resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
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.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
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.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
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.
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.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
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.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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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