resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
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.
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