Diversity Training for Massage - by admin@mcb on June 28 2016

Diversity Training for Massage

The concept of cultural awareness and diversity training for massage is relatively new in the United States. The State of Maryland requires all massage therapists to complete one continuing education credit in diversity. As our country becomes more and more diverse, massage therapists should find that ridding ourselves of preconceptions and prejudices can help us grow our businesses to new levels.

Purpose of Diversity Training

Diversity training can increase the participants’ cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills which will lead to greater inclusion of different identity groups. It is taught within organizations to guard against instances of discrimination. Cultural diversity training serves to educate employees about the differences and similarities between people. It also stresses the importance of not treating people differently because of their identity characteristics.

Most Common Areas of Discrimination Complaints

Effective diversity training will focus on the most common areas of discrimination. According to discrimination cases filed in the United States between 2005-2013, as posted by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the most common areas of discrimination are as follows:

• Race discrimination cases comprised roughly 35% of all discrimination cases in the United States filed in 2005 through 2013.

• The second most common cause for filing of discrimination charges is categorized as “Sex” (which may include both gender and sexual orientation), comprising approximately 30% of discrimination charges during the years reported.

• Age discrimination cases accounted for approximately 22% of discrimination charges filed.

• Disability cases make up approximately 20% of discrimination charges.

• National origin, which may or may not have also been included in the race category above, is raised in approximately 10% of discrimination charges.

• Religion is raised in only about 3% of discrimination lawsuits, yet it is a volatile topic, and one which companies must remain aware.

Diversity Training for Massage Continuing Education

Massage therapists can learn more about diversity training for massage. The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a 1 CE course on Diversity and Cultural Awareness. It meets the requirement of one hour of diversity training required by the Maryland Board of Massage. It is also approved by the NCBTMB for 1 CE. For details or to enroll, click here.

Massage CEs: Certificate Versus Certification - by admin@mcb on June 16 2016

Massage CEs: Certificate Versus Certification

Massage CEs: Certificate

Upon completion of any type of massage therapy CE (continuing education) course, you will always receive a certificate. The certificate will show the course title, the number of hours earned, and the course provider. This certificate is what you will use to prove that you have taken continuing education that may be a requirement to renew your license or insurance. All of the courses that you take at Institute of Somatic Therapy will award a certificate of achievement available the moment you pass the online exam. By passing the exam, you automatically get your certificate for your massage CEs.

Massage CEs: Certification

But how does that differ from a certification? A certification is the awarding of an official title or status that has been earned, over and above the continuing education hours. Certification courses will include some type of documentation of internship practice sessions that have to be turned in before the title is awarded. Some of the certification titles that Institute of Somatic Therapy offers include: Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor, Certified Massage Doula, and Certified Fertility Massage Therapist.

For example, when a student completes our infant massage course, as soon as they complete the online exam, they will have instant access to print out their certificate, to prove that they have earned the 16 continuing education hours that course is worth. The wording will state that “your name here” has completed “course title here” and earned a certain number hours of massage therapy CEs. But it will not award any specific titles, because none have been earned at that stage. It is just a certificate, not a certification.

Certification Requires Homework Documentation

To earn the certification title, there is also homework documentation, part of which includes having presented two infant massage classes to new parents. When that homework documentation is submitted, we send a premium gold-embossed certificate that states that “your name here” has earned the title of “Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor” that is valid provided that you hold any required massage licenses in your jurisdiction.The certification document will not make reference to any number of massage therapy CEs earned, because that information was already in the first certificate you received. The certification is not about hours, it is about titles.

When you are completely done with any of our certification courses, you will have two pieces of paper in your hand: 1) a certificate that is proof of study hours being done, and 2) a certificate that states that you have earned a certification title. Think of it like going to medical school or law school. When you graduate, you earn your diploma (certificate), but you aren’t automatically a doctor or lawyer. You still have to pass the medical board or bar exam before you earn the title (certification).

Certification Courses Available

To learn more about certification courses offered by the Institute of Somatic Therapy, click on the following links:
Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist
Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor
Certified Massage Doula
Certified Fertility Massage Therapist

For a follow-up article on the difference between a certification and a license, click here.

Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphoto.net: “3d Stamp Certified” by David Castillo Dominici

Fertility Massage to Promote Conception - by admin@mcb on June 07 2016

Fertility Massage to Promote Conception

Fertility Massage to Promote Conception

Fertility massage is a valuable technique to help with some of the causes of infertility. Infertility can have many causes, and they can arise from different factors. Not all of these factors are able to be addressed through the user of fertility massage.

