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The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
May, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 05
Simple Answers Create Positive Results
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Addressing the pain and discomfort associated with trigger points is one of the most common complaints massage therapists deal with in the treatment room. It's not uncommon, for example, to palpate a trigger point in the upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid or suboccipital muscles, which produces a referred phenomenon to a completely different area of the body, such as the head.
When trigger points refer into the head, the phenomenon often is described as pain, headache, pressure, tingling and/or numbness. Although clients often are surprised at this phenomenon, most are thrilled when I am able to isolate and treat the trigger point. Occasionally, however, a client might show distress at this discovery and say something like, "I'm all screwed up," "I'm wired wrong" or "I'm weird." In this article, I will share simple solutions for addressing these types of comments in ways that will help empower your clients to have a more positive attitude and take a more proactive approach to their health care.
The mental image we have of ourselves is important, especially when it comes to our health and well-being. I don't want my clients to believe they are "screwed up" or "wired wrong." To help transform this negative mindset, I educate my clients to help them establish a new understanding about the processes taking place inside their bodies. Part of this includes suggesting more appropriate labels to describe what is happening. For example, I might say, "You are not all screwed up or wired wrong. The patterns you're experiencing are typical of many people with trigger points." Then, as I explain to the patient how trigger points are formed, I simultaneously use laminated trigger-point charts to demonstrate the path and the pattern of the trigger points. I always use a wet-erase marker to circle the trigger point patterns right on the chart. This is an easy method, and the marker can be wiped off using a wet paper towel (Figure 1).
Since "a picture is worth a thousand words," postural photos are another useful visual aid. Postural photos allow both the client and the therapist to see and assess the client's posture patterns and identify specific problems, such as a high-shoulder or forward-head posture (Figure 2). Photos show clients the structural stress placed on their muscles; this also usually corresponds to the presence of trigger points in the same musculature.
Offering a thorough explanation while using a visual aid helps the client achieve a greater understanding of the body's physiological reactions and causes of their pain. Additionally, clients who can "see" their problem via a chart or a photograph will not only understand it better; they also will have the knowledge to influence their situation and take an active role in their health care. For more about using visual aids, read my article, "Charting Progress: Visuals for Success," in the February 2008 issue of Massage Today, where I share how to integrate visual aids into any massage environment, whether it's a medical, clinical, spa or outcall setting.
Simple Solutions for Empowering Your Clients
The next time one of your clients says they feel "all screwed up" or "wired wrong," try using one of the following quotes to help create a more positive outlook:
Finally, create a positive environment and maintain a positive attitude for your clients. Let your clients know they are not alone; that many people suffer from conditions similar to theirs; and that you have successfully helped many before them. While we as massage therapists may clearly understand what a client is experiencing, we can't assume the client has the same level of understanding. Remember to communicate openly and with compassion. This can work wonders on a client's mental outlook and also can help make them more comfortable in the treatment room.
Obviously, there are going to be situations we can't help. Perhaps a client's condition is structural, too advanced, genetic, etc. In these cases, we just do the best we can by providing the best treatment we know how and educating our clients about the importance of self-care, such as drinking water, getting quality sleep, eating nutritious foods, exercising, maintaining good posture and keeping a positive outlook. While we might not be able to help everyone in every situation, those we can help within the scope of our training will sincerely appreciate our efforts.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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