Palpation for Assessment


The Magic of Touch

In Medical Massage, we use the gift of touch to bring healing to our patients, but touch is also a tool we use to discover what might be going wrong inside the body.  During an assessment, we ask the patient to describe the problems they experience and demonstrate activities that cause pain.  We may ask the patient to make a variety of seemingly unrelated movements to check their range of motion in various areas.

Using these assessment tools helps to localize the area of concern, but to find the source of the problem, we will often use palpation.  To the untrained eye it might seem palpation is just poking and prodding the skin.  The areas palpated may seem to have no obvious connection to the area of pain.  The patient may have complained of a tender ankle, but the medical massage practitioner kneads an area around their hipbone.

Assessment by Palpation

Palpation is a highly technical skill requiring significant knowledge of anatomy, but knowledge of anatomy is only the beginning.  A Medical Massage Practitioner goes through significant training to understand subtle differences in tissue, muscles and organs.  Once the therapist has gone through this training, then they must learn what these difference indicate and how they can be treated, but they are still not through.  It takes a lot of practice to effectively utilize the technique of palpation and apply the proper therapy.

Medical Massage Dwight Tinney has not only received all the training necessary to qualify for certification in the practice of massage assessment and therapy, but he also has extensive experience in effectively using the palpation technique.  The success of his assessments and treatments is manifest in the large number of patients who have been relieved of their pain and restriction of movement through his ministrations, even when traditional medical practices have been unableable to identify the source of the complaints.  Some of the testimonies of theses successes can be found here.

Taking the Next Step

If you are someone who is suffering pain or restriction of movement and you are becoming frustrated with the inability of the medical world to identify the cause of of your affliction, you are not alone.  We treat many people who have given up on ever standing up straight again, going through a day without taking dangerous opiate drugs or without suffering from other situations related to the failure of traditional medical care.

You may have been to doctors that have run their hands over the part of your body that hurts or pressed on the area of your complaint, but medical doctors rarely have extensive training in palpation.  They rely most heavily on conditions that can be identified by using technology like x-rays, CT scans and MRI’s.  Conditions invisible to these technologies can be overlooked and ignored.  If this describes your situation, please call us at 903-456-5712.

We cannot guarantee that palpation will identify the source of your discomfort or restriction, but with the great majority of people who come to see us, palpation helps us correctly assess the situation and work towards relief.  



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