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Research: Know What You're Talking About
Have you ever seen a patient in your office with multiple serious health problems you weren't sure exactly how to address?
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
Are You Making the Wrong Impression?
Taking a page from Stacy and Clinton of The Learning Channel's hit television program, "What Not to Wear," we recently published an article in the summer issue of Chiropractic History: The Archives and Journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic, that explores the evolution of physician attire from prehistoric times to the present.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
Chiropractic Care and Risk of Stroke: The Shoe Moves to the Other Foot
For decades, numerous papers have linked upper cervical chiropractic care to the incidence of vertebral artery dissections and stroke.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
The Winter of Life: A Personal and Chiropractic Practice Perspective
Last November, my wife and I invited an elderly relative, Uncle Josh, to spend the winter with us. He was 82 years old at the time and turned 83 during his stay. As soon as he accepted our invitation, we began preparing.
Reverse Digit Span: A Useful Assessment Tool for Patients With and Without Concussion
Reverse digit span is an easily administered test of attention span. It is a component of the SCAT3 test, which is frequently used to assess concussion. It has been part of the armamentarium of cognitive assessment for many years.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
7 Reasons You Want a Beacon in Your Office
Have you heard about how "beacons" are transforming the way businesses interact with their customers? Beacons are low-energy Bluetooth devices that have the ability to send information to a smartphone app.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Looking Back: Abstracts From Chiropractic History (Summer 2015 Issue)
The following abstracts are reprinted with permission from Chiropractic History, the official journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. Chiropractic History is the leading scholarly journal of the chiropractic profession dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the profession's credible history.
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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