Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Ruth Werner

It is a good to know educational piece.


Anterior Elbow and Forearm. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Christy Cael

This article is about anterior elbow. Previously in her columns the author concentrated on anatomy of the muscles, joints and their palpation. The author now added ‘Dysfunction’ and ‘Intervention’ sections to her usual format. That is where her information starts to lose clinical value. In these new sections the author approaches elbow pathologies only from the position of structuralism and incorrect body mechanics.

Yes, there is possibility of that, but mentioning these factors as the only cause of anterior elbow abnormalities is incorrect and an unfortunate position. Structural changes which are described in the article in the majority cases are a protective reaction the CNS develops as a response to the real triggers which weren’t even mentioned as possible factors.

For example, shortening of flexors with periostal trigger point formation in the medical epicondyle, mild irritation of the ulnar nerve by the degenerated cervical disk or tensed pectoralis minor muscle etc. will trigger secondary abnormalities in the anterior elbow. Thus, the pure structuralism is the professional dead end of somatic rehabilitation. It should be considered, but never relied on completely despite visible structural changes. The identification and elimination of the initial trigger is the only ultimate clinical solution.


Foam Rolling Research Demonstrates Increased ROM Without Detriment to Strength and Performance. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Niki Munk, PhD

This article reviews the results of a clinical study examining the effect of self-care in the form of foam rolling. Indeed, it can be a very helpful homework tool for clients and patients.


Stretching the Neck. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Joseph E. Muscolino, DC

A very good article on stretching in general and neck stretching in particular. We may only add that stretching on clients with cervical pain must be done strictly within their comfort level. The therapist must establish the threshold of tolerance first and build clinical response to stretching from this level up.


Structural Integration 2.0 Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Thomas Myers

A very good review of Rolfing and its basic principles.


Dissecting Disk Pathologies. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Whitney Lowe

This article is very good until it gets to evaluation and treatment options for people with disk abnormalities. There are several very questionable and even ridiculous statements in the article:

1. “Various physical examination methods, such as the straight leg raise test or slump test, are used in conjunction with clinical signs to suggest the likelihood of disk pathology.”

No! The Straight Leg Test confirms Sciatica, but it is not fully informative in regard to the disk pathology since it will be positive in cases of Piriformis Muscle Syndrome for example, as well. The same way a Slump Test may be positive in the patient with disk pathology AND in severe strain of lumbar erectors or rotators without any disk pathology.

Yes, physical identification of disk pathology is challenging, but it is possible to at least rule out severe ones. The therapist must gently, additionally stress each disk separately and observe the patient’s response. Any even faint changes down from the vertebral segment tested confirm possible disk pathology. If the author is not familiar with such testing it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

2. “The most common locations for nerve root compression are anterior to the transverse processes of the spine.”

No! Nerve root compression happened not anteriorly to the transverse process but between two neighboring transverse processes. That is an important moment because it defines evaluation and treatment protocol. A suggestion in the article will send therapists into the wrong direction.

3. “Massage therapy cannot change the amount of disk herniation”

That is a simply ridiculous statement because correctly formulated and individually designed MM protocol is the last line of defense before the spinal surgery. Ironically, the author recognizes this fact while he continues to make incorrect clinical recommendations.

Here is another quote from the article: “…disk pathologies involving herniations can spontaneously regress.” Why are they spontaneously regressing? Because inside the disk is a vacuum and if there is herniation without full cracking in the disk’s annulus fibrosis the decompression of the skeletal muscles, fascia in combination with gentle vertebral segment manipulations by DC let the gel of nucleus pulposus be sucked back inside the disk. That is why disk pathologies are spontaneously regress!

The author is correct that such spontaneous regressions are a clinical fact. If they happen spontaneously, the therapist must at least try to use the correct MM protocol to save the patient from spinal surgery by decompressing the vertebral segment and letting material slide back.

Even if the disk herniation didn’t get smaller as a result of therapy there is a great possibility (which our students observe regularly in their clinics while practicing MM) to increase size and maintain spinal opening.  With monthly supportive sessions to decompress affected vertebral segment the disk will eventually dry out and natural fusion happens. We shortly discuss this topic in the “S-Spine Vs J-Spine: Is There Any Merit In This Discussion?” article in this issue of JMS.

4. “The best guideline (to deal with disk pathologies by JMS) is to use gentle and soothing techniques.”

No! If therapists follow such a primitive treatment option, they will never be able to help their patients avoid spinal surgery. Yes, the therapist must be trained properly to formulate correct treatment strategy to decisively help patients, but it is possible. That is what clinical massage is all about! It seems that the author lacks any comprehensive clinical solution on this critical topic. Why then write an article with inaccurate suggestions which only serve to further confuse therapists?


Tale of a Falling Star. Hip Osteoarthrosis May Force Tennis Legend to Retire. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Erik Dalton, PhD

The article is about Hip Osteoarthrosis (OA) management using Musculoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT). Just to be sure that we are all on the same page. If advance symptoms of OA developed MAT as well as other equally effective somatic methods like Myofascial Release or Muscle Energy Techniques are buying time and this is very important aspect. Currently the life span of hip endoprosthesis is expected to be between 15-20 years if the surgery was done without any complications. Thus, the proper integrative program of management of OA mentioned in the article allows postponement hip surgery later in life. In such case the patient won’t face the necessity of another surgery at the age when any surgical procedure is much more challenging.


The Myofascial Stretch Giving Your Clients Fascial Freedom. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. May/June 2019

By Ian Harvey

Another article on stretching, this time myofascial stretch. It discusses how to incorporate myofascial stretching into a regular session of Swedish Massage. Indeed, it will increase effectiveness of stress reduction and additionally promote relaxation.


