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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02
You Know It Like the Back of Your Hand
By Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB
While it is unfortunate that many of you may not have access to human cadavera, the amount of anatomy that may be learned and reviewed on one's own body parts is quite amazing! We often go to the books (two dimensional) first, even when we have a 3-D anatomy right in front of us.It seems to me that when we do not take advantage of reviewing anatomy on ourselves or on another living person, we are truly missing out on a wonderful opportunity.
There is a level of disconnect in going from cadaveric anatomy in the lab to that warm, pliable tissue we feel on our clients. This disconnect goes away when we study living anatomy. It also makes our hands better educated when exploring bodies. And better-educated hands make for more accurate assessments.
Let's try a simple exercise. I am sitting in a jet somewhere over New York, headed to Chicago, then to Miami. I place my left hand on my left knee, palm down. I observe that the hair pattern changes from dense to sparse as I look distally. The transverse creases on each digit indicate the underlying MCP, PIP and DIP joints. These abbreviations refer to rather cumbersome names: metacarpophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints, respectively. A nail covers each digit distally. I see the dorsal carpal venous rete and the origins of the basilic and cephalic veins medially and laterally, respectively. If I extend each digit, I clearly see its extensor tendon move just beneath the skin. I also observe that when I extend any of my fingers, its tendon and an adjacent tendon move.
All this lets me know that I have connecting tendons between the extensor tendons of digits two through five. The pattern of these intertendons varies widely from person to person. I can palpate these tendons. If I palpate carefully, I find that digits two and five each have a pair of tendons. One is from the common digital extensor (extensor communis); the other is from a muscle named for that digit. These are the extensor digit minimi and extensor indicis. I do not have the additional tendons to digits three and four, as some people do. These tendons are from the muscle extensores digiti tertii et quarti. I also note that all of these tendons "disappear" proximally under the extensor retinaculum.
If I abduct a finger against resistance, I can readily palpate a dorsal interosseous. I also know that the four dorsal interossei attach only to digits two, three and four. The third digit has two dorsal interossei, as its midline is the reference for finger movements. If I abduct the thumb and little finger against resistance, I can palpate their abductors one for digit five and two for digit one. When I hyperextend my thumb against resistance, a prominent depression appears proximally to the thumb's base. This is the anatomical snuffbox, bounded by the tendons of the short and long extensors of the thumb and the long abductor. Exploring the distal attachments of these, I can readily palpate more than one tendon associated with two of these muscles.
This is a very common phenomenon, even though it is not mentioned in many standard textbooks. I know of no significant functional consequence, other than perhaps driving a few of my medical students to some level of madness. I can readily palpate the pulse of a branch of the radila artery in the floor of the snuffbox. If I press harder and discover point tenderness, it may be indicative of a scaphoid fracture. This is arelatively common injury caused by falling backward onto a hyperextended wrist.
I can readily palpate all of my phalanges and metacarpals. I can also distinguish the major landmarks on each. If I carefully examine the range of motion of each of the joints in each digit, I note several things. In digits two through five, the range of motion is generous about one axis, but extremely limited about the other two axes. When examining the metacar-pophalgeal joint of the thumb, I notice it has generous motion about two axes and very limited motion about the third. I also discover that the ranges of motion differ if I utilize passive rather than active movements.
So, while sitting here on the plane, I have reviewed most of the salient anatomy of the dorsum of my hand. I have considered what is normal (i.e., usual) and compared my hand anatomy to "textbook" hand anatomy. In this way, I am reminded of the great wealth of variety in the human anatomy. This variation is an easily overlooked feature, yet it is so very important to understanding human form and function. As clinicians, we should strive to learn as much as we about this variation.
Some aspects of our anatomy indicate something especially unique to the individual being examined. Unique to the back of my hand are two scars. One is about two centimeters long, lying transversely at the base of the thumb. This resulted from the errant path of a knife while I was filleting a fish a few years back. The second is a very faint, perfectly rectangular scar overlying the midline of my extensor retinaculum. This was created by a burn from a popcorn popper at a Cub Scout meeting in 1958. I hadn't thought about that in decades.
So as you can see, the human hand is a marvelous instrument far more interesting than peering out the window at the top of the clouds.
Click here for previous articles by Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB.
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