Failure to Ovulate

It is estimated that roughly 25% of infertility cases are a result of a problem with the ovary or ovulation process. This can be a result of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Another source of infertility is due to hormonal dysfunction. Infertility can result if there are imbalances in the hormones produced by the pituitary gland [follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) or prolactin].

A 2014 study showed that over 50% of women with PCOS were able to conceive after receiving fertility bodywork.

Failure to Fertilize

If the woman has fallopian tubes that are damaged or blocked, either the sperm will not reach the egg, or the fertilized egg will not reach the uterus. Fallopian tubes can become damaged or blocked in a variety of ways, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID, an infection caused by sexually transmitted diseases), endometriosis (the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus), or scarring from injuries or surgeries. Recent medical studies show that fertility massage has a positive effect of infertility as a result of fallopian blockages.

A 2004 study in fertility bodywork techniques showed that 71% of women in this category became pregnant, some of them more than once.

Failure to Implant

If fertilized eggs are reaching the uterus but are not implanting, it could be caused by the presence of uterine polyps or tumors or inflammation or scarring from endometriosis. If the sperm is not reaching the cervix, it could be the result of a narrow cervical opening (cervical stenosis).

Fertility massage is less likely to help achieve pregnancy under these circumstances.

Fertility Massage Training

Massage therapists who wish to learn massage and bodywork techniques to address infertility can take a massage therapy continuing education course offered by Institute of Somatic Therapy titled Fertility Massage. Therapists will learn a variety of techniques helpful in working to release fallopian blockages to improve the chances of their infertility clients being able to conceive.

Image: “Female Reproductive System” by dream designs, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Morton’s Foot and Myofascial Pain - by admin@mcb on June 01 2016

Morton’s Foot and Myofascial Pain

According to Dr. Janet G. Travell, the originator of Trigger Point theory, Morton’s Foot (also called Morton’s Toe, after Dr. Dudley Morton) is the cause for approximately 80% of patients who exhibit chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Morton’s Foot Structure – What Is It?

In a normal foot, the first and second metatarsal bones are the same length. Ideally, the first metatarsal should meet the ground before the lesser metatarsal bones, and the first metatarsal is designed to carry double the weight as the second metatarsal bone. With Morton’s Foot Structure, the second metatarsal bone is longer than the first, so it meets the ground before the first metatarsal bone. Instead of the way a normal foot would distribute the weight approximately 66% on the first metatarsal and 33% on the second, the second bone is now forced to bear nearly 100% of the weight, and leads to excessive pronation of the foot with each step. This pronation in turn has a negative chain reaction link on every joint in the walking process (ankle, knee, and hip).

Source of Pain

In a normal foot, the foot pronates momentarily as the arch flattens and rolls toward the ground. As soon as the foot meets the ground, it will begin to supinate slightly as it stabilizes against the surface, so the body is supported as the foot pushes off on the next step.

In a Morton’s Foot, the supination is delayed. The hypermobile first metatarsal bone does not reach this point of stability, and the rest of the foot attempts to compensate with irregular movements. The body’s weight is not properly distributed across the five metatarsal bones. Instead, the second metatarsal bone ends up bearing nearly 100% of the body’s weight.

Effects of Morton’s Foot Structure

The pain caused by Morton’s Foot Structure goes far beyond foot pain. Dr. Travell observed that Morton’s Foot Structure was a significant cause of myofascial pain to the “low back, thigh, knee, leg, and dorsum of the foot”.

Some of the many other conditions thought to be associated to Morton’s Foot Structure include fibromyalgia, night cramps, restless leg syndrome, stress fractures of the lesser metatarsal bones, heel spurs, osteoarthritis, and meniscus tears.

Treating a Client with Morton’s Foot Syndrome

When you have a client that shows the symptoms and effects of Morton’s Foot Structure, you should assess each muscle in the lower extremity to determine the presence of trigger points or other types of dysfunction. But working to release trigger point and myofascial dysfunction is useless without also instructing your client how to balance out the foot with the use of a compensating pad, to prevent the source of the dysfunction you are working to release.

For specific instruction on using a compensating foot pad properly, refer to the works of Dr. Travell or Dr. Burton S. Schuler (Author of Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot). The Institute of Somatic Therapy also offers a 3 CE massage therapy online continuing education course title Pathology – Morton Foot Structure designed to show massage therapists how to bring relief to their clients with Morton’s Foot.