resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
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.