resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
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.)
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
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.
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
A good friend and colleague of mine attended a professional seminar this past June in New York City called "Challenges in Women's Healthcare: Urogynecology for Primary Care Providers." All of the speakers and most of the attendees were doctors, but there also was a smattering of physical therapists, like my friend, and occupational therapists.The general topic of the seminar was the female pelvic floor, in all its glory and with all its problems.
As my friend relayed to me (and I have the course material to back all this up), one of the doctors gave a speech on "The Effects of Pregnancy and Childbirth on the Pelvic Floor." Supported by many impressive studies, the doctor proffered that a vaginal birth is responsible for urinary and anal incontinence, pelvic prolapse, sexual dysfunction, pudendal nerve damage and pubococcygeal muscle damage. The cure? Cesarean section!
The other doctors fastidiously took notes. A few doctors and several allied professionals questioned the doctor's findings. For instance, were these births augmented and were there obstetric interventions (e.g., forceps, episiotomy)? Were the laboring women in these studies given Pitocin or any pain medications that blocked sensation? How were they pushing during active labor? What position were these women in while giving birth? Were they taught exhalation pushing and how to use their transverse abdominis during labor, or were they directed to "hold their breath, bear down and push?" Were any of these women in the studies taught correct Kegel exercises during pregnancy or given physical therapy during postpartum recovery? Were any of these case studies performed on women who had water births?
None of these valid points was addressed in the lecture, but C-sections nonetheless were hailed as the best way to avoid pelvic floor complications after childbirth.
I'm floored. OK, let's look at the pelvic floor during childbirth. The compression of the fetus on the muscles of the pelvic floor, along with the effects of progesterone and relaxin, softens joints and ligaments and allow these muscles to stretch and bulge. The bladder and ureters also lose their tone during pregnancy (even if the birth is surgical). But Kegel exercises have been proven to maintain and restore functional integrity to the pelvic floor (antepartum and postpartum), and the position in which the gravida labors can have a tremendous impact on the strength of the pelvic floor.
In addition, the directed pushing needed as a result of anesthesia or labor position is responsible for many of the long-term weaknesses of the pelvic floor. Known as the Valsalva technique (holding the breath and forceful bearing down), this method of pushing encourages fetal hypoxia (lack of oxygen), perineal tears, increased intrathoracic pressure, increased cardiac output and blood pressure, slowed maternal pulse rate and damage to the pelvic floor. It might be a vaginal birth, but one that was poorly guided.
During the pushing process, the laboring woman should be in a squatting or semi-sitting position to widen the pelvic outlet and work with gravity, not against it. The woman should exhale, or allow the air to escape from her lungs as she pushes, to reduce pressure on the pelvic floor. Some care providers actually prefer for the woman not to push at all in the early second stage of labor, because the natural forces of uterine contractions move the fetus quite handily down the birth canal. The focused pushing only is used to expel the fetus from the birth canal. In this way, little pressure is exerted on the pelvic floor and little, if any, damage is done.
Prenatal care and postpartum recovery should include exercises and physical therapy, if necessary, to maintain and restore the pelvic floor muscles. Birthing in female- and fetus-friendly ways can do more to keep the pelvic floor intact than a traumatic surgical procedure.
Instead of a surgeon recommending surgery as a preventative measure, why not teach women (and their doctors) the most effective way to maintain and respect their bodies during pregnancy and childbirth?
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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