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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."
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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