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Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
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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