resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
I'll Have a Mu-Shu Combo
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
Does the above title remind you of a Chinese restaurant's lunch special, or the powerful mu-shu Asian bodywork technique? Maybe both, but in this month's article, I'll concentrate on the latter (egg roll and soup not included!).
Last column, I discussed the back shu points; in particular, the connection of the outer shu point with the five souls. (Editor's note: See "The Soul of Your Shus" in the July 2001 MT, available on line at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2001/07/13.html.) A way of making your treatment more potent using the shu points is to combine them with the front mu points. The combination of mu points with shu points enhances therapeutic results, providing a particularly strong treatment.
The mu points, called bo points in Japanese, are translated as collecting or alarm points, respectively. The name describes their function, in that qi tends to "collect" in the area of the points. They are located mostly on the chest and abdomen.
The mu points tend to be used more for treatment of acute conditions, but when combined with the shu points, they also can address chronic problems. The mu points can be used for assessment, in that if they appear tender spontaneously or with palpation, it is an indication that there is a problem in their associated Organ's orb of influence. I regularly check the mu points when I am working with someone, sometimes getting an, "Ow, what is that!" from my client. I then explain that particular mu points correlate physically and mentally, to which my client usually responds, "Well, that makes sense." Try it -- your client will think you have mystical powers!
Sometimes the mu points are sore without even touching them, indicating that treatment is necessary. For example, it is not at all surprising for a particularly irritable client to report pain on the rib cage, directly below the breast. The mu that is located there corresponds with the Liver (relating to anger), which becomes somaticized in that area.
To learn how to locate these points, reference the chart of the shu points from my last article in MT and use it together with the mu point diagram below. (Consider buying a copy of the Acu-Coloring Book as a learning tool and reference.) Get someone to plop down on your table or mat, clothes-on preferred.
Sit at the client's right side and put your left index and third fingers on the Lung shu, lateral to T-3, and your right index or third finger on the Lung mu, Lu1, about one inch below the acromio-clavicular joint. This combination can tonify the Lungs as well as eliminate external pathogenic factors, such as Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat. On an emotional level, this combination can be very powerful for helping to "let go."
Move down one vertebra with your left hand to T-4, the Pericardium shu, and move your right hand to the Pericardium mu, Ren17, on the sternum between the nipples. This combination is used to tonify and/or move qi in the chest. It is also indicated for use when there are warmth or intimacy issues in relationships.
Go down to the Heart shu, lateral to T-5, and move your hand straight down to the Heart mu, Ren14, ¼th of the way between the xiphoid process and the navel. Use this combination for any issues relating to the Heart, such as insomnia. If a person is anxious, this will help soothe the mind and spirit.
Skip 3 vertebrae to get to the Liver shu beside T-9, and combine it with the Liver mu at the 6th intercostal space, Lv14, directly below the nipple line. Here we are with that irritable client again! Be aware that this combination can initially make the client angrier. You may find it helpful in moving Liver qi, resolving stagnation, particularly when the Wood/Liver is overacting on the Earth/Stomach, causing morning sickness, belching and/or a sour taste in the mouth.
You'll find the Gall Bladder shu beside T-10 and it's corresponding mu, one intercostal space below the Liver mu at GB24. This combination has a similar action as the Liver one because of the Liver/ Gall Bladder's close relationship.
Move your left hand down to the Spleen shu, next to T-11 and then your right hand to its mu at the tip of the 11th rib, Lv13. This is an excellent combination to tonify the Spleen, and it can also help harmonize the Liver and Spleen.
The Stomach shu is beside T-12 and its mu is on the midline, halfway between the xiphoid process and the navel. This is my absolutely favorite combination to tonify Stomach qi and/or yin. It is also excellent for resolving Dampness, as it tonifies the Spleen, supporting its function of transportation and transportation of Fluids. Keep this in mind when you see signs of Dampness, such as heaviness in the limbs or a cloying headache with a heavy, muzzy feeling.
Go down to the Triple Heater shu beside L-1, and combine it with the TH mu about an inch below the navel, Ren 5. You'll find that this combo treats any Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner condition, such as edema in the legs and urinary problems.
Continue to the Kidney shu beside L-2. I find that when I hold the Kidney mu-shu combo, I have to switch my hands so that my left index and third finger are on the tip of the 12th rib, GB25, and the right heel of my hand and fingers press the Kidney shu points bilaterally beside L-2. Do whatever is comfortable for you. The emotion connected with the Kidneys is fear, so you may find there are some of these issues surrounding this area. You'll find that these points will help stimulate the spirit of initiative, resolving fear that may be holding your client back.
Skip a vertebra to get to the Large Intestine shu, which you can hold bilaterally in a similar way you did with the Kidneys. Hold the Large Intestine shu with the LI mu points, grasping them with your thumb and index finger beside the navel at St25. Not only will this mu-shu combo promote the function of the Large Intestine, it will also encourage the client to let go of the "waste" in his or her life!
Move your hand down beside S-1 to the Small Intestine shu and hold it with the SI mu, Ren4, 3/5ths of the way down from the navel. Even though I use Ren4 a lot more for tonifying yin, Blood and yang, when used in conjunction with the Small Intestine shu, it also helps support the SI function of separating "the pure from the impure." So if you have someone who is trying to "sort stuff out," this may be a good place to start.
The last shu is at S-2 and corresponds with the Bladder. Combine it with the Bl mu at Ren3, directly below Ren 4. I find this extremely useful in clients with Damp Heat in the Bladder, showing symptoms such as pain and difficulty on urination and an interrupted flow of urine.
I think you will find that even just locating these mu-shu combos, holding each set for a couple of minutes, you will have a relaxing, centering and balancing effect. There is no reason why you can't use this technique in any type of massage or bodywork treatment. Once you really grasp how to use them on a deep level, you have the extraordinary power of qi at your fingertips.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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