Massage & Bodywork Articles: Don’t Miss These Essential Reads

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By Karrie Osborn

As life begins to take on phases of normalcy, it’s also picking up speed—plans to make, things to do, people to see. If you’re like me, the pandemic days of binge-watching old episodes of Columbo are over. When you do have a few minutes to slow down, there are some really good reads from the last few issues of Massage & Bodywork that we don’t want you to miss:

Yes, This Is a Must-Read!

Critical Thinking Skills” by Ruth Werner

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can utilize toward achieving a successful practice, and yet, so many practitioners aren’t even aware the power this tool holds. Our friend Ruth Werner reached out to her colleagues in the profession to help inform her work on this article, with the result being a fantastic look at a skillset that applies to all therapists in all settings—"from an outpatient chemotherapy unit to a cruise ship spa.” It may not sound like a pivotal concept, but critical thinking is absolutely paramount to client care, safety, and therapeutic success.

Get More: The video sidebar to this article is superb!

The Answers Don’t Come Easy

Where Do We Go From Here?” by ABMP President Les Sweeney

This thoughtful letter from ABMP’s president in the wake of the Atlanta spa murders reminds us that the answers on how we protect this profession we love are neither quick nor simple, and that much work lies ahead of us.

A Quote Worth Noting

Keeping Clients Safe: How to Avoid Client Injuries” by Dr. Ben Benjamin

“Maintaining humility about what we know and what we don’t know is an important and respected quality in a responsible therapist,” writes Dr. Benjamin, who, as an expert witness, has seen countless client injuries caused by well-meaning but uninformed therapists. This author offers tips and reminders on how to offer the best treatment for your client, while honoring their limitations . . . and your own.

You Must Have a Story Too

Being a Client Makes You a Better Therapist” by Cindy Williams 

I’m sure this has happened to you: While receiving a massage, you can’t help but think about how that stroke sequencing feels, how the practitioner did or did not maintain contact with your body while they transitioned around the treatment table, or how strange their comment was. You learn so much, both good and bad, when you become the client, and ironically, it’s a fantastic way to evaluate and develop your own work. Walk through this author’s story about her recent experience being on the table and all of her great reminders and tips for not committing the same offenses she endured as a client.

Get More: Listen to The ABMP Podcast from this author on the same subject. (What’s your worst experience as a client? You’ll be shocked to hear some of these stories.)

Simple, Yet Critically Important for Client Successes

Putting Client Expectations to Work” by Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe 

Did you know that a client’s expectations before entering a session with you may have more impact on the benefit of your treatment over either the modality or technique used? These authors explore the research behind this finding and what it means for everyday practice.

Get More: After reading the article, take this quick survey on ways you might already be putting this research to work for your practice.

author bio

Karrie Osborn is senior editor, education and project management at ABMP.

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The ABMP Podcast Archives



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ABMP’s Lymph Talk Series

Lymph Talk is a series of conversations ABMP Director of Professional Education Kristin Coverly had with practitioners who specialize in the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) modality. These talks were recorded in conjunction with the October 25, 2022, free, online ABMP CE Summit on Lymph. Kristin says, “My hope is that these conversations increase the awareness of MLD and demonstrate how effective it can be with different populations so massage therapists and bodyworkers are inspired to learn more about this gentle, yet powerful modality!”

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

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