Tic, Tic, Tic Douloureux The Mysterious—and Frustrating—Condition of Trigeminal Neuralgia, Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Ruth Werner

          A very good article on a very complex clinical issue as Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia, which has a horrible nickname (when it is really bad): ‘Worst pain known to human kind.’ MT indeed plays a supportive role in pain management and results are very unpredictable from zero effect to significant relief. In any scenario, TNN must be identified and treated first.

Rectus Femoris, Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Christy Cael

          A good article on the topic.

A Cautionary Tale about All that Glitters is Not Gold—Including RCTs. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Sasha Chaitow, PhD

          A very good article on the science behind Randomized Controlled Studies.

Increasing Range of Motion Using PNF as Its Success Physical or Psychological Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Allison Denney

          A very informative article on PNF application.

Rethinking Scoliosis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Til Luchau

          The author is correct in some aspects of this article. Yes, the therapist must think 3-D instead of 2-D spine orientation. Management of scoliosis (SS) requires full body assessment, therapy and prevention. Do not promise to correct scoliosis after growth is over.

         However, it seems that the author doesn’t fully understand the pathophysiology of SS and reading the article leaves the impression that SS is not a big deal. 

          The author writes that “…scoliosis is most often asymptomatic…”.

         Yes it is true for a while, but asymptomatic SS doesn’t mean that nothing must be done and the patient and therapist sit and wait for pain and discomfort to develop. Sooner or later symptoms are going to appear, but at that time treatment is going to have many obstacles which can be avoided with therapists having a pro-active position when there is no pain.            Later in the article the author acknowledges that “If people with scoliosis do have back pain, it can be more severe than in those without scoliosis.”

          So, the therapist MUST be involved at the asymptomatic stage to prevent critical accumulation of pressure within the curvature(s) and pain appearance when the patient enters the decompensation stage. We think that the author is missing important point by concentrating on the pain itself. The reason for this is fact that SS, even at the asymptomatic stage, greatly affects the body in multi-direction ways. Therapists do not have professional rights to consider the asymptomatic state of SS as a nothing to do period.

Here are some examples from medical sources as illustrations:

      1. SS significantly increased degree and speeds up disks degeneration (Buttermann and Mullin, 2008).

      2. SS triggers early osteopenia and as a result the osteoporosis developed earlier in the older patient (Hassan I, Bjerkreim, 1983).

      3. SS playing a role in early development of hip dysplasia which (Segreto et al., 2018) is one of the main factors of Hip Osteoarthritis developed later in life (Ishidou et al 2017).

      4. The patients with SS have a much higher risk of development of circulatory changes in the lower extremities (Talic et al, 2017).

      5. Idiopathic SS may trigger Vestilobopathy Migraine (Uneri et al., 2009)

       We may continue and continue this list. Many of these patients don’t have pain, but later in life SS becomes the trigger for various dysfunctions in the human body and underestimating this fact, as this article does, is a great clinical mistake which misleads therapists into inaction.

         Let’s now talk about treatment options discussed in the article. The author is correct by saying that somatic medicine concentrated too much on fixing and stabilizing the spine curvatures themselves while paying less attention to the whole body. However, in this article the author falls into the same trap, but from the opposite direction. While the author promotes full body approach to rehabilitation, he undermines the direct spinal curvatures decompression. Here is a quote:

“use…whole-body kinesthetic experience in your work, rather than becoming over-focused on trying to passively stretch or straighten out the spine’s static shape.”

          The recommendation of such a one-sided approach is similarly misleading for the therapists and hurts patients. The ultimate solution requires an integrative approach to the SS treatment. It consists from full body approach and local decompression of the curvatures.

          Here is one example of such a combination. This is the final quote from the article (Fishman et al., 2014) which examined the impact of yoga on the asymmetrical local decompression of the curvature which the author of the reviewed article undermines:

“Asymmetrically strengthening the convex side of the primary curve with daily practice of the side plank pose held for as long as possible for an average of 6.8 months significantly reduced the angle of primary scoliotic curves.”

