resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
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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