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The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
"Doctor ... Always Do the Right Thing"
So says "Da Mayor" in the iconic Spike Lee movie. As a fresh grad questioning in-network versus out-of-network, it struck me that some doctors have explicitly skirted the issue, while others have argued adamantly for the latter and "sticking it to the man."
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
CRREW Rallies for Ongoing Acupuncture Relief Effort in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made her way through the Philippine Islands, leaving in her wake at least 7,000 people dead, millions homeless and complete communities destroyed.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
The Art of Palpation
By Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB
I remember learning 20 years ago in massage school that therapists could specialize in working with athletes. Since I lived in Florida and spent most of my high school years playing whatever sport was in season, becoming a sports massage therapist was a no-brainer for me.
Additionally, I learned that working with people who were active was a lot of fun.It is a lot easier to discover where the body is most likely to develop aches and pains when you work with active people; however, you soon learn that applying Swedish massage strokes in the order you learned in school is not usually satisfying to most athletes. The great thing about being a massage therapist is that you get immediate "feedback" from your hands as to what tissue feels like; based on this feedback, you move from one massage stroke to another to get the greatest effect.
Years ago, I took a sports massage workshop with Jack Meagher. He had written a book, Sports Massage, in which he described the common sports massage techniques and the texture of healthy and injured muscle tissue. I read the book before attending the workshop, but it did not make much sense to me. Being in the workshop and watching Jack work made all the difference in the world. He would actually take your hand and position it so you could feel the texture of the tissue he was describing. All of the sudden, the light turned on for me! Sometimes I think one of the things missing in our profession is a universal vocabulary that describes the texture of tissue. We should be able to describe what healthy and unhealthy tissue feels like.
I usually describe healthy tissue as feeling smooth and consistent. Jack described unhealthy muscle tissue as muscle that felt like it had a piano string running through it. Sometimes, just a few strands of muscle fiber will remain in spasm giving the muscle a "piano-string" feeling. At other times, the whole muscle will become hypertonic and feel thick or ropelike. Some muscle tissues become inflamed, which causes them to feel spongy. Each of these muscle problems would require the application of a different sports massage technique to resolve the problem. The ability to palpate the texture of tissue is a skill a sports massage therapist must develop in order to achieve excellent results.
So, how do you get to the point where you can "feel" the texture of tissue? Having a highly skilled massage therapist as a teacher sure helps. Developing a skill usually takes a lot of practice, and it usually requires working on numerous people for experience in comparative assessment. Working slowly with your eyes closed while applying a specific technique on a specific muscle, also helps a therapist focus on what the tissue feels like. And asking for feedback from the athlete can help the therapist zero in on the specific texture of tissue. After practicing techniques this way for a while, I believe a sports massage therapist begins to "see" with the fingers.
A sports massage therapist that has developed very sensitive palpation literacy is often asked, "How do your hands know exactly where to go?" Most athletes sense this skill very quickly in a therapist, and this tells them that the therapist knows exactly what he or she is doing. Surely palpation literacy is not the only skill required for a sport massage therapist to provide effective treatment, but it is one I think should be high on the priority list. I hope this information has been helpful, and that you enjoy being a part of the massage therapy profession.
Click here for previous articles by Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB.
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