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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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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.
September, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 09
Acid Reflux and Hiatal Hernia
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
Everybody knows about the "little purple pill." Why? The answer is quite simple. The majority of Americans over the age of 40 are experiencing, the symptoms of acid reflux, which are very uncomfortable.Many people experience acid reflux as a result of hiatal hernias of the esophageal hiatus, which is even worse.
Unfortunately, since many massage therapists aren't aware that there are effective soft-tissue treatments that can eliminate these symptoms without drugs or invasive medical procedures, they have not developed the skills to treat these conditions. In order to be able to effectively treat hiatal hernia and acid reflux, you must first understand how tension in the soft tissue from stress and structural imbalance contributes to them.
One form of hiatal hernia is a tearing in the diaphragm that allows a portion of the stomach to protrude through the tear. There also can be damage to the esophageal hiatus where the esophagus empties into the stomach. When this sphincter valve of the esophageal hiatus is affected by stress or structural imbalance, it is not able to function properly. This improper function allows the contents from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus (acid reflux). This is especially troublesome when a client is prone or supine or has a full, actively digesting stomach. Acid reflux also can occur even when there is no significant damage to the esophageal hiatus. This can be due to overactive digestion taking place in the stomach resulting from spicy food, overeating or the presence of excess stomach acid. How can massage therapy effectively treat these conditions? Let's look at where the stomach is located and what muscles have a major effect on the esophageal hiatus and the stomach.
The esophageal hiatus is located in the center of the diaphragm at the top of the stomach. The diaphragmatic muscle attaches on the sternum and lower ribs, and extends all the way around to the back including the thoracic vertebrae. This makes it extremely reactive to any structural distortion. If the musculoskeletal system is distorted, the resulting misalignment is reflected in contractions and distortions throughout the diaphragm. Stress affecting the sympathetic nervous system can add to structural distortions that affect the diaphragm. If you add extra weight to the structure, you have yet another distortion factor for the diaphragm. When the esophageal hiatus is constantly stressed by these distortions and imbalances, it reacts like an "o" ring with unequal pressure on all its sides, which does not allow it to close effectively. This usually results in acid reflux or a hiatal hernia.
To resolve hiatal hernia problems, massage therapists need to be able to address both the structural distortions and the stresses that involve the diaphragm. My three-step approach to working with deep tissue will treat this area effectively starting with the surface tissue and moving progressively deeper with successive strokes. It is important to remember to follow the principle of "the deeper you go, the slower you go!" As you work deeper into the abdomen, apply just enough pressure to sink in slowly, and only move deeper as the client relaxes and the resistance decreases.
The intent of these abdominal strokes is to release the tension in the diaphragm and stomach allowing the rib cage to expand upward while reducing the distortion and stress on the diaphragm. In releasing the diaphragm, you are releasing the stresses that have accumulated from both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This often results in a calming of the stomach and reduction in the hyperacidity found with acid reflux, nervous stomach and ulcers.
Applying these massage techniques to release the stresses on the diaphragm will treat hiatal hernias and acid reflux very effectively. A relaxed diaphragm allows the esophageal hiatus to function efficiently, which will prevent acid reflux by keeping the contents of the stomach where they belong. A relaxed diaphragm also will allow a tear to heal so the stomach can no longer protrude upward through it. This often is not an overnight solution, but clients usually experience additional relief with each session. This is a great chance to assist your clients with proper therapeutic massage techniques.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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