Massage Therapist: The Essentials of Oils

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Posted on 28th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage everyday,”  Said Hippocrates in 400 B.C.  There are numerous references throughout history to the use of aromatic oils.  The term aromatherapy was coined by a French chemist in the 1920’s named Gattefosse.  Several years earlier he had noticed the therapeutic effects of essential oils after burning his hand badly while working in his laboratory.  Absentmindedly, he put his burned hand into the nearest bowl of liquid lavender oil.  To his amazement, the pain diminished and the burn healed much faster than he expected, leaving no scar.  Following this discovery, when working with wounded soldiers during the 1914-1918 war, he found that essential oils accelerated the healing process.  Since then, aromatherapy has steadily gained popularity.

When blending oils remember they are extremely concentrated and must always be diluted, otherwise they can sting and even cause allergies.  To use them during a massage, you need to dilute them in a carrier oil.  The most commonly used carrier oils are almond, soya, grape-seed, avocado, peach and wheat germ oils.  Wheat-germ oil is rich in vitamin E and acts as an antioxidant, but it is rather thick and heavy, so add just a little to a lighter carrier oil to prevent your massage oil from turing rancid.  To dilute an essential oil, mix one to three drops with a 5 ml. teaspoon of carrier oil.  If you want to make up a larger quantity, add 15 to 30 drops to 2 fl. of carrier oil.  Use a more diluted mixture on sensitive skin and on the face.  Don’t mix much more than this at a time as the blended oil can turn rancid in a few weeks.  Despite their name, essential oils are usually not very oily;  they are exceptionally volatile liquids that evaporate quickly, so alway put the lids back on the bottles after use.  Store them and your blended massage oil in a cool, dark place in air tight bottles.

Massage Therapist: The Power of Scent

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Posted on 22nd June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

People don’t realize how strongly they are affected by scents.  Yet the evocative power of a scent is dramatic.  The smell of the sea or your mother’s perfume can bring back memories and nostalgia.  The reason for this is that smells are intrerpreted by the area of the brain that is concerned with our emotions.  Scents have powerful effect on moods, so adding some essential oils to your massage oil can enhance the relaxing or invigorating effect of your massage.  Resent research testifies to the strength of this link.  Dr Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology anc psychiatry at Yale University has found that certain odors can lower blood pressure.  The scent of spiced apples has shown to be particularly effective:  It lowered the blood pressure of healthy volunteers by an average of three to five points.  Other scientific research has demonstrated that pleasant smells such as plum or peach can reduce pain, and the essential oils can change people’s moods: jasmine, ilang-ilang, and peppermint can lift depresson; geranium and bergamot despel anxiety; and rose and carnation can restore energy.  Essential oils are a complex mixture of chemicals with many different properties.  While studying how to become a massage therapist, it will help you to understand how scents of your oils can affect a mood.  Some essential oils are antibacterial, antiseptic, or anti-inflmamtory.  The diversity of claims made for essential oils, sometimes several claims for one oil can cause confusion.  A single oil may be described as both calming and stimulating.  This sounds like a contradiction, however, somone suffering from nervous tension might first be calmed by the treatment, and then with this new freedom from tension, reclaim his natural energy feeling refreshed.  Tomorrow we will look at how to buy and blend your essential oils and fragrances to maximize your massages.

Massage Therapist: Back Massage

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Posted on 21st June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

A good back massage can be one of the greatest delights of life.  It can have a profoundly relaxing effect, lowering stress levels, easing pain and inducing a blissful state of repose.  Most of us get the occasional backache: we slouch over our desks, carry heavy loads, hunch up the shoulders and stand badly, all of which may result in tense knotted muscles.  Massage can help to relax these muscles and alleviate the aches and pains they so often cause.  The benefits of a back massage go beyond simply relaxing the back muscles.  A good back massage enhances the well-being of the whole body.  Nerves branch out from the spine to reach all parts of the body, and through its direct effect on them, massage can benefit the entire nervous system.  You can calm the nerves with slow rhythmic strokes, or invigorate them with fast brisk movements.  I usually finish with soothing strokes to leave the person thoroughly relaxed.  For the initial touch cover your friends back with a towel and place your hands on it, one at the nape of the neck and one at the other end of the waist.  Breathe deeply and evenly and focus your attention on your hands.  This sets the tone for your massage and helps both parties to relax.  Your friend will pick up your breathing patterns and also start to breathe more relaxed and automatically.  As you breathe deeply, and relax, you will begin to feel energy flowing through you, and it is this relaxed energy that you will use during the massage.  After about thirty seconds, put the oil on your hands and pull back the towel.  Kneel by the side of the waist facing toward the head, and begin the massage by stroking to spread the oil.

