know how to differentiate a con from a contractor.
Massage Therapy Canada magazine has invited thought leaders in the massage therapy profession to help shape the publication’s editorial direction. These industry experts will comprise the magazine’s newly formed editorial advisory board.
Do you find yourself emotionally spent at the end of your treatment day? Is it hard to drag yourself to the clinic the next morning? Are you able to leave the frustration of a bad commute in your car when you walk into the treatment room?
In the industry of rebuilding backs, Stuart McGill’s name deserves neon light treatment. His three text books are designed “for everyone who wants their swagger back.” While Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation was written wholly for clinicians, his second book, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance attracted a captive trainer, coach and athlete-dominant audience.
Canada's unresolved pain problems have contributed to the growing opioid crisis that continues to result in thousands of deaths across the country. One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain.
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is seeking registrants' feedback on proposed changes to the quality assurance regulation.
VANCOUVER – The Registered Massage Therapists' of B.C. (RMTBC) will host a one-day symposium that will tackle what the association is describing as a "ground breaking, science-backed research on the benefits of massage therapy to mental health."
I first became involved in activities related to Alberta’s massage therapy regulation in late 2002 when I was president of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA). Since then, I have been committed to seeing massage therapy become a regulated health profession in the province. I’m not the only one – many people have dedicated efforts and mountains of volunteer hours over multiple decades, and yet the work continues.
The Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association National Education Conference & AGM was held at the Grand Hotel & Suites in Toronto from October 21-23rd, 2016. A very informative and jam-packed agenda was put together by the National AGM Organizing Committee led by Kristy Wiltshire, immediate past president of the Ontario Chapter.
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is proposing regulation that would make funding for therapy and counseling more accessible for clients who have been sexually abused by a registered massage therapist.
Two Sudbury police officers have confessed to claiming more than $3,000 in extended health services they never received, and were sentenced for police misconduct, the CBC has reported.
The Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association (CSMTA) has identified a list of major sporting events in 2017 that sport massage therapists may want to look into.
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) has appointed an investigator to look into sexual assault allegations against a registered massage therapist in Sudbury, Ont.
CALGARY – Shirley Jager has a wicked right hook and iridescent lime-green boxing gloves and shoes.She's 79 and has taken up boxing as part of her own personal title bout against the ravages of Parkinson's disease.
BOSTON – Meet a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge: the American worker.A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job, while helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.
A new report has revealed that many patients living with inflammatory diseases lack the critical information necessary to be able to properly understand and evaluate their treatment options.
VANCOUVER – A new study has found teens who have a "couch potato" lifestyle risk having permanent negative effects on their bone health.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What can you do to gain the benefits of prevention?
The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has consulted with industry experts and released the top five natural health trends to look out for in 2017 to help Canadians achieve their goals of healthier eating.
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary.
Getting physical exercise within a week of suffering a concussion may reduce a young person's risk of experiencing ongoing symptoms, say researchers, whose finding runs counter to conventional guidelines calling for strict mental and physical rest following the common brain injury.
NEW YORK – Don't count on smartphone health apps in an emergency: A review shows many don't warn when you're in danger.
It's never too late to reap the benefits of exercise, and that includes older adults with arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions, according to a study. Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) found that a low-impact exercise program in senior centers in New York City's Chinatown and Flushing, Queens communities helped decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life for many participants.
OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is being urged to make mental health a top priority as it negotiates a new health accord with the provinces and territories.
More than 2,200 organizations have used Canada's Healthy Workplace Month as a resource hub to launch their workplace wellness initiatives, strategies, and award-winning employer-of-choice performances, according to Excellence Canada, an independent, not-for-profit organization.
ORLANDO – Insufficient sleep, a common problem that has been linked to chronic disease risk, might also be an unrecognized risk factor for bone loss. Results of a new study were presented at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, held April 1 to 4.
In a small-scale study of women with previously diagnosed mood disorders, Johns Hopkins researchers report that lower levels of the hormone allopregnanolone in the second trimester of pregnancy were associated with an increased chance of developing postpartum depression in women already known to be at risk for the disorder.
Three teams of Canadian scientists will collaborate with Caribbean and Latin American researchers to study the Zika virus, a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the International Development Research Centre. This is part of a $3-million investment for Zika research announced by Health Minister Jane Philpott in May 2016.
Las Vegas – The foot and tibial angles of a rearfoot strike runner do not correlate well with loading impact rates, according to research presented at this year's Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have reversed depression symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures yogurt. Further, they have discovered a specific mechanism for how the bacteria affect mood, providing a direct link between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health.
Quadricep strength and speed of force production (SFP) both affect physical functioning in people with, or at risk for, knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented recently at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.
Massage therapy has shown to provide benefits for the management of fatigue and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a recent pilot study concluded.
Clinical massage and guided imagery may have a substantial, positive impact on patients' comfort at a very low cost, according to a study published in Critical Care Nurse (CCN).
WASHINGTON — Mindfulness meditation is an increasingly popular treatment for anxiety, but testing its effectiveness in a convincing way has been difficult. Now a rigorously designed, NIH-sponsored clinical trial has found objective physiological evidence that mindfulness meditation combats anxiety.
A new study led by investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine finds that individuals with symptoms that put them at increased risk for heart disease could be more likely to have shoulder problems, including joint pain and rotator cuff injury.
How does space travel affect the spine? Astronauts on long missions in space have atrophy of the muscles supporting the spine – which don't return to normal even several weeks after their return to Earth, reports a study in Spine, published by Wolters Kluwer.
The INCAM Research Symposium, to be held on Toronto on Nov. 18 and 19, will showcase high quality research on complementary and integrative medicine, and health care. Researchers and clinicians from across North America will come together to network and create new opportunities for research.
Mental illness is not always an easy conversation topic. The fact that one in five Canadians will personally experience a mental health issue in their lifetime does not make it any less uncomfortable or less stigmatizing. It does make it all the more real, however.
Recently, a distraught young mother from British Columbia took her own life while in the grip of postpartum depression, leaving behind a grieving husband and infant son. She was a registered nurse and had been seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. Tragically, the health-care system she worked for was unable to help her.
Four years ago, at age 84, my dad survived a severe stroke. The downside is that during his hospital stay this otherwise fit person was put on a drug regimen and has been taking nine prescription drugs a day ever since.
Much of the talk around solutions to the country's growing opioid crisis has been focused on treating overdoses, mainly by increasing the availability of naloxone kits for first responders as a stopgap measure. Some have also suggested pouring more resources into addiction treatment centres to help those with drug dependency problems get better.
TORONTO/Troy Media/ – Canada has a mismatch between the world-class health research we produce and how that research is implemented into our health-care system.
In this episode of Practice Points, Don Dillon tackles the profession's seeming snobbery of massage therapy in spa settings, despite forming part of the profession's history and evolution.For more on this topic, read Dillon's article, "Time to snub professionals snobbery."
There's been another arrest of a massage therapist charged with inappropriate or sexual touching. The year 2016 yielded a number of similar media reports regarding Canadian massage therapists. While the number of complaints against registered massage therapists are relatively small, we might be concerned about the quality of media coverage in these events, how they affect public perception, and the process by which the public are filing complaints.
There have been some movements in the push for the regulation of Alberta’s massage therapists. Three massage therapy associations in the province have formed a coalition to restart the process of regulating massage therapy in Alberta, and have jointly submitted an updated application to regulate with the health ministry.
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.
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.
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.
May 14, 2014 — A new study from the University of Messina in Italy and University of Louisville in Kentucky shows wearable pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) device may help reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis.

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