A promising Approach to Pain Relief. MTJ, Fall, 2019, 30-35
By Michelle Vallet

          A very good reference source on pain management, the opioid crisis and the role of MT in our society defeating it.

Massage Therapy and Autoimmune Disease. MTJ, Fall, 2019, 41-47
By Marcella Durant

         This article discusses general information about autoimmune disease and what the therapist who practices regular MT may encounter and where limitations are of the therapy. From this perspective it is useful information, but clinical aspects of MT are not discussed at all.

Scar Tissue and Massage. MTJ, Fall, 2019, 53-72
By Pete Whitridge

          An excellent article about scars and their management with MT!


Medical Massage. The Role of Massage Therapy in Compassionate Palliative Care for Oncology Patients. Massage Magazine, 281, October, 20-23
By E. Brough, DOM, LMT and D.M. Lang, LMT

         This article is on an important subject. However, it is an extremely basic piece written more for the laymen rather than to the fellow therapists to introduce them to this valuable part of the MT profession. Also, the therapists who are already practicing Oncology Massage are not going to learn anything new from an educational or clinical perspective. Yes, the article covers psychological aspects of Oncology Massage and they are indeed very important, but they alone are not enough to assist cancer patients. At the beginning of the article the authors describe modalities they are practicing but critical information about their regime or integration is completely absent. We hope to read something more substantial in the future.

Active Engagement Techniques in Orthopedic Massage. Massage Magazine, 281, October, 36-40
By W. Lowe, LMT

          The article describes clinical application of active engagement technique which therapists can use as part of somatic rehabilitation.

Are Scars the Root Cause of Chronic Pain? Massage Magazine, 281, October, 36-40
By K. Armstrong, ORT/L

          This article also covers scars and the role of MT in their management. The same topic was covered by Pete Whitridge in Massage Therapy Journal and we reviewed it above. Unfortunately, this piece is a very pale shadow of Mr. Whitrige’s article from a theoretical and clinical perspective.

Myofascial Techniques for the Diaphragm. Massage Magazine, 282, November, 38-42
By Til Luchau

         A very good article which covers rarely mentioned MT techniques to work with the diaphragm.


Awakening From A Deep Sleep. Massage Today, September, 2019
By J.F. Barnes, PT, LMT, BCTMB

          Myofascial Release is a very helpful method from the arsenal of Medical Massage Techniques, especially when it is used in combination with other modalities. In this article its author shares his thoughts about theoretical foundations of Myofascial Release.

          It is good piece, but defining Myofascial Release as a combination of Newtonian and Quantum Physics is nonsense and it can’t be used in regard of ANY clinical modality including Myofascial Release!

Hands Anatomy 101. The Three Major Joints of Your Fingers. Massage Today, September, 2019

By B. Benjamin

          Very good review of the fingers’ anatomy.

Hands Anatomy 101. Six Assessment Tests For The Joints of the Fingers. Massage Today, December, 2019
By B. Benjamin

          An Informative article to examine ROM in the joints of the fingers.

The Paradoxical Piriformis: Stretching For the Hips. Massage Today, December, 2019
By Whitney Lowe

          A good article on anatomy, function of the piriformis muscle as well as a way to stretch it.


When You Can’t Catch Your Breath COPD and Massage Therapy. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Ruth Werner

         A very good article on COPD and it also reviewed recent studies on how massage helps COPD patients.

Medial Pterygoid. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Christy Cael

          It is an informative article on the anatomy and action of medial pterygoid muscle. However, when it covers the palpation part a very important component is missing.

          During palpation suggested in the article the therapist will palpate and compress the pack of submandibular lymph nodes first and the results of the palpation are going to be misleading.

          The proper palpation requires the mobilization of the skin downward, first to allow downward displacement of the skin and soft tissues together with pack of the lymph nodes and that gives direct access to the very small part of medical pterygoid muscle which is now accessible for direct palpation.

Stretching The Piriformis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Joseph E. Muscolino, DC

          An excellent article on the topic.

Life in the Bones. Exploring Zero Balancing’s Skeletal Side of the Musculoskeletal Equation. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By David Lauterstein

          Yes, bones which form our skeleton do much more that support our shape. They are critical components maintenance of in body homeostasis. The article is absolutely correct here. The author is also correct that bones are missing part of massage therapy.

