resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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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