resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
February, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 02
The Body Is in Charge
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Welcome to the first installment of "Keeping it Simple," named for my preferred method of instruction.
I like to keep things simple and I strongly believe learning should be fun.Not too many people would have thought I could have made dissection simple and fun, but let me show you just how my curiosity works.
There are five senses we learn from: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory. Everyone learns differently. I am primarily a visual and kinesthetic learner. The first time I learned about fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and adipose in massage school, I processed the information by asking myself several questions: What do these structures look like? What do they feel like? And is it possible for me to see them? Lastly, where could I − a naive massage therapy student − find the answers to these questions? This was, after all, 15 years ago, when massage therapy instruction was slightly less sophisticated. I didn't know, so I improvised.
The local grocery store has its own lovely lab called the meat department. To be honest, I initially found the answers to these questions by purchasing a whole chicken and dissecting it! The next day, I brought my chicken to show the class. My classmates thought my findings were cool, and soon thereafter, the teacher made this exercise a regular part of the course. Thankfully, today there are more impressive ways to learn about anatomy firsthand.
I had taken my first sip from the "cup of dissection knowledge" and I was hooked. It was this newfound addiction that led me to wonder how I could see, touch and study these structures in the human body. Ultimately, the answer to that question led me to create a full-body dissection course specifically geared toward massage therapists, acupuncturists and other allied health care professionals.
You might wonder how and/or why dissection is applicable or helpful to massage therapists. Let's think about it. Would you want a surgeon who has only read medical textbooks operating on you? Would you want a mechanic who has only watched engine repair videos working on your car? Of course not. You want somebody with real-world, hands-on experience − you want an expert who has a thorough and in-depth understanding of their field.
Massage therapist Anna Gallagher attended a dissection course and had this to say: "This was the opportunity for the senses in my fingers and hands to relate to my eyes. This put everything together for me."
The human body is a complex unit. As healthy, fully functioning human beings, it's easy to take our capabilities for granted, which is another reason why massage therapists can benefit from a course in human dissection. Often, such a course educates us in unique scientific wonders of the body that we wouldn't have otherwise known about or considered possible. I always am amazed at how often I find structural anomalies while dissecting the human body (G. anomalia = irregularity: a deviation from the average or norm; anything structurally unusual). Generally, anomalies are not taught in anatomy and physiology courses. However, it's important for all health care providers to consider the rare possibility of a structural anomaly when assessing the cause of a client's pain or dysfunction.
Sometimes, patients present with confusing, subjective complaints that are "out of the box." In these situations, I consider the potential causes of pain and/or dysfunction from an anatomical point of view. However, it's also important to remember that there are a number of other dynamics which influence pain and dysfunction, including nutritional, physiological, psychological, financial, professional and spiritual factors. While we, as massage therapists, cannot diagnose, we can assess patients by taking a thorough medical history and conducting postural analysis, range of motion (ROM), orthopedic, neurological and functional testing, and palpation exams. Each of these clinical assessment protocols is a means of narrowing down the origin of pain and dysfunction and designing a treatment plan.
Aside from typical discoveries, such as hip replacements, pacemakers, etc., I have encountered a few interesting anomalies over the years. For example, on one cadaver, the upper trapezius was missing; on another, the levator scapula had rib attachments bilaterally. What a mystery! I wish I could have known how these anomalies affected the regular activities in the daily lives of these people.
During another dissection, after reflecting the gastrocnemius muscle, I found two yellowish lumps, one proximal and one distal, on the lateral aspect of the soleus muscle. The larger proximal lump was approximately 12 mm wide and 35 mm long. Further investigation revealed that the lumps were lipomas (Lip = fat + G. - oma = tumor) that had taken the place of muscle tissue. Typically, the muscle fibers of the soleus slope infero-medially, which was the case for most of the fibers on the soleus of this specimen. The exceptions were the fibers between the lipomas, which were running medially and laterally. Interestingly, the posterior aspect of the fibula also had developed a unique ridge that protruded approximately 6 mm posteriorly from the head and neck of the fibula to the proximal lipoma. In case you were wondering, the anomaly was unilateral.
And here is one of my favorite cases. See if you can identify this muscle: We discovered a muscular anomaly while dissecting an 87-year-old female cadaver. It was present bilaterally, deep to the pectoralis major and immediately lateral to the pectoralis minor. Inferiorly, this muscle attached to the sixth rib, blending with the fascia of the external oblique. Superiorly, the tendon of this muscle blended with the tendons of the coracobrachialis and the short head of the biceps brachii as they attached onto the coracoid process of the scapula. Here are a few more hints: This muscle is an accessory derivative of the pectoral mass and is innervated by the pectoral nerves. It has a specific name that is 16 letters long, contains seven syllables, and has the following breaks: ---/--/---/-/---/--/--. Can you name it?
To see an image of this muscle before making an attempt at the answer, visit www.kenthealth.com. Other structures are labeled as well, including the pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and other surrounding structures. If you do not have Web site access, see my next article for the answer!
I often wonder how these anomalies impacted these people in their day-to-day lives. The truth is, we will never know if an anomaly affected a particular person or not, since the only information we receive from most state anatomical boards is limited to gender, age,
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.