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The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07
Getting Comfortable With Postural Analysis
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
We all recognize the importance of getting our cars serviced regularly so they run at their optimal level. Not surprisingly, the same is true of the human body. In fact, there is a very useful car-related analogy we can use when it comes to describing postural analysis: front-end alignment and wheel balance.
The word posture is derived from the Latin verb ponere, meaning "to put or place." The word analysis comes from the Greek word analyein, meaning "to break up." Therefore, postural analysis is simply the process of "breaking up" the body to determine where it should be "put or placed." This article reviews body positioning for the purpose of taking a standing (static) postural analysis so you can custom-design your clients' therapy sessions.
When a vehicle's alignment is off, it manifests as uneven tread wear and loss of tire life. Likewise, when a car's tires are not balanced properly, ride quality is diminished, tire life is shortened, and bearings and shock-absorber performance suffer. When one's posture is off, the human body also experiences a range of problems: restricted range of motion, pain, organ dysfunction, and joint, tendon, ligament and muscle stress, to name a few.
The body, like tires, has an ideal position. It also must be balanced to run smoothly and last a long time. For a mechanic to assess and adjust the front end of a vehicle, they must first check wheel positioning for deviations from the norm. To do this, they set the wheels in a standard position and conduct an evaluation. In massage terms, this is the equivalent of taking a postural analysis. A mechanic's objective findings also are reported in terms we can relate to the body. For example, what the mechanic refers to as "toe-in or toe-out" is what we call "internal or external rotation." What a mechanic calls "camber," we call "tilt."
When we report to a mechanic that the tire tread on our vehicle is wearing unevenly and the steering wheel is vibrating, we have given our subjective complaints. The mechanic hears this complaint frequently and knows exactly what needs to be done. Before they can conduct their evaluation, however, they need to use the proper equipment to access and design a repair plan according to the car model's specifications.
In the same way, clients often make subjective complaints to us about headaches and neck and back pain. Just like a mechanic, we need to use the proper equipment to access and design a customized therapy session to meet each individual client's needs, focusing on both short- and long-term goals.
The "manufacturer specifications" for the human body include the anatomical planes that show us the ideal positioning of joints and bones. While individuals are not expected to be positioned perfectly, we want to facilitate the best posture possible through massage therapy. According to Muscles: Testing and Function, "Ideal skeletal alignment ... involves a minimal amount of stress and strain and is conducive to maximal efficiency of the body." Moreover, "the intersection of the sagittal and coronal midplanes of the body forms a line that is analogous to the gravity line. Around this line, the body is hypothetically in a position of equilibrium. Such a position implies a balanced distribution of weight, and a stable position of each joint. When viewing a posture in a standing [position], a plumb line is used to represent a line of reference. ... Since the only fixed point in the standing posture is at the base where the feet are in contact with the floor, the point of reference must be at the base," or the foundation of the body.1
Whether you work in spa, clinic, medical office, fitness center or some other venue, there are certain things you must do to conduct an effective postural analysis.
Postural Analysis Checklist
[ ] Hang a plumb bob approximately 3 feet in front of a postural analysis grid chart. The plumb bob should be approximately a quarter inch off the floor.
[ ] The client should be:
[ ] Position the feet in relation to the plumb line:
Now, stand a few feet back from the plumb line. Using a digital camera, move from side to side (right to left) until the plumb line is lined up with the center line of the grid chart. Take a photo of the client and make any necessary notes for your objective findings.
We all know the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words." In images #1 and #3, it's easy to see how the right shoulder is higher then the left. We see the torso and head are to right of the mid-saggital plane. In the image (#4 and #6), it's easy to see the forward head posture and the right shoulder posterior to the coronal plane. These deviations have numerous origins. A muscle-movement chart will help quickly determine which muscles are shortened and which ones are lengthened, helping you design a customized treatment plan.
There are many advantages of taking postural photos including:
When you take the time to administer a precise posture evaluation for your clients and devise a customized treatment plan, you will gain their respect and earn a reputation as a top massage therapist. Your clients also will appreciate how you utilized the information to educate them.
Don't let the idea of conducting a postural analysis intimidate you. There are many things we do every day that we once learned to do for the first time. Once you get comfortable with posture, it will be easier to think about each client as an individual and know how to develop special treatment plans for each person. Over time, posture analysis becomes easy - second nature. You just need to start doing it.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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