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Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
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.
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