resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
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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