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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.
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.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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.
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!
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
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."
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
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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