Releasing the Body’s Anxiety. Massage Today, 18(10) 

By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT 

Generally speaking this is a good article which correctly establishes correlations between anxiety and stress and secondary postural changes. The author discusses this topic on the example of his client. However, the suggested treatment or way it was presented is what we had a problem with. 

From our perspective, sentences like this one can be written for the general public but not for professionals. 

“Apply superficial strokes to release the surface tension and some of the ischemia, swelling, inflammation and some of the trigger points.” 

Where exactly are the areas of ‘some’ ischemia’ and ‘some’ trigger points the author suggests readers address when working on clients with anxiety?  

The Autism Spectrum & Pediatric Massage. Massage Today, 18(10) 

By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT 

The author of this small article deserves credit for raising a subject of great importance – the positive impact MT has on children with autism. She is completely correct when she states that:  

“…children with ASD are characterized as having difficulty with sensory integration…” 

The author also correctly identifies MT as a sensory way to restore communications with the child’s brain. In many cases correctly formulated MT strategy helps to break through the autism shell and help children restore normal communications with the outside world. 

Vastus Lateralis Vs. the IT Band. Assessment Tools to Make the Right Diagnosis. Massage Today, 18(10)  

By Debbie Roberts, LMT 

A very good and thoughtful article 


The Sacrotuberous Ligament. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Whitney Lowe, LMT 

A very good article! 

The Art & Science of Kinesiology: Exploring Manual Muscle Testing. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Joellie Gonseth, BS, LMT 

A good introductory article on kinesiology. 

Pregnancy Health: Looking at the Lower Extremities. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Kristina Petrocco-Napuli, DC, MS 

This article covers the rarely mentioned topic of abnormalities in lower limbs developed during pregnancy and gives helpful hints to deal with them. 

Reducing the Need for Replacement Surgeries. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD 

This article is dedicated to pre-screening for potential shoulder, hip or knee degeneration. It is true that MT can be the first health practitioner who may find early signs of joint deterioration as long as he or she knows what to look for. The article gives readers a set of simple evaluations which may confirm early stages of Osteoarthritis. 

A Perfect Match: Sports Injury & Visceral Manipulation. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Lorrie Harper, MSPT, CVTP 

This article is dedicated to the subject of correlations between soft tissue trauma and secondary tension build up in the viscera. We think the article itself is written in a fragmented style with limited clinical value and sounds more like a promotional piece for seminars. Also, bold statements like this one: 

“… 90 percent of musculoskeletal problems have a visceral component.” 

requires more solid references and more than the author’s quote. 

A Postoperative Story: Part 2 of  Hip Replacement. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB 

The author shares with readers his own recovery after hip replacement surgery and ways to speed up this process. 

Let’s Talk About … Collateral Ligaments of the Thumb. Massage Today, 18(11) 

By Ben Benjamin, PhD 

A very good article about anatomy and testing the thumb’s collateral ligaments. 

Kinesiology, A Pathway to Effective Therapy. Massage Today 18(12) 

By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT 

We so many times have reviewed (with all necessary references) Mr. McCann’s claims about the unique role of kinesiology in treatment that another review becomes boring for everyone. We just want to point out one more time that kinesiology-based techniques are very effective and efficient tools, but they need to be employed later when soft tissue injury has healed, reflex zones in the soft tissue are eliminated, peripheral nerves are freed from irritation and so on.

When that is done by completely different treatment modalities and the initial trigger is eliminated, kinesiology based modalities indeed become irreplaceable tools to restore and maintain antagonists’ interactions or postural balance. 

The Body’s Role in Replacement Surgeries: How Joint Degradations Occur (Part 2). Massage Today. 18(12)

By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD 

This article is such nonsense that it is even difficult to decide where to start a counter-argument. The following statements are pure entertainment to read: 

“My clinical experience has evidenced that stress affects our visceral suspensory ligaments first (bold by JMS) in the chain reaction within the human body.” AND “All of these (visceral stress forces by JMS) compress the axial skeleton and pull our extremities “down and forward” toward the body’s solar plexus and pelvic floor.” 

