resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
Miles, Myths and Musings
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Last Sunday was one of those idyllic summer days on which the inland temperatures were moderated by a gentle inflow over the hills from the San Francisco Bay. I found myself sitting with friends at a table outside of a coffeehouse in the early afternoon, pouring over maps and charts spread out before us. What had brought us together was the common purpose of running a 199-mile relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz.
The preamble to this meeting for me has been a spring and summer reckoned by a week-to-week increase in my running. It has meant a return to some familiar places and routes, after several years of letting my distances dwindle amid the pulls of professional and parental responsibilities. In an interesting synchronicity, I had started increasing my running about six weeks before I was asked to join the relay team. It was a reminder for me that, when we set ourselves to a goal, things often occur around us to aid and further motivate us. As I've spent time running up ridges and over hills, I've had opportunities to muse on the physiology and psychology of training.
Challenging Our Lactate Threshold
There is a persistent myth that massage relieves muscle soreness by flushing out lactic acid. In truth, lactic acid, which dissociates in solution into lactate and hydrogen ions, is only present in excess during and immediately following high-intensity exercise. It is metabolized within 30-60 minutes after such exercise ceases. Moreover, lactate is not a toxic end-product; it is an efficient energy-storage and transportation medium.
As we increase the pace of exercise, our bodies produce pyruvate, the end product of glycolysis, faster than it can be processed. To keep us moving, our bodies perform a metabolic "trick" of sorts, shuttling the pyruvate to lactate. The lactate formed from pyruvate can slip quickly and quietly out of cells and into surrounding tissues and blood, where it can be picked up and used as an energy source by less active muscles . As long as our exercise intensity is only producing lactate within our body's ability to process it, blood lactate limits will only rise slightly, then stabilize. If we exceed this level of exercise intensity, the lactate levels in our blood will increase dramatically - we have passed through our lactate threshold (LT). The good news is that by designing our training to regularly challenge our LT for short intervals, our LT will increase. In running, LT is one of the best predictors of race performance.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Soreness occurring 24-72 hours after exercise is termed Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). The exact mechanisms involved in DOMS are uncertain, but researchers believe they involve micro-trauma to individual muscle fibers resulting in calcium ion leakage and a cycle of inflammation response. Most DOMS is experienced following suddenly increased workouts, particularly those resulting in eccentric contractions - muscles being lengthened while resisting against the lengthening, as in walking down stairs or running downhill. Increasing eccentric exercise gradually conditions our muscles and avoids the soreness.
Musings on Exercise and Massage
Eliminating lactic acid removal as the focus of post-exercise massage, we are left with a therapy that sports experience shows to be effective, yet lacks a clear mechanism for such effectiveness. Research indicates that the simple post-exercise administration of effleurage does not result in a increase in local blood flow or in accelerated recovery. Other research indicates that massage, combined with an active cool-down, increases the rate of recovery during short breaks between maximal efforts.
One difficulty in interpreting such results comes from the early 20th century tendency to view the body as a simple machine. We mistakenly look for massage to have direct mechanical effects. What seems more likely is that massage acts as a new input to a system with a memory. In my observation, fatigued muscles tend to remain hypertonic and shortened. When we cajole specific muscles to relax and lengthen via mechanical and neurological input, we reduce their metabolic activity and the compression they exert on surrounding tissue. In my opinion, it is not the direct action of massage, but the action of massage to create a new homeostasis, that allows the natural process of recovery to occur more efficiently.
When I run intensely, I notice results beyond the obvious. Running involves not just my legs, but the core muscles of my trunk, the stabilizers of my hips and ankles, and the coordinated movement of my arms. It requires training my determination and mental focus to challenge my muscles and breath when going up hills, and the speed and efficiency of my neuromuscular motion patterns when going down hills. At times, the fatigue and soreness bring an increased sense of vulnerability and the need for nurturing human contact - another role that massage can fill for athletes.
As I finish writing this article, I'm preparing for a backpack trip into the eastern escarpment of the Sierras -- a journey with a loaded pack along a creek, from the sagebrush-covered hillsides of the trailhead, through the miles and several thousand feet of climbing, to a high alpine lake nestled at the foot of an even higher pass. It strikes me as the perfect preamble for a massage.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.