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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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 08
Skills of Touch
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Touch inherently is a two-way sense - we cannot touch without being touched back. We have the sensors to receive far more tactile input from the world than we can consciously process. Thus, habitually, we filter out the vast majority of the sensory input we receive. Without such filtering, we would have a hard time living within our skins, constantly being aware of every contact and friction with clothes and other objects. Yet, in massaging another, we can learn more by training both our conscious awareness and our unconscious filtering processes to better discriminate both client tissue and client responses. Open your sensory filters and explore your awareness of touch. Compare the sensation of touching and holding with slight back and forth movements (sliding touch) or touch with slight vibration. Touch surfaces at different temperatures, with different textures and with different levels of plasticity or give. In touching surfaces with some give, slow down and observe the differences in what you perceive with different pressures of touch. Particularly with touching human skin, muscles and fascia, practice feeling the different layers and the differences in texture, temperature and direction that distinguish them.
One of the classical sensory analogies for deep tissue work is the cornstarch and water solution. In the worlds of children's play and physics, this solution has become known as Oobleck.5 Add water to cornstarch in a small bowl until the solution as the consistency of pancake batter when stirred very slowly. If you tap the surface quickly, the surface is hard. Your fingers come away without intermingling with the solution. If your place your fingers on the surface and pause, your fingers sink in. Suddenly the solution is liquid. For deep tissue work, the lesson is one of working slowly and giving the tissue a chance to deform plastically rather than trying to force a rate of movement. In teaching such work, I use the term "glacial creep," literally meaning to apply pressure obliquely to the body's surface and let the stroke move naturally with the plastic movement of the tissue beneath, much as a glacier deforms and moves under the pressure of its own weight. On a sensory level, feel for the give in the tissue and work to enhance that, working the directions of give into the directions of restriction. The sensation is one of eroding the edge of a restriction rather than jumping directly into the middle. Applying pressure and waiting also provides the advantage of making the work easier; you simply relax and lean into the technique, letting your bodyweight do the work while you "hangout" in the tissue waiting for pressure and accommodation to interact.
In looking at good resources on palpation, Philip Greenman gives a thorough overview of palpation skills in his book on manual medicine.3 He divides the process of palpation into reception, transmission and interpretation. Sensation involves the activation of skin sensors by the variations in touch. Transmission is the internal processing of the stimuli. Finally, and likely the most learned and learnable stage, you have to interpret the signal at multiple levels of awareness, your conscious mind analyzing linearly and your unconscious mind matching the signal to previous patterns of experience. Greenman's practice of palpation involves varying the pressure, depth and movement of touch, and noticing differences. How thick, how deep, how warm and how mobile are the tissues?
Leon Chaitow, in Palpation Skills provides an extremely thorough guide to using touch for assessment.1 He sets five objectives for palpation:
Chaitow notes that successful palpation requires trusting the sensory input; paying attention to what is being felt and suspending critical judgment while the process is being carried out. "Critical judgment may be used in interpreting what was felt, but the process of 'feeling' needs to be carried out with that faculty silenced."
Clyde Ford, in Compassionate Touch, describes an exercise in pacing another with touch that provides some additional insights. The exercise itself is simple, having the other person lie supine and actively pacing their breathing with a hand on their chest or abdomen (i.e. the hand is not laying there as dead weight but is actively moved with the breath). Part of the value of the exercise comes in realizing the power of simple attention to another and in attuning your actions to their responses. Another part comes from the opportunity to be still and observe. As you quietly pace their breathing with your touch, you can notice changes in the depth and rate of their breathing, in the tension and overall small movements of their body, in rates of eye blinking, and in coloration of their skin with superficial changes in circulation. Touch and attention are profound and powerful gifts. Value them and use them well and wisely.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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