Mycoses Abounding. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Ruth Werner

This article educates therapists about different fungal infections as well as fungi saprophytes. It widens the therapist’s professional horizons.


Gastrocnemius.  Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Christy Cael

A good article about the anatomy of gastrocnemius and its palpation.


Massage For Young People With Cystic Fibrosis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Niki Munk, PhD

A very good article which discusses the result of a pilot study that examined the impact of clinical MT on the quality of life of patients with Cystic Fibrosis.


Manual Lymph Drainage in Hospice Care. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By John F. Mramor

This is an excellent article and JMS considered our journal lucky to publish a three part article written by John Mramor, which was greatly received by our readers. For any therapists who would like to study this clinical subject in more detail, please use this link to John’s three parts articles published in JMS:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:


The Many Meanings of Preparation. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Til Luchau

This article discusses psycho-emotional aspects of Rolfing. It would be interesting to roofers or therapists who consider that aspect of bodywork.


Uncricking the Neck. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Ian Harvey

This article is dedicated to the tension levator scapulae muscle. There are some good points, but there are several mistakes in the article. It is complete nonsense to claim that 80-90% of, as the author labeled ‘crick’ in the neck when the client is unable to turn head without pain, are due to the acute spasm in levator scapulae muscle. This condition can be triggered by a variety of causes from disk abnormalities to the irritation of the cervical plexus by the anterior scalene muscle.

It is ironic, but video and picture illustrations of the suggested treatment provided in the article don’t fully target the levator scapulae muscle, but rather the scalene and trapezius muscles. From the technical perspective the best way to approach the levator scapulae muscle is with the patient/client positioned on the stomach. With positioning on the back and with head turned to the opposite side (as it is suggested by the author) the therapist is able to address only very small parts of the levator muscle (at the insertions to the transverse processes) while the muscle belly where the main tension is located remains unreachable.

Another critical factor is that the levator muscle must be also treated at its insertion into the upper medial angle of the scapulae through the fibers of the trapezius. This is why it is called levator to start with. That critical part of the therapy is not even mentioned and impossible to conduct with the patient positioned on the back.


Bicipital Tendinopathy. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Whitney Lowe

Everything is correct in this article about pathology and even possible treatment options. However, we have a real problem with the author’s description of cross fiber friction application which is indeed a very helpful tool to address tendinopathy of any location.

In the article the author expressed concerns that application of cross fiber friction may dislodge biceps tendon from the bicipital groove during intense cross fiber frictions. To avoid damage to the transverse humeral ligament and prevent tendon dislodging by the cross-fiber frictions the author suggests using friction along the fibers.

However, the clinical productivity of longitudinal friction is much lower than cross fiber friction, despite that longitudinal friction is always used prior to cross fiber friction application. Thus, it is complete nonsense to recommend the application of longitudinal friction instead of cross fiber.

Also, it is obvious that the author is not familiar with how to apply cross fiber friction correctly and that causes his concerns about tendon dislodging. Before application of cross fiber friction on any tendon or ligament, these anatomical structures must be stabilized in the tissue by the other hand first. With such a simple, but effective approach to cross fiber friction the therapist is never going to dislodge bicipital tendon from the groove and cross fiber frictions can be easily implemented.


Enhancers in Action. Massage&Bodywork Magazine. July/August 2019

By Erik Dalton

A very good article on cervical work.




Tendon Damage: The Role of Massage Therapy in Recovery. Massage Today, 19(6), 2019

By Ben Benjamin, PhD

This article is about tendon damage and MT as a treatment option. The main clinical tool mentioned in the article is cross fiber friction on the affected tendon. However, for the correct treatment strategy it is not enough. Treatment of the tendon pathology is not clinically effective if the therapist doesn’t decompress soft tissue (fascia, muscle) which are the engines of pressure elicited on the tendon. Also the treatment of insertion of the tendon into the periosteum is another critical component of the therapy which wasn’t mentioned either. Suggesting cross fiber friction as the only treatment tool greatly diminishes the clinical value of the article.


Exploring Torque and Rotary Motion. Massage Today, 19(8), 2019

By Whitney Lowe, LMT

This article presents soft tissue strain and overload from the view of pure structuralism. Of course, structuralism matters but as we know more and more about the complexity of relations between somatic tissues, such mechanistic views become very questionable. Based on the latest scientific data we can say that it is obvious that structuralism is not reflecting full clinical reality anymore. We need to stop promoting this one-sided and narrow view of somatic pathologies. It is a grave mistake to continue to apply rules of engineering which are designed for inorganic matter and solid structures or machinery to the living tissues. Current scientific data paints a much more complex chain of events in the human body besides torque, rotation or bi-pedal locomotion and we need to adjust our views, practice and educational principles accordingly. We highly suggest our readers to pay attention to Dr. Sharkey’s article ‘Biotensegrity – Anatomy For The 21st Century’ in this issue of JMS. The author of this article and Dr. Sharkey are on two opposite ends of the science of somatic medicine with author unfortunately lagging behind.


Integrative Approaches to the Hand’s Health. Massage Today, 19(8), 2019

By Ben Benjamin

This article covers some basic aspects of hand pathologies. However, it is technically impossible to discuss such a complex issue as hand abnormalities within a small format (2 pages). We think it would  have been a much better piece if the author dedicated the article to one topic instead of jumping between different pathologies. It made the article slightly chaotic.




Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy. Massage Magazine, July (278), 2019

By Kate Simmons, LMT, CMTPT

A good article which reviews basic principles of Trigger Point Therapy.


Elite Sports Therapy. Massage Magazine, July (278), 2019

By James Waslalwski, LMT, CPT

It is a very helpful article for therapists who work on cyclists or who are cyclists themselves. It covers the most common area of pressure and injuries associates with this sport.


Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples