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Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
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.
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.
December, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 12
Medical Massage for Jaw and Joint Disorders
By Boris Prilutsky, MA
"Stay in Touch With..." is a periodic column designed to provide an overview of a particular technique or modality. If you would like to contribute to this column, please e-mail .
As a result of a tremendous exposure to stress, the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders has reached pandemic proportions.TMJ sufferers experience high-intensity headaches, difficulty with chewing, painful joint clicking and popping, and other symptoms. With the progression of the pathology, individuals may even develop sleep disorders.
TMJ Anatomy: The TMJ is formed by the temporal and mandibular bones. Attached to the mandibular condyle is a fibrocartilage meniscus or articular disk, which allows the mandible to move smoothly. The masticatory muscles (temporalis, masseter, lateral pterygoid, and medial pterygoid) are responsible for movement and stabilization of the TMJ.
Bruxism: Due to stress, people often develop bruxism. Bruxism is a pathological clenching and grinding of teeth that usually occurs during sleep. Bruxism is caused by the hyperactive contraction of the masticatory muscles. Imagine any other muscles in our support and movement system kept under tight contraction for seven hours. Pathological hypertonus in these muscles will be formed, followed by restriction of range of motion, trigger point development, and other symptoms. With time, hypertonic condition in the masticatory muscles leads to the development of osteoarthritis in the TMJ, including negative effects on the articular meniscus. In such a case, the above-mentioned TMJ pathology starts producing severe headaches and painful "clicks."
Massage therapy and Post-Isometric Relaxation Techniques for TMJ Disorders: Massage therapy should be focused toward the reduction of tension in the masticatory muscles, releasing tension in fascia, and elimination of trigger points. Post-isometric relaxation is an extremely important tool for the restoration of the range of motion. Massage therapy steps for TMJ:
Mechanisms of Trigger-Point Therapy: A trigger point is a localization of pain. It can be found in muscles, periosteum, tendon attachment points to bone, as well as near muscle-tendon junctions. Even given the fact that most typical trigger points are developed in the middle of the muscle belly, at the place of nerve-muscle junction, I recommend two ways for discovery of trigger points: First, ask the patient to point to the exact localization of pain (trigger point); second, at the time of performing kneading and myofascial tissue release, ask your client to let you know if they feel a sharper level of pain under your fingers, which will be the trigger point.
The main mechanism of trigger point therapy is ischemic compression. Automatically, we can assume that in the area of the trigger point, arterial blood supply is significantly decreased. By gradually compressing the trigger point and reaching the threshold of pain, we additionally decrease this blood supply to the point. After 10 seconds of this ischemic compression, we ask our client to report their ability to tolerate additional compression (please do not overdo this pressure; stop at a pressure that your client indicates is sufficient, and do not increase it.
Do not increase the pressure if muscles demonstrate protective contraction to the pain sensation.) After 20 additional seconds of compression, quickly withdraw your fingers. While performing ischemic compression of trigger points, arterial blood will accumulate around the compressed point. With the fast withdrawal, arterial blood will rush to the area of the trigger point, and a vasodilation reflex will be awakened.
Mechanism of Post-Isometric Relaxation: One of the factors responsible for the restriction of range of motion is an energetic unbalance inside of the muscles, which is expressed in the form of different tension levels in the fibers of the same muscle. Imagine that in the same muscle, a portion of the fibers is in pathological hypertonus and the rest is in normal tonus. Every movement will increasingly overload the contracted part of the fibers.
This, of course, will cause a higher level of pathological accumulation of tension. At the time of isometric contraction, the fibers of the muscle are actively stretched, which leads to a balancing of the tonus between different fibers in the muscle. After 30 seconds of isometric tension following post-isometric relaxation (stretching), Golgi organs are activated, which in turn will contribute to normal tonus in muscles. In such a case, the muscle will be able to produce adequate energy during contraction and relaxation. The above-mentioned positive changes in muscular tissue will help to restore normal range of motion.
Full-Body Stress-Management Massage: As mentioned before, stress is the main cause of the development of bruxism and TMJ disorders; therefore, it is very important to those who suffer from TMJ disorders (in addition to the protocol which I offer you in this article) to receive full-body stress-management massage. From my experience, the phenomenon of bruxism can be reduced within five full-body stress-management massage treatments given on a weekly basis. Elimination of bruxism is an extremely important factor that will allow the masticatory muscles to be restored to normal metabolism and prevent re-accumulation of tension in the muscles.
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