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Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
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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