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Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04
The Structural Component of Soft-Tissue Rehabilitation
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
One of the most important factors in understanding and treating clients in pain who need therapeutic massage is evaluating the cause of the discomfort. We often look directly to the area of discomfort and find inflammation, swelling, ischemia, trigger points, buildup of fiber, scar tissue and adhesions, and think treating this is the key factor in our client's recovery. However, when we treat only the symptomatic areas, we are doing our clients a major disservice. There always is a reason for any area of the body to be in distress. One factor that is ever-present is the relationship of structural imbalance to the area of pain.
Structural balance allows the body and its musculature to function with strength and flexibility. When there is an imbalance in the structure, specific areas of the structure will overwork or be weakened to the point of injury or distress. This can be understood when looking at muscles moving bones in a lever relationship. When the structure is balanced, the lever and fulcrum are in an optimal performance relationship. With structural imbalance, the fulcrum/lever relationship is, at worst, totally dysfunctional and subject to breakdown or, at best, weakened and in need of additional support from surrounding soft tissue. This is inefficient and, in essence, the muscle that is supposed to be doing the work only has a third to half of its strength. This leaves that muscle very susceptible to strain or injury. In addition, the joint or spine is unstable and weakened and subject to strain or injury.
Thus, in therapeutic massage, a major treatment goal is to release the structural imbalance. Let's look at what happens when this is not factored into the treatment protocol. One of the easiest ways to understand this is to look at an area where most clients experience pain - the top of the shoulder, which includes the trapezius, levator scapula, supraspinatus and rhomboids. When this area is hot, inflamed, spasmed or strained, clients will present wanting relief ASAP. If the massage treatment is focused only within this area, there might be short-term relief; however, in the long run the condition could worsen. If the soft tissue in the top of the shoulder is released without balancing the shoulder, the muscles in the front of the chest will have less resistance and pull the shoulder farther forward into additional imbalance. The long-term result is that the client will most likely have more pain, discomfort and dysfunction in the area due to the increased distortion. To make matters worse, the soft tissue in the top and back of the shoulder actually are counterbalancing and actively working to hold against the stress in the soft tissue in the front of the shoulder.
So, when therapeutic massage techniques are applied first to the spasmed tissue on the top and back of the shoulder, which is invested in maintaining its holding pattern, the area will be resistant to the technique being applied. The sensation for the client is intensified and the client will experience greater discomfort because of the difficulty in relaxing that musculature. Plus, it will take two to three times the amount of work and pressure by the massage therapist to achieve results in the area. This obviously is a lose-lose proposition.
If the theory of releasing the shoulder into structural balance is applied, the muscles in the front of the shoulder are treated first, releasing the shoulder back into structural balance, and allowing the muscles in the back and top of the shoulder to release their compensation holding pattern that was counteracting the tension from the muscles in the front of the shoulder. The massage therapist will achieve greater results with much less work. In addition, the client will experience less discomfort and will be able to maintain structural balance and long term homeostasis.
Neck problems. Most clients will complain of pain in the back of the neck and at the base of the cranium. The majority of them will be holding the head forward, resulting in a reverse curvature of the cervical spine. In order to achieve structural balance, you will need to first release the soft tissue that is responsible for pulling the head and neck forward before releasing or treating the tissues at the back of the neck where the pain is located.
Low back. When clients present with low back pain, there is an imbalance in the pelvis that includes the legs and feet. This imbalance is not only front to back, but also involves torsion where one ilium rotates anteriorly, and the other rotates posteriorly. The most effective way to move the client into structural balance to relieve the pain is to release the leg and ilium that is rotated anteriorly first, and then the posteriorly rotated ilium/leg side.This concept of structural balancing to achieve long-term results, while working within client comfort levels, can be applied to any musculoskeletal imbalance found in the body.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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