Massage Therapist: Pointers

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Posted on 15th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Remember as a massage therapist you can tailor a massage to suit any needs; even a single technique can be stimulating or soothing.  It all depends on how you do it.  A firm, brisk massage is invigorating, while slow, steady strokes can send someone to sleep.  The fun of massage is experimenting.  You never need to do the same massage twice.  Each time you massage, find your client’s needs, and give a massage to suit them.  Whether you improvise with your own techniques or follow a rhythmic pattern, we will outline some ideas and tips in this blog about how you, as a massage therapist can make each masssage a wonderful unique experience.  1) To give a good massage you need to be totally relaxed, so don’t try too hard.  If in doubt about what to do next, just stroke.  As long as your movements are rhythmic; the massage will feel interesting and relaxing.  2) The most important element of a massage is rhythm.  A rythmic massage will send waves of relaxation through the body.  3) Massage should be pleasurable, so practice on a friend who can tell you if anything you do is painful or unpleasant.   You will find it easier to learn with a partner or freind rather than by yourself, because you can try the techniques out on each other and see how they should feel.
4) Keep one hand in contact with the body throughout the massage of any area.  Ideally, your massage should feel like one continuous, flowing stroke.  5) Vary your pressure from very light to very strong.  It should be lighter over bony areas and firmer over large muscles.  Don’t be afraid to apply deep pressure; a firm touch feels good.  6) Mold your hands to the contours of the body and imagine you are sculpting the body in its perfect shape.  7) Concentrate on the massage, and do not talk much.  Your massage will be more effective if both of you focus on various sensations  8) It is never necesarry to use force during your massage; simply use the weight of your body to apply pressure.  9) Do not worry if your first movements seem clumsy.  All touch feels good, and with practice your massage will become flowing and confident.

Massage Therapist: Your Clothes and Hands

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Posted on 15th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Some things that have been helpful when learning how to become a massage therapist are the tricks of the trade that are learned from other therapists.  One of the best tips is to wear loose-fitting washable clothes and flat shoes or go barefoot.  It is imperative that you are comfortably dressed as a therapist.  Another pointer is to remove all jewelry before giving any massages.   Rings can scratch the skin and bracelets or necklaces can jangle or be a distraction and irritating.  Another thing to remember as a massage therapist is to take great care to exercise and stretch your hands.  They are your most valuable tool so it is worth taking the time to exercise them.  This will increase not only their flexibility but their sensitivity as well.  One way to heighten the sensitivity of your hands is to hold them close together without letting them touch.  An example of this exercise is to draw them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, then back until they are almost touching. Now take them in 4 inches (10 cm) apart, then return them to their original position.  Continue like this, expanding the gap gradually until your hands are about 10 inches (25 cm) apart, then bring them very slowly together.  You will probably experience an unusual sensation, perhaps heat or tingling, or a pulsating or magnetic sensation.  Pretty cool eh?

Massage Therapist: Comfort

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Posted on 10th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

When massaging patients and clients, your comfort is also very important.  It is easy to forget about our own needs when our jobs involve service of others.  You need to be relaxed to give a good massage, so your own comfort is extremely important.  With practice, you will learn to work without tensing your muscles. Your posture is also very important.  Keep your back straight throughout the massage, and use the weight of your body to give both rhythm and depth to your massage.  If you are working at a table, keep your feet wide apart and bend your knees so that you can lean into the strokes.  If you are working on the floor, kneel with your knees apart or, if you find it more comfortable, have one knee on the floor and the other one up with that foot on the floor.  A word of caution: Never stay in one position for long and always face in the direction of your massage strokes – face the head when working up the body, and face aross the body when working across.  Most people feel more comfortable if they have a little extra padding to help them relax while being massaged.  Use cushions or rolled up towels as suports to make sure the person you are massaging is completely relaxed.  To relax certain areas, you can place cusions in different areas, for example, to relax his/her back and stomach place a cushion under her knees to reduce the arch of the lower back.  When lying on his or her front, clients will be better able to relax thoroughly if you use cushions to make sure the spine is not uncomfortable twisted or curved.  If she is round chested, put a cushion under her chest.  Some other places you can place cushions for comfort are under his or her ankles to help the back to relax, or a cushion under the waist for a sway back.

Attend a Campus or Online Radiology School?

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Posted on 9th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

If you are thinking of attending school to become a radiology technician, you may be considering whether to attend an online or campus-based program.  Because radiology is by nature a “hands on” skill, I want to start by recommending that you opt for a campus program.  If you want to complete your radiology education online, you may want to know about prerequisites and what you can and cannot do with an online program.

Many people are unaware that to become a radiology tech, you only need to have an associates degree, which traditionally only takes two years to complete.  Some campus schools offer classes during evenings and weekends, so if you are currently working, you may want to seek out a school with flexible class schedules, so that you can work with your current employers needs and your education at the same time.

