Massage for anxiety and cancer

In the latest edition of National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s (08/2020) newsletter, editors relay that some studies have shown that massage therapy helped to decrease anxiety for people with cancer or other comorbid medical conditions. Little research, they say, has been done on massage for anxiety disorders. A 2013 randomized controlled trial of 60 cancer patients examined massage therapy for perioperative pain and anxiety in placement of vascular access devices and found that both massage therapy and structured attention proved beneficial for alleviating preoperative anxiety in these patients! Massage therapy appears to have few risks if it is used appropriately and provided by a trained massage professional. Thank you, as always, for reading!

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Splenius Servicis

Once again, Christy Cael’s article was a wonderful, timely reminder for me and a lot of other therapists! The muscle is part of the cervical movers and rotators (both helping and major!). She ended by reiterating to us that poor care of this muscle/muscle group can cause postural deviations and chronic pain conditions; this reiteration, I feel, is vital to health!!

The Sacred Sacrum, Part 1: Honoring Its Holistic Significance

Cindy Williams’, from my latest ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork, article was another timely and oh-so-important reminder, but it also had some wonderful new information, too! Randolph Stone, DO, founder of polarity therapy, called the sacrum the “mysterious sacrum” because of its structural variations and all the  physiological results and its energetic patterns. Cindy Williams talked of the energetic and structural significances of the human body’s sacrum and the imbalances that, as it holds nervous system parts, happen!

Rectus Femoris

Still from my last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, Christy Cael’s article was a great reinforcer! She reminded us therapists that the rectus femoris is one of the quadriceps muscles; this muscle’s configuration reminds all of us bodyworkers of the phrase, “form fits function”. It also has quite a few secondary actions, which means that it exemplifies that phrase and is, naturally, weaker in some actions than its main action!

Tic, Tic, Tic Douloureux

Ruth Werner’s article (from my latest edition of ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork) shed as much light as possible on this, from all I know of it, incredibly frustrating condition. We therapists can, as much as we hate to admit it, only do so much to relieve what patients with trigeminal neuralgia deal/live with.

Acromioclavicular Joint

Happy New Year!!

Christy Cael’s article (from last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork) (latest edition had an article that I chose not to write about but take to my office for any possible future reference) was as timely as ever! I’m reminded a lot that the shoulder is a complicated structure; it has several complementary joint and much other soft tissues and such. Normal movement in this area needs coordinated efforts of the ball-and-socket glenohumeral joint, gliding motions of the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints, and relative movements of the scapulothoracic joint. Ms. Cael emphasized that the soft tissues (plenty of which are stabilizers) must be addressed in assessment and treatment. As always, thank you for reading!

Healing the Hip’s Rotator Cuff: Assessing Hip Bursitis and Tendinopathy

Erik Dalton, PhD’s article (from last edition of ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork) was a wonderful reminder to me! The femoroacetabular joint is one of the largest, strongest, and most flexible joints in the body; hip pain in this area can occur because of trochanteric bursitis, wear and tear of the gluteus medius and minimus tendons, and/or wear and tear of the IT Band. Researcher Thomas Bunker and his team were the 1st to compare this condition to rotator cuff bursitis because both conditions are caused by friction, which ultimately results in inflammation. He solidified his assessments of treatments, most of which are founded in the central nervous system!


From my last ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, Christy Cael wrote about a very complicated muscle! It’s the largest and most superficial muscle of the calf and extends from the posterior knee to the heel and 1 of the 3 triceps surae (“calf”) muscles; the other 2 are the plantaris and soleus. The group converges into the calcaneal tendon and inserts on the posterior surface of the calcaneus. The bulk of the muscle is more proximal than the other 2 and is divided into 2 large, symmetrical segments or “heads”. Individuals with large heads and a very short calcaneal tendon tend to have a greater propensity for explosive power (and vice versa). The gastrocnemius performs knee flexion and ankle plantar flexion (mostly the latter); also, it has minimal ability to stabilize the ankle due to its posterior orientation and the narrow attachment of the calcaneal tendon. The soleus is a synergist to the gastrocnemius for plantar flexion; which of these 2 is most active during this movement is mainly driven by the position of the knee. If it’s extended or extending, the gastrocnemius is more active (and vice versa). This is because the muscle is pre-stretched or placed under tension, maximizing mechanical advantage. Thank you, as always, for reading!

Bicipital Tendonopathy

Whitney Lowe’s (from Institute for Integrative Health Care’s latest newsletter) article was most informative! The malady is an overuse pathology of the biceps brachii tendon and is a common cause of anterior shoulder pain; it’s most common in active populations that involve repetitive overhead shoulder motions. BT usually refers to the long head; it’s more vulnerable to chronic degeneration due to friction in the humerus’s bicipital groove. Lastly, he relayed that the condition could also be bicipital tenosynovitis, which involves an inflammatory irritation and potential adhesion between the tendon and its surrounding synovial sheath. Thanks, as always, for reading!

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