Now let’s decode these very scientifically sound, but in reality, misleading statements. According to the author powerful everyday stress first of all shortens the patient’s esophagus, ligament of Treitz, mesenteric root of small intestine and supporting apparatus of ascending and descending colon (why the author missed transverse colon is still a mystery only he can explain). This dramatic shortening of inner organs greatly affects the skeleton and soft tissues which support our somatic functions. It triggers a chain of events which are responsible for the subluxations and cartilage destruction in the shoulder and hip joints and ultimately it brings patients to unavoidable joint replacements. Wow! We’ve read a lot of mesmerizing claims in massage publications but this one tops the list! 

The uniqueness about Mr. Alexander’s publications, and some of them have very strange claims, is his heavy reliance on his own(!) writings, as references. Additionally, why didn’t the author share with readers the mysterious evidences he collected during his clinical experience? Apparently, these unique evidences were so convincing to the author that he built the entire theory based on them while conveniently kept them hidden from us.  

It would take pages to dismantle all the author’s claims from this article. Let us put scientific light on one aspect of this para-scientific theory proposed by Mr. Alexander – shortening of the esophagus as a direct cause of degeneration of shoulder and hip joints and their eventual need for replacement. Here is an amazing piece of fiction from (Alexander, 2018): 

“The esophagus has its originating attachment to the occipital bone of the cranium so when its longitudinal and circular fibers shorten and narrow, it pulls the head down and forward upon the neck (Alexander, 2014 – is actual reference from this article). This postural distortion activates a war between the body’s flexor / extensor reflex systems that contribute to somatic symptoms potentially anywhere along the axial spine. The same progression occurs as in the hip and shoulders, internal distortions potentiate vertebral and rib subluxations then the soft tissues spasm to protect their respective joint(s).” 

First of all, we would like the author, who writes for a national publication, to open a very basic anatomy book and point us to where he found info that the esophagus originates from the occipital bone. For example, Grey’s Anatomy tells us that the esophagus originates from the pharyngoesophageal junction on the level C5-6 vertebral behind the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage. In such case the author places the origin of the esophagus five vertebrae above its real anatomical position.  

Despite that Mr. Alexander specifically mentioned that “the esophagus has its originating attachment to the occipital bone of the cranium” let us play devil’s advocate. Let’s say that he misspoke, and he wanted to say that the esophagus originates from pharynx and pharyngeal muscles that are attached to the occipital bone. However, in this case the shortening of esophagus must shorten the pharynx as well and it is going to immediately affect the act of swallowing since it heavily relies on softness and elasticity of the pharynx. Some readers may experience uncomfortable sensations associated with the pharynx losing its elasticity when they suffered from pharyngitis, which is a very frequent complication of severe flu. 

Another piece of information the author seems to be completely unaware of is the fact that the esophagus constantly generates peristaltic waves with 4 cm/second. While writing about inner organs, Mr. Alexander must know that for the walls of the esophagus, stomach and intestines to move they must be relaxed. If they are short or overstretched there is very little of peristalsis happening. A very simple example is the stomach after part of it is removed due to cancer. The more pressure in the stomach walls the fewer peristaltic waves it is able to generate. Another example is cases of constipation since inner pressure on intestinal walls additionally delays peristalsis. If Mr. Alexander is correct, then the patients with Osteoarthritis must complain about Achalasia or food retention in the esophagus. 

Finally, there is another aspect of a shortened esophagus which the author missed while constructing his theory: the esophageal spasm also triggers acute chest pain (Richter and Castell, 1984). So, if the author is correct all patients with shoulder or hip osteoarthritis are supposed to be suffering from dysfunction of swallowing (due to short pharynx), acute chest pain and food retention in the esophagus (due to Diffuse Esophageal Spasm). However according to the medical data, signs of esophageal spasm are very rare and register approximately only 5% of all patients who are clinically suspected to have such spasm (Sperandio et al., 2003). 

At the end we would like to appeal to the common sense of the author and for those readers who still consider this information valuable. Activity of our stress or sympathetic nervous system always was and still is our main tool of survival since the dawn of time. If Mr. Alexander’s predecessors survived in the wild world of early days’ savanna reacted to the stress of being hunted by lions or tigers by shortening their esophagus and other inner organs first and by tension in the soft tissues and skeletal arrangement secondly, they all would have been eaten, and Mr. Alexander wouldn’t have had the privilege to write for Massage Today. The fact that he does means that his predecessors’ first reaction to stress and danger was tension and the use of the soft tissues and skeleton. This perfectly arranged mechanism allowed them to survive in a hostile environment without powerful fangs or claws and while Mr. Alexander undermines it now. This survival tool allowed the author to be with us today. It is simply awful that such misinformation is published in a national publication and it is presented as legitimate clinical data!  


