resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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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