resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
The Amazing Fascial Web, Part I
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
Author's note: Research information summarized in this article has been drawn from content in the 2nd edition of my book, Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques: Volume 1[Churchill Livingstone, 2001], due for publication early in 2006.
I don't know about you, but "wow" moments seem to be on the increase for me.I guess we all have our own sense of what's exciting, important, "new." For me, it is when different strands of our knowledge-base collide as a result of new research or insightful observations; when connections are made between apparently different aspects of what we know and do, as we attempt to assist our patients/clients towards better health. My intention in this short communication is to share a few of the most recent of these synchronous pieces of information, in the hope that you might experience some of the excitement that research into the way the body functions appears capable of regularly delivering.
Helene Langevin, PhD, is a research scientist working at the University of Vermont. What she and her colleagues are doing is nothing short of revolutionary, and we owe gratitude to them for the new vistas that are opening as a result. Another researcher of importance in this story is Donald Ingber, PhD, whose work on bone-density problems in astronauts, on behalf of NASA, is part of a marriage between ancient Chinese concepts, modern molecular research, and the space program!
Let me start somewhere else, and to then try to bring the focus back to the work of Drs. Langevin and Ingber. Many years ago (early to mid 1960s) as a young-(ish) osteopath working in London, I completed my acupuncture training, and found myself experiencing a sense of deep frustration at my inability to integrate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) concepts with my understanding of anatomy and physiology, based on Western scientific tradition. The solution for me was to write a book on the subject (Acupuncture Treatment of Pain, Healing Arts Press, 1976).
I have often found that when a subject confuses me, or when I have partial knowledge of an area of my work, the best way of really getting to grips with the problem is to write a book about it - a process that virtually guarantees sufficient research and study to really understand it by the time the book is finished!
To be sure, the writing of the acupuncture book and of a number of "soft tissue manipulation" books did offer some enlightenment; however, there remained until recently a gray area of confusion surrounding just where fascia and myofascial trigger points fit into the acupuncture/TCM story.
Most people nowadays are aware that acupuncture points in TCM are thought of as being linked along invisible lines (meridians) that apparently connect anatomical areas and organs, and along which energy (chi) is thought to travel. Obstructions to this flow, leading to areas of congestion or deficiency, are seen as contributing to health problems, and that these can be relieved by appropriate needle application (or manual treatment of the points - as in shiatsu). Please forgive this simplistic outline of what is in fact a far more complex theoretical construction, but it may help in my attempt to eventually get to the "wow" moments from Vermont and outer space.
Apart from the hundreds of "official" acupuncture points, lying on these meridian maps/lines, another class of acupuncture point has always fascinated me. This is the so-called Ah shi point. These are areas that become spontaneously tender/painful in response to local problems (strain, draughts, etc). They (ah shi points) become "eligible" for treatment in acupuncture (needles or acupressure) when they are sensitive. Now anyone who knows very much about Simons, Travell & Simons' (1999) work on trigger points might be forgiven for thinking that these points sound like those points...if you see what I mean?
Since we already know that approximately 80 percent of the main trigger point sites lie on points located on the meridian maps (Wall & Melzack 1990), the conjunction of these two areas of study (TCM/acupuncture points and myofascial trigger points) should not come as a surprise. Indeed, many experts believe that trigger points and acupuncture points are the same phenomenon (Kawakita et. al. 2002). Whether this is so or not, it suggests that in trying to understand trigger points better, we need to pay attention to research that tries to explain the processes of acupuncture, and the structural aspects of these invisible points.
Dr. Langevin and her research colleagues have helped to clarify the situation, having shown that acupuncture points, and many of the effects of acupuncture, seem to relate to the fact that most of these localized "points" lie directly over areas where there is a fascial cleavage, where sheets of fascia diverge to separate, surround and support different muscle bundles (Langevin et. al. 2001).
It seems that the meridians may, in fact, be fascial pathways. This is not too surprising, since we know the fascial network represents one continuum from the internal cranial reciprocal tension membranes to the plantar fascia of the feet. Now we know that acupuncture points (and it seems the majority of trigger points) are structurally situated in connective tissue, but how does application of a needle or pressure in one part of the fascia translate to distant sites? How does the fascia communicate with other parts of the body?
Well, the Vermont researchers have also shown that connective tissue is a sophisticated communication system, of as yet unknown potential:
Are you are experiencing minor "wow" tingles? I know I am just writing about it again!
Editor's note: Read part II of Dr. Chaitow's article in the June issue.
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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