Richter JE, Castell DO. Diffuse esophageal spasm: a reappraisal. Ann Intern Med. 1984 Feb;100(2):242-5. 

Sperandio M, Tutuian R, Gideon RM, Katz PO, Castell DO. Diffuse esophageal spasm: not diffuse but distal esophageal spasm (DES). Dig Dis Sci. 2003 Jul;48(7):1380-4. 


Simple Things First Soft-Tissue Sources of Discomfort Are Often Overlooked Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018 

By Douglas Nelson 

As usual, a very good article about interactions and correlations between the brain and different somatic structures 

Rectus Abdominis. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018  

By Christy Cael 

A good article on anatomy, function and palpation of rectus abdominis 


Massage for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Patients. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018   

By Niki Munk, PhD 

This article reviews the results of a study which examines the impact of MT on pediatric cardiac surgery patients 

In-Depth Learning. The Importance of Cadaver Anatomy Lab Experience. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018   

By Joseph Muscolino, DC 

This article discusses the benefits of cadaver anatomy studies. We completely agree that it is an irreplaceable experience, especially for each therapist who practices clinical aspects of MT. 


The Human Fascial Net Plastination Project. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018   

By Rachelle L. Clauson with Tjasa Cerovsek Landes and David Lesondak 

Simply Bravo to the Fascia Plastination Project and to the authors of this article! 

Touch Therapy Researcher. TIFFANY FIELD.  Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018   

By Karrie Osborn 

Dr. Field was lonely warrior who pioneered massage science in the USA way before current interest of medical and massage therapy communities. She deserves our appreciation and admiration for her continued work and dedication to the MT profession. Dr. Field once was Person of the Month in our Journal.   

Clinical Relevance of Overpronation. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018    

By Whitney Lowe 

Yes, it is true that foot overpronation affects the body’s somatic function and balance. This article addresses that topic. 

Boost the Bliss Triggering Feel-Good Hormones Through Touch. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018     

By Erik Dalton, PhD 

This article covers the central mechanisms of somatic or visceral pain and dysfunction from a different but equally important perspective – balance of hormones and neurotransmitters. 

Decoupling the Ankle and Leg. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Sep/Oct 2018      

By Til Luchau 

A very good short piece which in simple terms explains differences between I. Rolf and M. Feldenkrais’ work and what is more important, inner connections between two views on somatic rehabilitation when they address the same abnormality from different directions. 

If Touch is Communication. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018       

By Douglas Nelson 

Touch indeed is a way of communication and we are deprived of touch in our modern society. 


Adductor Magnus. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018        

By Christy Cael 

Good article about anatomy, action and palpation of the adductor magnus muscle. 

Don’t Blame the Rotator Cuff Addressing Arthrokinetic Reflexes. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018         

By Erik Dalton, PhD 

A very good article which shines a light on a rarely discussed issue. 

Understanding Inflammation’s Progression. Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018         

By Til Luchau 

An excellent article about mechanisms of inflammation. 


Stand Up To MS. How Massage Therapy Can Help Manage an Unpredictable Disease. MTJ. Fall 2018 

By Marcella Durant 

Despite that this article touches an important subject and gives a general review of MS it offers little information of what to do and what not to do for patients with MS to improve the quality of their lives. 

 for Veronika Peycheva, RMT (Canada) 

 for MTJ 

Massage Therapy for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. MTJ. Fall 2018 

It is very unfortunate the Editorial Board of MTJ decided to publish clinical cases not as the author/therapist originally intended, but rather MTJ’s editor’s interpretation of the case. As a result, a great clinical case which could potentially help therapists deal with complex patients became a laymen description. 


Gut Feeling: Exploring an Elongated Definition of “Core”. Massage Magazine, December 2018 

By Thomas Myers 

An excellent article on how soft tissues and inner organs are integrated together within a fascial system. 

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples