resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
May, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 05
Cranial/Structural Soft-Tissue Releases
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
For the past 15 years, I have been working with a paradigm that has greatly expanded the effectiveness of my soft-tissue therapy. When I began applying the cranial/structural releases to initiate structural balance, there was a quantum leap in the effectiveness of my treatments and long-term rehabilitation for my clients.The cranial/structural releases initiated an unwinding of the body out of its collapsed spiral that had been the cause of so much soft-tissue compensation and pain; and corrected the weight-bearing separation between the rotated iliums and tipped sacrum.
With weight-bearing support quickly established in the first 20 minutes of treatment, the old compensations and myofascial holding patterns in the soft tissue began to release, resulting in more efficient soft-tissue treatment and allowing the structure to move more easily into balance. Before the cranial/structural releases, it would usually take at least five to 10 sessions for any noticeable improvement in the client's structural collapse. Even then, the weight-bearing separation of the sacrum and ilium was not completely resolved. Let's look at the difference between craniosacral and cranial/structural soft-tissue releases.
Cranial/structural techniques are very different from craniosacral techniques in intent and application. Craniosacral techniques are applied within the soft-tissue restrictions of the normal cranial motion to achieve homeostasis. Cranial/structural techniques release the soft-tissue restrictions of the distorted cranial motion, resulting in structural balance throughout the body. Let's take an in-depth look at the need for cranial/structural techniques.
Within the structure of every client's body there exists a core distortion pattern. Many liken it to a spiral that runs throughout the structure, resulting in an anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums, a tipped sacrum and a degree of classic scoliosis. This spiral is evident from the top of the head down to the feet and, not surprisingly, also is found in the relationship of the bones and soft tissue of the cranium. When clients are experiencing musculoskeletal pain, there is an observable increase in the degree of this distortion. This can be viewed as a degree of structural collapse or a lack of structural support. The resulting pain can be evidenced in the compensation for this increased distortion, the strain in the musculature or the actual distortion of the skeletal structure. Thus, the key to relieving the painful symptoms and balancing the structural support system lies in releasing this exaggerated core distortion.
For years, in developing my soft-tissue protocols, I struggled with the major components of this core distortion, in an effort to relieve my clients' painful symptoms. Whether it was whiplash flexion/extension injuries, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, degenerative disc disease, bulging disc, carpal tunnel, nerve entrapment, sciatica, low back pain, hip pain, knee pain or foot pain - it was related to structural collapse. Therefore, addressing and releasing the core distortion pattern appeared to be the most direct way to achieve pain relief, homeostasis and a return to normal function.
Within every collapsed structure, I found an anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums, stretched ligaments between the sacrum and the ilium at the SI joint, and a tipped sacrum. The degree of distortion was directly influenced by the degree of the rotation of the iliums, the degree of stretched ligaments and the degree of tippage of the sacrum. Further, the degree of distortion in the body was directly proportional to the intensity of the pain and symptoms the client was experiencing. The longer the client remained in this distortion, the more the entire musculoskeletal system distorted into the lack of support, which usually resulted in an extended recovery process.
One of the greatest challenges was stabilizing the SI joint. While the client was on the table, the position of the iliums could be shifted through soft-tissue releases, and the feet and legs could be aligned to support the shift. However, when the client became weight-bearing, the weakened ligaments would not be able to stabilize the SI joint and the sacrum would again slip and tip, re-creating the structural collapse.
A missing link in the treatment to stabilize the pelvis was found in the relationship between the cranial bones, reciprocal tension membrane, dura and the myofascial planes of the body. Dr. G. Dallas Hancock, a chiropractic physician, discovered the relationship between two of the cranial bones (the sphenoid and the occiput), the sphenobasilar synchondrosis (SBS) where they meet, and the torsion of the pelvis. He noted that the rotation of the iliums and tippage of the sacrum were in direct relationship to the rotation of the wings of the sphenoid and the tippage of the occiput. I had the privilege of working with him to develop the techniques of releasing the cranial torsion of the SBS that successfully released the torsion of the pelvis.
One of the ways to understand the effect of this incredible discovery of Dr. Hancock's is to view these two cranial bones (sphenoid and occiput) as handles for the reciprocal tension membrane, dura and the entire myofascial plane of the body. The distortion found in the SBS joint is supported by the restrictions in the reciprocal tension membrane, dura and fascia, which affect the entire structure of the body. The techniques that were developed to unwind the torsion of the SBS released the restrictions in the reciprocal tension membrane and dura, which, in turn, released the restrictions in the myofascial planes of the body that related directly to the dura. In addition to the release of the restrictions in the dura, its relationship to the sacrum allowed the sacrum and the iliums to balance.
The greatest significance of this was that the weight-bearing separation of the SI joint was corrected, even though the ligaments had been stretched. Another exciting discovery was that clients would not return to this weight-bearing structural collapse unless a very severe trauma was experienced. With the balancing of the SI joint and iliums, the myofascial planes of the body down to the feet also were beginning to unwind and balance, bringing support into the entire structure.
The torsion found in the cranium also was the principal cause of problems such as TMJ. When the torsion was taken out of the cranium (SBS), a balancing of the bite took place. Most clients who suffered TMJ symptoms would have an immediate improvement. Even without focusing on the usual TMJ soft-tissue treatments, clients would continue to improve and often become pain-free.
Cranial work that focuses on this structural shift is called cranial/structural due to its direct relationship to structural balance. Prior to having these techniques to balance the SBS and correct the weight-bearing collapse found in the core distortion pattern, I was not able to achieve a long-term correction of the distortion in the pelvis. However, with the cranial/structural techniques, my clients showed dramatic changes in the initial session and I was able to achieve long-term correction of this distortion throughout the body in only a few treatments by integrating my soft-tissue protocols.
Jerry, 33, an avid weekend basketball player, had been developing low back pain for five years. He was then rear-ended in an auto accident, resulting in a cervical flexion/extension injury and excessive soft-tissue damage. His chiropractor referred him for soft-tissue therapy, as he was having difficulty stabilizing his neck. At Jerry's first session, evaluation revealed a structural collapse of the core distortion with an anterior/posterior ilium rotation, tipped sacrum, scoliosis, reverse curvature of the neck and a jammed C1. Applied kinesiology evaluated the weakened strain patterns of the structural collapse and revealed weakness in the legs down to the feet.
The cranial/structural soft-tissue releases were applied and Jerry noticed an immediate improvement in the range of motion of his neck, less neck pain, a flattening of his back on the table and reduced back pain. Upon becoming weight-bearing, Jerry also noticed that both feet felt like they were directly under him with the weight evenly distributed. He was standing straighter, his arms were more equal along his sides, and the top of his left shoulder was no longer hurting. It was obvious there had been substantial improvement in Jerry's structure. It was now time for soft-tissue treatments to release the myofascial holding pattern and address shortened fascial fibers, adhesions and scar tissue from the auto accident, and the structural collapse from basketball. Jerry's neck stabilized in just two sessions.
Cranial/structural is most effective when applied at the beginning of the first session to release the core distortion pattern and balance the SI joint. However, the soft tissue (dura, reciprocal tension membrane and fascia) will only release so far using the cranial/structural techniques alone. The structure of the body is then trying to move into balance, but the soft tissue that was tightened and forming adhesions and restrictions in the holding pattern of the core distortion will impede the process. To complete the balancing process, it is necessary to include specific myofascial releases, myofascial unwinding, and scar and adhesion fiber work to allow the whole body to move into structural balance.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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