           Finally, there is another important aspect of SS therapy the author completely missed. The patient must be on life-long correctly designed supportive care (local and full body) to control and decompress degree of curvature(s).

         As it was shown by Hassan and Bjerkreim (1983) in a 10 year long observational study of the patients with SS, who stopped therapy, the average annual increase in the curvatures was 3 degrees for single curve and 2 degrees for double curves.

          We would like that the author and readers pause and digest these numbers: 2-3 degrees per year if nothing done! That process can be completely stopped, and curvatures controlled if correct somatic therapy protocol is designed and executed. It must combine the local therapy by PT, MT (Medical Massage protocol for SS) and DC (spinal adjustments) and a full body approach with correct exercise, stretching routine and nutritional support.

          As a conclusion to the article: Don’t Rethink Scoliosis as the author suggests, but rather treat actively and correctly on a asymptomatic stage using local and full body approaches. Your clients/patients will greatly appreciate your efforts.


Guttermann G.R., Mullin W.J. Pain and disability correlated with disc degeneration via magnetic resonance imaging in scoliosis patients Eur Spine J. 2008 Feb; 17(2): 240–249

Fishman L.M., Groessl E.J., Sherman K.J. Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Sep; 3(5): 16–21

Ishidou Y., Matsuyama K., Sakuma D. Osteoarthritis of the hip joint in elderly patients is most commonly atrophic, with low parameters of acetabular dysplasia and possible involvement of osteoporosis. Arch Osteoporos. 2017;12(1):30.

Hassan I, Bjerkreim I. Progression in idiopathic scoliosis after conservative treatment. Acta Orthop Scand. 1983;54(1):88–90.

Sadat-Ali M., Al-Othman A., Bubshait D., Al-Dakheel D. Does scoliosis causes low bone mass? A comparative study between siblings. Eur Spine J. 2008 Jul; 17(7): 944–947.

Segreto F.A., Vasquez-Montes D., Brown A.E., Bortz C., Horn S.R., Diebo B.G., Zhou P.L., Vira S., Baker, J.F. Petrizzo A.M., Lafage R., Lafage V., Errico T.J., Passias P.G. Incidence, trends, and associated risks of developmental hip dysplasia in patients with Early Onset and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. J Orthop. 2018 Sep; 15(3): 874–877.

Talic G., Talic L., Stevanovic-Papica D., Nozica-Radulovic T., Novakovic-Bursac S.The Effect of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis on the Occurrence of Varicose Veins on Lower Extremities. Med Arch. 2017 Apr; 71(2): 107–109

Uneri A., Polat S., Aydingoz O., Bursali A. Migraine vestibulopathy in three families with ıdiopathic scoliosis: a case series. Cases J. 2009; 2: 9367.

Exploring Tendon Disorders. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Whitney Lowe

          A very good overview of tendon injury and overuse.

Low-Back Z-Joint Pain Addressing Facet Joint Syndrome. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, March/April, 2020

By Erik Dalton, PhD

          The author correctly mentioned in the article that tests suggested for the examination of facet joints can be positive in cases of disk degeneration.   

          We would like to emphasize one more time that ALL tests suggested in the article can be reliable ONLY if disk pathology is ruled out by MRI or CT. The application of these tests without such information is going to be deceiving and it is going to be impossible to isolate pure Facet Joint Syndrome.


Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Special Issue, 2020

          The Editorial Board of Massage&Bodywork Magazine deserves a lot of credit to compose special issue Covid 2020. It helps the therapists to understand the nature of the virus, its spread around the globe, challenges conspiracy theories and finally gives therapists hopes for a brighter professional future.


Can We Cut the Charade? Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Douglas Nelson

          A cute little article on a very large topic: clinical value of correctly conducted patient’s interview and soft tissue evaluation. The author is right that it is the corner stone of each clinical work which is very frequently missing or incorrectly done.

“Low Risk” Does Not Equal “No Risk” An Overview of Reports of Adverse Events. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Ruth Werner

          The article is even scary because it emphasizes not only the profound impact MT has on the human body, but also how much therapists can hurt clients/patients when they act from the system of their beliefs, rather than from the interests of people they are trying to help.

