Functional symptoms and today’s neuroscience

Massage therapists and functional symptoms

assessing and treating functional symptoms of lower leg numbnessAs massage therapists, we treat functional symptoms all the time. Functional symptoms means you may have pain or other complaints, but the doctors can find no cause. Nothing shows up on scans.

This can be frustrating to doctors. But for those of us who work with the body, it is normal. We figure out how to resolve your pain or stiffness by getting your body to function better.… Read the rest

Bodywork and Mild Frontal TBI

Public awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is growing. That’s a good thing.

61991336 - whiplash effect on the brain can include TBI

Unfortunately, disability and the need for care of people with TBI is also growing. Sports-related injuries, war trauma, whiplash or concussion in an auto accident, even toxic chemicals and stroke can result in TBI.

Mild to moderate frontal brain injury, or frontal TBI may give people trouble with memory, reasoning, emotions, and social relations.… Read the rest

Parkinson’s, Mindfulness & Massage

yay-9860340Parkinson’s Symptoms–Not Only A Movement Disorder

Parkinson’s is known for the shuffling gait, the masked face, the stooped posture, the soft, almost inaudible voice, the slowness of movement, the trembling and rigidity. These motor or movement symptoms are what most people seek treatment for, and they form the basis of the diagnosis.

Non-motor symptoms such as loss of the sense of smell, constipation, depression, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, and sleep difficulties may appear 20 years or more ahead of the motor symptoms.… Read the rest

How Does Functional Neurology Massage Work?

20948508_sFunctional neurology massage works to bring about better cooperation of the body, emotions and nervous system. It uses learning and feedback principles of neuroplasticity–how the brain can rewire itself–to improve functioning. The assessments (see Functional Neuro–A Different Approach to Massage) may give me information about how sensations are limited or distorted–numbness in one arm, or down one side of the face, or continued pain from an old injury.… Read the rest

Neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s Research, Why Not?

Could neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s (PD) be developed by following the same principles that have been effective for recovery from stroke, spinal cord injury, memory decline, loss of use of a limb, hearing impairments, blindness, severe vertigo, and obsessive-compulsive disorder?1

Complete neuron cell diagram, components of a myelinated vertebrate motorneuronRelated Research Has Focused on Neuroprotection, not Neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s

Much of Parkinson’s research has mostly been on drug or surgical options to slow the rate of decline, or to protect the remaining brain cells and their connections.… Read the rest

Functional Neurology Controversy: Needs Research

How could functional neurology massage become well-accepted when its parent field is controversial?

Our 2012 Functional Neurology for Bodyworkers class was taught by a Board-Certified Chiropractic Functional Neurologist (CFN), Dr. Paul Thomas, (American Functional Neurology Society), graduate of the Carrick Institute. Like other CFNs, Dr. Thomas trained in a rigorous three year graduate program after completing his chiropractic studies.

CFNs often have 3 to 6 month wait lists.… Read the rest

Birth and Infancy of a Research Massage Therapist, Pt. 3

continued from Birth and Infancy of a Research Massage Therapist, Pt.2

a research massage therapist uses a pulse-oximeter to know heart rate and blood oxygenationIn 2011, at the Oct. AMTA conference,1 I learned about the importance of research to advance the field of massage therapy. In 2012 I enrolled in Functional Neurology for Bodyworkers taught by a chiropractic physician, Dr. Paul Thomas. It was a year-long, rigorous study of human neurology, brain and nervous system structure and functions, applications of neuroscience research, principles of neuroplasticity, and how massage, acupuncture, other bodywork, diet and specially designed movement exercises could impact a variety of health conditions.… Read the rest

Volunteer with Returning Veterans Project

I attended orientation to volunteer with the Returning Veterans Project, Nov. 16, 2011. I have been grateful for every client I have seen since. RVP is a non-profit that provides free counseling and other alternative and complementary health services for vets returning from the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and their families. They provide returning veterans with needed and much appreciated community-based services that allow vets to reintegrate into civilian life and heal.… Read the rest