resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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