Splenius Cervicis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Christy Cael

          A good article on the topic.

Take The Danger Out Of Endangerment Sites. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Ruth Werner

          This is a VERY cool article, thank you! Each therapist should read, copy and memorize its content.

Muscles That Can’t Be Stretched? A Negative Ideology That is Largely Hyperbole. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Dr. Joe Muscolino

          Another excellent piece! Dr. Muscolino as always on target!

Under Pressure for More Pressure. The Client Who Demands Deeper. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By David M. Lobenstine

          Great article! Conclusion from the article for therapists: don’t work deep, work smart and actively engage the client/patient.

Understanding COVID-19’s Cytokine Storm. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Til Luchau

           A very good and educational article.

Kinesiology for the Massage Therapist. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June, 2020

By Whitney Lowe

          A good introduction to kinesiology

Superior Tib-Fib Fixation The Mystery Knee Pain Generator. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, May/June,

By Erik Dalton, PhD

          A very good article on the subject.




Assessment: Collateral Ligaments of Fingers. Massage Today, March-April, 2020

By Ben Benjamin, PhD

          A good article on assessment of the ligamental injury to the interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints.

Treating Top Sports Injuries, Massage Today, March-April, 2020

By Debbi Reynolds, LMT

          There are no doubts that the author knows the subject she discussed in the article. However, we have problem with the article’s format. It is going to be much more helpful to the therapists if the author discussed one type of the sports injury at the time and concentrate to the evaluation and treatment strategy instead of trying to cover several topic in one piece. Current article gives considerably basic information which has limited practical application while the potential for the good, practical piece is there.

Artery Compression on the Neck. Massage Today, March-April, 2020

Whitney Lowe, LMT

          Very good article on very important subject.



Push Me-Pull Me. Massage Magazine, May 2020

By Dracy Lewis

          Basic introductory article on the muscles’ contractions

Myofascial Release. Massage Magazine, May 2020

By Garry Adkins, LMT

          This article supposed to be an introduction to Myofascial Release. The strange thing is that the author unites Boni Prudden’s Myotherapy, Rolfing, Deep Tissue Massage, Muscle Energy Techniques, Bowen Techniques and even Energy Medicine under the one name Myofascial Release.

         All of those are completely different methods and techniques with their own philosophy, clinical application and no one as we knew so far tried to unite them together under one name.

          The name Myofascial Release belongs to completely different modality and if the author teaches that to the therapists, he must be aware of this very basic fact. The author indeed mentioned Barnes’ Myofascial Release in the same list despite that it is real Myofascial Release as a clinical system.





Post-surgery Relief. MTJ, Spring 2020

By Marcella Durand

          This article covers a very important, but rarely mentioned issue of post-surgical scar management with massage therapy. The article provides necessary reference material and very good illustrations.

          The author discusses available data on the subject. The time when the therapist may start working on the scar is a critical issue to control scar tissue formation and prevent adhesions. The article presents different views. We would like to weigh in on this topic as well.

          The therapist should start therapy even the next day using LDM and enhancing drainage from the segment or area without doing anything to the area of the scar itself. Gentle work on the scar should start 3-4 days from the stiches removal and final healing. Techniques to work on the scar discussed in the article are also helpful.


Massage Therapy for Workplace Injuries. MTJ, Spring 2020

          This subject is also very important but the article itself is extremely basic and written more for the general population rather than a professional publication.


Sports Massage: Athlete Care and Conditions. MTJ, Spring 2020

By Steve Jurch, ATC, LMT and Helen Tosch

          This article reviews sports related conditions. It is a very helpful piece for therapists who work with athletes.


Can Massage Therapy Enhance Mental Health? MTJ, Summer 2020

By Marcella Durand

          This article gives therapists who work in this environment needed reference sources and basic information on a very important subject.

Addressing Shoulder and Neck Pain with Massage Therapy. Upper Body. MTJ, Summer 2020

By Steve Jurch and Jessica Crour

          A great, informative and very well illustrated article. We suggest it to all therapists who do clinical work.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples