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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
The Tuina Treatment of Tennis Elbow
By Bob Flaws, LAc, FNAAOM (USA), FRCHM (UK)
In 1982, I was studying acupuncture at the Shanghai College of Chinese Medicine and working as an intern in the acupuncture department at the Long Hua Chinese Medical Hospital. Sometimes, during the heat of the summer, there were not that many patients to see in the acupuncture ward, so I would wander through the hospital to see what else I might learn.As a graduate of what was then the Boulder School of Massage Therapy (BSMT), I had practiced massage for several years prior to studying acupuncture. Thus, I was immediately fascinated by what I saw when I discovered the tuina, or Chinese medical massage, ward.
The movements I witnessed were unlike anything I had learned at BSMT. I was especially enamored with the idea of specific protocols lasting 15-30 minutes for the remedial treatment of specific conditions. Therefore, I arranged to study tuina the following year and to work as a tuina intern at the Yue Yang Chinese Medical Hospital, also in Shanghai. Eighteen years later, I am still as enthusiastic about tuina as I was then.
Below is the tuina protocol I learned for the treatment of tennis elbow. It is based on the rolling school (guan fa pai) of tuina popular in Shanghai founded by my personal teacher, Ding Ji-feng.1 Dr. Ding had been practicing this method for over 50 years when he taught it to me.
Western Medicine and Tennis Elbow
Lateral epicondylitis, also called tenosynovitis (and more colloquially, tennis elbow), consists of inflammation of the tendons attached to the lateral side of the elbow at the epicondyle of the humerus. Patients with tennis elbow experience pain in the lateral aspect of the elbow, which may radiate into the forearm, and occasionally into the hand. The pain occurs with grasping activities and may be accompanied by a sense of weakness. An achy discomfort may also be present at rest or at night after activity. This inflammation may be caused by a sudden violent injury, repetitive strain or microtrauma. Tennis elbow occurs equally in men and women and is most commonly seen in patients between the ages of 35-50. Tennis elbow is found not only in tennis players, but in baseball players; swimmers; carpenters; plumbers; meat cutters; musicians; or anyone who repeats an arm motion over and over.
The Western medical diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis mainly consists of physical examination of the affected area eliciting abnormal tenderness to palpation over the lateral epicondyle. X-rays may show calcium deposits on the lateral epicondyle but are not typically required to make this diagnosis. Bone spurs only occur in 20% of tennis elbow patients. The Western medical treatment of tennis elbow mainly consists of rest, anti-inflammatory medication and the application of ice. This is supplemented by stretching and strengthening exercises; straps; wrist braces; and cortisone shots. Surgery is indicated in approximately 5% of cases when all of the above measures have failed over a course of several months and pain continues to prevent activity. The success of tennis elbow surgery is generally 85-95% excellent relief of pain.2 However, patients typically require 3-6 weeks of recuperation before returning to work, and several months before returning to sports or heavy use of the arm.
Chinese Medicine and Tennis Elbow
Chinese disease categorization: Tennis elbow is called zhou lao (elbow taxation); zhou tong (elbow pain); and shang jin (damaged sinews) in Chinese medicine.
Chinese disease causes: Taxation detriment with possible contraction of wind cold evils.
Chinese disease mechanisms: Overwork taxation causes detriment and damage to the sinews and vessels of the elbow. On the one hand, there is insufficient blood to nourish the sinews; on the other hand, there is blood stasis obstructing the free flow of the vessels. This may be complicated by external contraction of wind cold evils due to defensive qi vacuity.
Treatment principles: Soothe the sinews and free the flow of the network vessels; quicken the blood and transform stasis; regulate the qi in the channels and vessels.
Other adjunctive measures may include the use of moxibustion locally on the elbow (either indirect, roll moxa or direct, non-scarring, "grain of rice" or thread moxa), or warming with a TDP heat lamp.3 Internal administration of Chinese medicinals based on the patient's individual pattern discrimination is also quite helpful.4
To get a satisfactory result with tennis elbow, the patient needs to refrain from all activities, be they work or play, that aggravate the condition. Until or unless the patient is willing to allow the inflammation of their lateral epicondyle to heal, no amount of tuina or Chinese medicinals is going to get a satisfactory effect. If the cause of this inflammation is work-related, the patient should be advised to modify their equipment or work habits. This may mean using a lighter hammer or tennis racket or seeking professional advice from an ergonomic specialist or kinesiologist.
While ice is indicated within Chinese medicine for recent traumatic injuries and acute inflammations with redness, swelling and palpable heat, it is usually contraindicated for tennis elbow. Even though Western medicine defines lateral epicondylitis as a species of inflammation, it does not usually present heat signs and symptoms according to Chinese pattern discrimination. In fact, given the common age range of patients with tennis elbow and its Chinese name, elbow taxation, this condition is usually a vacuity condition complicated by cold and/or blood stasis, all of which may be worsened by the application of cold. This is why the external application of warmth is usually so important for the treatment of this condition.
In my experience, both in China and the U.S., tuina is definitely an effective therapy for the remedial treatment of tennis elbow.
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