         However, the conversation started in the article wasn’t finished or wasn’t properly worded since the author mentioned bones, but for some reason completely disregarded the periosteum which is the main structural component of each bone responsible for its proper function. Many aspects of this article discussed are actually functions of the periosteum rather than the general term ‘bone’ used in the article.

Thinking About Integration and Completion. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Til Luchau

         A very good article which promotes an integrative approach to the patient’s therapy.

Current Views on Lateral Epicondylitis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Whitney Lowe

          A good article on Lateral Epicondylitis (LE). However, here is where the article falls short:
1. There are three scenarios of LE rather than one presented in the article: periostitis of the epicondyle, tendinitis of the extensors and combination of both. Each has its own treatment options.
2. Mild irritation of the radial nerve may weaken the periosteum of the epicondyle and LE becomes secondary to that. In such cases the initial treatment should be conducted in completely different parts of the body since the trigger let’s say is in the anterior shoulder or anterior neck. This very frequent clinical scenario wasn’t even mentioned.
3. As a treatment option the author suggests cross fiber friction and yes it is a valuable clinical tool, but it is grave mistake to use it by itself because therapists must decompress all layers of soft tissues on the dorsal forearm first before doing anything to the inflamed tendon. Just application of cross-fiber friction alone is walking is circles since tension is going to be re-activated again.
4. Periostal Massage is the main clinical tool to deal with LE as a result of periostitis. Again, that wasn’t even mentioned in the article.

Healing the Hip’s Rotator Cuff. Assessing Hip Bursitis and Tendinopathy. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Sept-Oct, 2019
By Erik Dalton, PhD

         A very informative article on the subject.

Action-Specific Pain Provides Clues to Actionable Treatment Plans. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2019
By Douglas Nelson

          A good clinical case.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This Time It’s Zebras, Not Horses. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2019
By Ruth Werner

           A very good article about the nature and clinical picture of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Acromioclavicular Joint. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2019
By Christy Cael 

          A very informative piece on the acromioclavicular joint.

Understanding Assessment Biomechanics. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2019

By Whitney Lowe

          A great article on biomechanics assessment.

Testing for Meniscus Tears. Expand Your Assessment for Accuracy. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2019
By Erik Dalton, PhD

          The article is dedicated to examination of damaged meniscus. Three tests are described: Modified McMurray, Apley Compression Test and Joint Line Pain Provocation Test. While these tests are indeed presented in orthopedic textbooks they have very low sensitivity (Modified McMurray has little bit more clinical value). In other words, these tests can be positive in patients with meniscus damage and in patients with knee osteoarthritis or even ligamental instabilities.

         Technically speaking the only 100% informative test is knee MRI, however direct examination of the meniscus mobility has highest clinical sensitivity as a test for possible meniscus damage. The trauma of meniscus damages ligaments while stabilizing the meniscus within the joint. These small ligaments give meniscus necessary normal mobility to slightly slide between tibia and femur during walking and running. The first sign of meniscus damage is an increase of its mobility within the joint due to weakening or tear in meniscus ligamental support with following loss of its stability. The new extra mobility of the meniscus can be easily detected and this test has much higher clinical sensitivity.

          To conduct Test the therapist sits low in front of the patient while the patient’s legs are dangling from the table. The therapist places both thumbs against the anterior horn of the medial meniscus and applies horizontal pressure first. With an inflamed joint and damaged meniscus the patient is going to feel acute pain under the thumb on the affected side. If there is no acute pain the therapist should proceeds to the second part of the test to examine potamological mobility of the meniscus.

          The therapist asks the patient to elevate both knees while he or she continues to maintain the same pressure with both thumbs. Damage to the meniscus can be suspected if the patient can’t elevate the affected leg to the same degree due to the pain or the therapist feels a strong push against the thumb from the damaged meniscus which has now extra-mobility. The therapist detects this extra-mobility as a stronger counter-resistance force between the femur and tibia condyles at the end of full knee extension. A damaged meniscus is going to push the thumb completely out of the joint and the difference can be clearly detected when comparing to the unaffected side.

          The video below illustrates the meniscus examination and the viewer should notice that the therapist’s right thumb is visually pushed out of the joint more pronouncedly by the damaged left medial meniscus.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples