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Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
July, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 07
Successfully Treating Cervical Trauma Using Deep-Tissue Techniques
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
Jim, a 35-year-old accountant, suffered a cervical flexion/extension injury in an auto accident. After chiropractic treatment had exhausted his personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, his chiropractor released him saying he had reached maximum medical improvement.However, he still was having severe neck and shoulder pain with headaches. He sought treatment from several massage therapists whose ads stated that they did deep tissue, therapeutic massage. He was totally unimpressed both by the amount of pain he endured during his sessions and the lack of improvement. A friend referred him to our clinic with the reassurance that not all deep-tissue therapy had to be a painful experience and he would see results.
During Jim's initial session, structural evaluation revealed a forward head posture with a reversed curvature of his neck. On his intake form he marked the back of the neck and top of the shoulders as primary pain areas. The therapist explained to him that his treatment would address the pectoralis region and anterior neck first, and then the painful areas in the back of his neck and the top of his shoulders. Jim was amazed because previous therapists had only concentrated on the areas of pain. As the treatment proceeded, he was pleasantly surprised that this therapy was very tolerable even though some of the strokes were deeper than previous work, and he was feeling better.
The important thing to learn from this is that it is crucial to have a structurally-based strategy for applying therapeutic massage techniques. Deep tissue therapy, whether it is myofascial release, myofascial unwinding, myofascial stretching, or deep trigger-point release, will result in significant long-term structural changes. If these releases and changes do not contribute to structural balance and normalization of structural function, then they are likely to contribute to structural distortion patterns and structural dysfunction, which tend to create worsening conditions and increased client pain.
In Jim's case, the tension was released from the musculature of the anterior shoulder and neck first, allowing the shoulders and neck to move back facilitating the initial structural improvement. As the shoulders and neck released, the spasms in the back of the neck and top of the shoulders began releasing even before treatment was ever applied to those areas. If therapy had been applied to the primary areas of pain in the back of the neck and top of the shoulders first, the tightened musculature in the anterior neck and pectoralis muscles would have pulled the head and shoulders forward even further as the posterior musculature was released. The structure would have worsened by the increased misalignment resulting in increased pain. Thus, it is very important for therapists doing therapeutic massage to always be aware of the structural consequences and ramifications of releasing fascia, adhesions and shortened muscles. To address Jim's complaint regarding the pain he experienced with other deep-tissue work, a three-step approach to working deep tissue was used.
The first step is the application of milking strokes to release the fluids, toxins and ischemia, which reduces the inflammation and clears some trigger points. Tissues swollen with toxins, fluid and inflammation are extremely sensitive and painful to touch, so light, slow, gentle strokes are used. This results in a decreased sensitivity of the tissues, which allows palpation of the tissues without major discomfort and prepares the tissues for deeper work.
The second step is the application of directed myofascial unwinding strokes to release the holding pattern of fascia in the structural dysfunction and to further clear trigger points. These strokes are very slow. You sink in until you feel the resistance in the tissue and then hold constant, steady pressure until the resistance starts to melt. Follow the tissue as it melts, keeping the pressure slow, steady and constant. You will feel many layers softening and releasing at a deeper level than where the actual pressure is. The deeper you go, the slower you go. These strokes released most of the myofascial holding pattern that held the structural distortion within Jim's neck and shoulders preparing this area for more specific deep work to release scars, adhesions and tightened individual fibers.
The third step is the application of individual fiber strokes to release deep fascia, adhesions, scar tissue and atrophied tissues locked in the soft tissue. Many of these deep adhesions, along with scar tissue, entrap nerves and lock the structure into distortion. These are deep, specific strokes, moving very slowly, staying within pain tolerance levels.
This three step approach can be used in any area of the body and will allow you to apply effective, deep therapeutic massage while staying within your clients' pain tolerance. Jim stated that, even though these strokes appeared to release tissues more deeply than previous deep-tissue treatments, he did not have the discomfort that he experienced in those treatments and his pain disappeared after just a few sessions.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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