resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
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.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
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.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
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.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
November, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 11
Exploring with Science
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
As a scientist, I am often bemused by the apparently prevalent assumption in massage therapy that the role of science is as a sort of gatekeeper of proven methods.It's an outlook that I believe is derived more from a limited view of science as a promoter of mechanical technology than from the spirit of inquiry that beckons most research scientists. I have long recalled an article I read years ago on why people enter the pursuit of science. The title was "Whoa, look at that!" That simple title captures the spirit of curiosity and delight at nosing into the unexpected and unknown, better than anything else that I have since encountered. It's in that spirit that I'm writing today.
We do well to remember the gap that can exist between observation and understanding. Herbs containing salicylic acid had been used for centuries to relieve pain and fever before aspirin was purified in 1897. It wasn't until 1971 that Sir John Vane demonstrated that inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) by aspirin was responsible for its effects, sharing the 1982 Nobel Prize in medicine for that discovery. Only recently, a research group led by biochemist Daniel Simmons of Brigham Young University discovered a new variant of the COX enzyme that might explain the previously unknown action of acetaminophen.13 For massage and simple touch, I believe that many of the effects will be even slower and more difficult to elucidate, simply because they extend beyond the mechanical into simultaneous emotional, neurological, and neurochemical interactions. As with the complex connections involved with climate, better understanding of the whole picture may wait on our ability to use computers to simulate the entire system at work. Increasingly, such simulations are becoming a third branch of science - bridging experiment and analytical theory - because they make it possible to investigate regimes that are beyond current experimental capabilities, and to study phenomena that cannot be replicated in laboratories.
Within the last several decades, there have been several medical research developments that create a basis for some intriguing speculations on the effects of touch. In 1975, Dr. Robert Ader coined the term psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), beginning a new discipline of research linking the mind to the immune system.2,12 A recent small sample study with cellular analysis is consistent with massage having a positive effect on immune function.8 I tend to couple the research on PNI with the research and clinical experience of ideokinesis pursued by Eric Franklin and his predecessors.6 This material connects our mental imagery with creation and activation of our low-level neuromuscular patterns. In juxtaposition, PNI and ideokinesis substantially motivate respecting simple touch and relaxation massage as profound and deep reaching interventions toward managing stress and promoting health.
In a comparison of the co-location of acupuncture points and trigger points, Ronald Melzack and his colleagues found a remarkably high degree (71%) of correspondence.9 They concluded that "this close correlation suggests that trigger points and acupuncture points for pain, though discovered independently and labeled differently, represent the same phenomenon and can be explained in terms of the same underlying neural mechanisms." Based on further research into phantom limb pain, Melzack's group later proposed that we have an inherent neuromatrix, essentially forming an analog body within us.7,10 This neuromatrix acts to integrate our myriad sensory input into a coherent perception of a body. It also has a memory of its current state, helping to explain hypersensitivity towards experiencing benign sensations as painful. As a bit of blue-sky thought, I speculate that this research provides a basis for a western understanding of the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine. In this picture, the meridians don't lie within our physical bodies, but are a kind of circuit diagram of sensory relationships in how we form a cohesive sense of body from an overwhelming input of sensory information. There is no inherent conflict with an acupuncture point having non-local effects, because the important proximity is in neurological processing rather than physical space. There are some remarkable analogies to patterns of communication between individual processors in modern massively parallel computers. I find the possibilities intriguing.
When it comes to statements made about "energy work", I am rather an agnostic. Yet, nevertheless, I have experienced profound effects from such work and cannot discount the genre off hand. At this point, I see no basis for proposing fields of energy beyond the electrical and magnetic, so I return to consideration of these fields as recently reviewed by James Oschman.11
While what Oschman covers indicates that we all project fields around us, it doesn't support a conclusion that we are designed to emit beams of energy. Simply speculating on the maximum gain for the least energy required, suggests to me that something must occur in energy work akin to the improvements of tuning a piano.
Those talented in such work may simply possess perceptive skills akin to perfect pitch.1 Some recent studies with savants indicate that we all have neurological and mental capabilities beyond those to which we normally have conscious access.5 Some simply gain access by having the cloaking superficial layers of consciousness peeled back. These extra perceptional abilities include, for example, the ability to find the "sweet spot" in a room at which the sound from multiple speakers arrives simultaneously.5 There is every indication from such studies and from experience with biofeedback, that we are well-designed to detect and correct differences in "tuning" and coherence if we can perceive them. There is an additional observation that those with perfect pitch have a higher incidence of synesthesia, a mixing of senses. When hearing a sound, some, also perceive it as a color.1 This is suggestive that subtle sensations from bioenergetic fields could map for some into the visual, auditory, or tactile senses, giving person to person field interactions a rational basis. I think it likely that much that is taught about the techniques of energy work is simply a metaphorical roadmap to help train perception and focus the mind appropriately to enable subtle manipulations of bioenergetic fields.
While we must be careful not to interpret the perceptions stemming from cross-sensory mapping too literally, we should be equally careful in not dismissing them. Our neurological capabilities are turning out to be a lot more interesting than once thought, as science explores into the windows facing towards our inner selves. Whether we see two faces or a chalice can simply depend on our perceptions of foreground and background.
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.