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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
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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