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Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
The Inside-Out Paradigm: Small Facts, Big Implications
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD
Why do the human neck and back experience pain so often? Because much of what sustains our lives is suspended forward from them. The basic principle is that tensions in the front of the body are transferred to the posterior aspect of the human spine, where the sensory nerves register the strain and stimulate the muscles of the back and neck to contract.Our bodies valiantly endeavor to distribute this strain. Eventually, clients present with musculoskeletal problems that do not resolve, but instead, emerge and persist. Quality of life starts to diminish.
Let's begin at the top. The esophagus is tethered from a slip of fascial tissue that bridges the sphenobasilar junction, right behind your eyes. Contraction, contracture or spasm of this connecting tube between the cranium and the upper abdomen pulls the head down upon the neck, and eventually pulls it forward and down. Wherever the head goes, the rest of the body must follow. The strain might be felt into the neck, upper-back or mid-back regions.
During our embryonic development, the heart and the diaphragm muscles begin their descent from the 2nd cervical segment. During this same descent, the pericardial sac of the heart becomes welded to the diaphragm muscle. Our lungs also hang from the neck via Sibson's fascia, which interdigitate with the scalene muscles as far up as the 4th cervical segment. This has many implications; consider two of the most obvious. Breathing difficulties of all varieties and cardiac dysfunction of any kind will inevitably and literally pull the human neck and upper back forward and down toward the pelvis.
Let's return to the esophagus again. The heart has an indentation for the passage of this muscular swallowing tube between itself and the spine. What might be the effect of contracture of the esophagus on heart function? How might the body attempt to distribute this strain? Where will it be felt? The clinical principle here is that where clients report pain is rarely the true source of its origin.
The colon is suspended from the space between the 9th and 10th ribs and is anchored into the hip bones internally. Consider a contracture of the ascending colon on the right side of the body. Might this exert a strong influence for the spine to side-bend to the right and rotate left, resulting down the kinetic chain in the common observation of a short left leg?
Even less appreciated is the fact that the mesenteric root of the small intestine is suspended forward from the 3rd lumbar vertebra. Given that the length of this crucial organ of digestion is approximately 8-12 feet long and that its weight may exceed 50 pounds, it is little wonder that low back dysfunction is a leading source of diminishing quality of life.
What all these small facts lead to is a need to shift our therapeutic perception to working from the "inside-out." What is happening internally is where the real action is. Our organ systems are what replenish our energy and cleanse our bodies. This does not negate the influence of traumatic incidences that "flash freeze" the body's sense of balance in relation to gravity. Rather, internal relationships and their dysfunctions predispose the lines along which trauma tends to fixate the system. Any locking of the system will progressively reduce the body's ability to allocate its resources of oxygen and nourishment to all of its systems. Aggregately, this creates a breeding ground for all varieties of chronic problems to emerge, and even for pathology to develop.
Our task as massage therapists is to stem this tide - and if possible, to help turn the boat toward assisting the body to redistribute its strain and reallocate its resources more equitably. This is perhaps a functional definition of physical healing.
Click here for more information about Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD.
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