resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
Symbol and Form
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Along the road to discovering how people learn to draw well, Betty Edwards began to realize that the problem was not primarily one of kinesthetic skill, but of seeing and perception. Students who learned to draw did so suddenly, not incrementally. One week, their drawings were stereotypic symbolic images, and the next week they were drawing proficiently. Then she found a new clue.
What Edwards concluded was that the brain hemisphere responsible for verbal-linguistic ability couldn't draw except in stereotypic symbols and that the hemisphere responsible for seeing in the way necessary for drawing was nonverbal. I am reminded of Edward's observation whenever I am demonstrating massage and attempting to describe my methods or am Scandinavian dancing and trying to converse. Kinesthetic/perceptual skills and verbal/linguistic skills simply come from different places. Doing both requires a lot of switching back and forth.
What has intrigued me further, however, are the differences Edwards noted between the detailed perceptions of shape and form needed for drawing and the simple symbolic caricatures offered up by the verbal-linguistic mind. There are other ways in which fixating on the symbol rather than switching our minds into the depths of the form can deceive us.
We often think of posture as if it had some independent existence. Yet, if we delve below the symbol, our posture is merely the relative positioning of parts of our body in the downward pulling field of gravity. If we simply lean forward slightly while standing, we can feel the posterior line of the muscles of our calves, hamstrings, and glutei tighten to keep us from falling forward. At the same time, our knees might lock in hyperextension while the intrinsic muscles of our toes contract to grip the ground.1 If we were to hold this posture habitually, the muscles of our posterior line and plantar foot would be working continually. At the same time, the mobility of our knees and ankles and their ability to absorb shock would be reduced. Over time, anterior line tissues would become shortened and weak, locking our bodies in this effort-filled position. From just this small example, we see how many clues to lengthening and releasing specific tissues we receive in going from the symbolic idea of posture to the specific dislocations that have occurred. Sometimes we talk about injuries to soft tissues as if they came in standard packages at the store. Yet again, in working with minor injuries we need to examine the specifics. What type of tissue was injured: muscle, tendon or ligament? What has been the effect of this injury in limiting tissue strength and restricting motion? Do we best create a change by applying compression, a lengthening stretch, or a broadening stroke across the tissue? All are useful but quite different techniques.5 How do we best position our client to facilitate access while keeping our own body mechanics effortless and efficient? Do we want our client to move a joint to enhance either tissue lengthening or broadening? Again, moving our focus from symbol to detail provides the clues.
It's easy to get stuck in the terminology we learn and miss the nuances of its application. In working with the shoulder and hip we learn words for position like flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, medial rotation, and lateral rotation. As we get into the specifics of assessing dysfunctions, however, we begin to realize that position isn't everything; that motion also is present.3 What can be confusing is that the words for position and motion are the same. We can have a motion of flexion in a position of flexion and a motion of flexion in a position of extension. We can also have a motion of extension in a position of extension or a motion of extension in a position of flexion. Similar combinations exist for abduction-adduction and medial rotation-lateral rotation. Again, it's in going beyond the terminology into the specific tracking of both position and motion that we begin to understand working with the shoulders and hips.
Beyond just shaping the work we do with our hands and hearts, the differences between symbol and form can shape our very perceptions of ourselves and of each other. People speak of having "high standards" for entry into practicing massage when what they mean is simply high requirements. In contrast, the Boston Marathon has clear entry standards based on a prior performance in another marathon. For the 18-34 age group, the required finishing times are: men - 3 hours 10 minutes; women - 3 hours 40 minutes. The conditions are measurable and unambiguous. They don't specify how many hours you have spent training, but they do specify what the result of that training must be. It is meaningless to talk about "high standards" apart from a specific context and a well-defined measure of attainment. Betty Edwards was right. The differences between symbol and form lie deep within the perceptions of our minds, and make all the difference in the world in how we draw our conclusions.
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.