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.
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.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
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.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
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.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
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!
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Move Your Anatomy
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
As midsummer's day approaches each year, it marks the reappearance of one of my favorite micro-communities. For one week in June, Scandinavian dancers and musicians gather in the redwood forests just inland from the Mendocino, California coast.Teachers of regional dances and fiddle tunes are brought in from Sweden and Norway, and other teachers and participants arrive from across the United States. It is a community marked by the respect and encouragement given to each student struggling with the nuance of a dance or tune, and by the ways in which all contribute to the week. Part of what I contribute are my skills with muscle and tissue, which help keep a number of my fellow participants more comfortably dancing and fiddling. Given the motions of what we are about, my fingers may work deep into the muscles of the anterior torso, hip, and gluteals of those asking for my help.
I stress these bodily areas for their great importance to movement and posture,1 and because, as I've discovered via a number of e-mail discussions, many massage schools apparently give only summary attention to these areas. In my mind, this is a very serious omission for those hoping to more than momentarily ameliorate the tensions and pains of their clients. It is not enough to simply move our work over painfully tight areas, because the pain and tightness can be secondary to the shortness and adhesions of another area.7 Consequently, it is important to understand the basic patterns by which maintained tension leads ultimately to dysfunction, and to work to relieve these patterns.
Vladimir Janda grouped muscles into postural and phasic muscles.2 Postural muscles are oriented toward static support and tend to shorten when stressed; phasic muscles are oriented toward movement and tend to weaken when stressed. These two types of muscles are key in understanding two common patterns of muscle dysfunction: upper-crossed syndrome and lower-crossed syndrome.2,3 In upper-crossed syndrome, the pectorals, upper trapezius, and levator scapula (postural muscles) become short, while the deep neck flexors, rhomboids, and serratus anterior (phasic muscles) become weak. In lower-crossed syndrome, the iliopsoas and erector spinae become short, while the abdominals and gluteals become weak. In both syndromes, weak muscles can be strenthened by exercise only after the shortened muscles have been released. While forward-pulled shoulders may result in weak, lengthened and taut rhomboids, habitual anterior flexion can compress the ribs and cause weak and short abdominals. Thus, relieving back pain may require releasing and lengthening the entire anterior torso, as well as releasing shortened posterior muscles.
Dance kinesiologist Sally Sevey Fitt notes the extent to which our cultural habits affect our muscles and body.4
Bodyworker Erik Dalton similarly calls us a "society of flexion addicts."3 Fitt further discusses the symptoms resulting from tightness of the anterior torso muscles pectoralis minor and serratus anterior.4
From the perspective of his concept of "anatomy trains," Tom Myers discusses the clinical implications of the superficial front line. He notes the effects of a maintained "startle reflex" pattern of shortening of the anterior line along with cervical extension.6
It is tempting to see these considerations as applying only to clinical massage. Yet, apart from sudden injuries, the tensions held from day to day presage the eventual pain-producing dysfunctions. When the tensions are coaxed out in a timely way, via gentle stroke and jostling, the need for remedial work can often be avoided. Working the right areas means making the mental jump from static anatomy on pages of books to the moving anatomy of the actual human body. It is a leap we must take to be effective in the long run.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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