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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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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