A campus program will give you more interaction with instructors, fellow students, and will get you the exposure to the x-ray and medical imaging equipment that you will be using on the job.  Because a radiology education is considered an applied science, the actual practice with patient positioning and the use of the high tech equipment is a major part of the education and training process.

While an online program is very convenient, it is not usually the most common path pursed for a few reasons.  First, you must meet very specific requirements in order to gain admission into an online radiology program.  You must usually have prior training in x-ray technology of some kind or medical imaging in general.  Because many don’t have the prior experience necessary, by default, a campus program is the only option.  If you do qualify, an online option could be an efficient way to complete formal education.  Most online options have standard course work online, then a clinical practice requirement where you can complete certain competencies at a local diagnostic imaging lab under the supervision of a seasoned radiology tech.

If you live in a rural area, you may need to temporarily relocate in order to attend radiology school.  For those in urban areas, there may be several schools to choose from; for example, there are several radiology schools in New York to choose from without the need for relocation.  In conclusion, if you meet the requirements for an online program, go for it.  If not, consider beginning the process of researching radiology schools near you.

Allied Health: Massage Therapist

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Posted on 7th June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

While learning to be a massage therapist, it is important to go step by step.  We will be reviewing the basics of massage therapy in the weeks to come.  Allied Health degrees in massage therapy can be very rewarding, and that is why I have decided to focus on it up and coming.  Before you start any massage lets just think logically about the process and beginning stages, because it will set the whole tone for the massage.  In order for a massage to have the maximum benefit, it is important that it is give in a comfortable environment.  During the massage, your partner or friend should feel nourished and cared for.  Choose a warm, peaceful room with dim lights, where neither of you will be disturbed.  Have plenty of towels available to cover him or her so that only the area you are massaging is exposed.  It is hard to relax if you feel cold, or overly exposed.  In winter, it can be helpful to have a small electrical pad or hot water bottle handy to place under the back when you aren’t massaging it.  In a massage it is the most important to feel relaxed and comfortable for the patient/client, but it is also just as important that you, as the expert, be comfortable as well.  As humans we communicate in all different ways and it can be obvious, through touch, when a person is tense or unavailable.  With practice you will learn work without tensing your own muscles.  Massage should be as relaxing to give as it is to receive.

Pharmacy Technician

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Posted on 3rd June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

pharmacology is the science of drugs and includes the study of their origin, ingredients, uses, and actions on the body.  A drug is a substance that alters the body’s functions when taken into the body.  Medications are drugs used in medicine to prevent or treat disease or medical conditions.  In medicine the words drug and medication are often used interchangeably.  This chapter describes the basics of medication information, action, and administration.  Specific medications and their indications, contradictions, routes, doses and side effects are discussed when studying to be a pharmacy technician, along with the conditions for which the medications are used.  It is important that a pharmacy technician explains to patients about how much, when, and the method that each medication be administered.  Just as medications can save a person’s life, they can kill someone who took their medication incorrectly as well.  If the wrong medication is administered, the wrong dose of the right medication or the right medication at the wrong time, this can be a life threatening action.  When working in any allied health field, medications are a part of the job, so take care when it comes into play with any patient.  There are many types of medications and sometimes medications can even interact negatively with other medications.  Not only is it important to administer medication correctly, but it is also very important to make sure that any other medications that a patient is on, will not be a problem.  Pharmacy technicians learn all about precautions, and remedies dealing with the field of medicine.  This is a promising allied health field.

LPN and LVN: Clinical Pathways

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Posted on 1st June 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

Clinical pathways are set plans for the care of a patient with a specific medical diagnosis and as such, they are not easily individualized.  It is important to select a pathway that fits the most pertinent needs of the patient.  These pathways allow for expected variances but cannot possibly anticipate all combinations of factors.  On the positive side, clinical pathways support continuity of care and coordinate care across the the clinical disciplines by providing clinical guidelines for care.  They help reduce risks and contain costs.  Outcomes and documentation are usually improved significantly by use of pathways.  Pathways are designed to standardize care and to improve the quality of care and outcomes.  One of the most beneficial aspects of clinical pathways is that they include the whole team in planning and implementing care.  This includes the patient who is a major partner and player in the entire process.  You may have learned a specific technique for a procedure in school or learned that this technique replaces one commonly used for years.  When you observe a nurse, LPN or LVN doing a different or possibly an obsolete technique, don’t rush in with an attitude of “this is the way it should be done” or this is the way we did it in school”.  There are several acceptable ways of doing something, none of which poses a risk for the patient.  Your way is what you are comfortable with and someone else’s way may be very different.  If a patient asks, you should always explain there are several methods to accomplishing the same result sometimes.  When following clinical pathways, there is not a lot of flexibility to defer, however, there is room for method when practicing outside of pathways.