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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?."
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."
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Early Hours and Shortened Muscles
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Getting up too early is a vice habitual in horned owls, stars, geese and freight trains. Some hunters acquire it from geese and some coffee pots from hunters. It is strange that of all the multitude of creatures who must rise in the morning at some time, only these few should have discovered the most pleasant and least useful time for doing it.Orion must have been the original mentor of the too-early company, for it is he who signals for too-early rising. It is time when Orion has passed west of the zenith about as far as one should lead a teal.6
- Aldo Leopold
Back in my college days, I managed to fulfill my biology requirement while escaping hours looking through a microscope by taking a couple of university-sponsored field trips: one to Death Valley, Calif., and the other to Sequoia National Park. During the day, we students would follow professors around listening to them talk about the local mammals, insects and minerals. In the evening hours, among other activities, were some readings from different naturalists. Thus, I became acquainted with Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac and his paragraphs on getting up "too early." Although Leopold was a few decades too early to note it, the quiet, semi-dark hours of the early morning also is a time many runners, including myself, prefer. Runner and writer Joe Henderson expresses well the draw and the disadvantages of rolling out of bed for a run:
After some hours of sleeping and not using our muscles, they often are shortened and unprepared for full exertion or full range of motion. The exertions of the previous several days find their revenge in those first minutes of active wakefulness. This leads us to warming up, cooling down and stretching, which often is an anything but simple discussion. The complexity is exemplified by a "debate" on passive stretching and injury prevention that was hosted in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies a few years ago.3 Having a dozen authors and an editor involved is, in itself, an indication of the ranges of opinion. A thorough review of stretching is beyond the scope of a short column. For this, I'll refer you to the works of Brad Appleton2 and Michael Alter.1
Some of the complexity around stretching can be at least narrowed, I believe, by looking at contexts and immediate goals. The goal upon getting out of bed for a run, for example, is not to extend one's long-term flexibility but to regain the short-term range of motion (ROM) necessary to begin running without immediate injury. Assuming you possessed this ROM before sleeping, the shortness is going to be an issue of muscle hypertonicity rather than one of actual tissue length. The immediate cure is controlled movement through an increasing ROM, until you reach your homeostatic ROM. The movements both relax the shortened muscles and, by stimulating release of synovial fluid, prepare the involved joints for movement. Essentially, the same goals would apply for pre-event sports massage. It's about facilitating movement within the athlete's normal ROM.
What remains are the effects and benefits of longer-term stretch programs. Michael Alter comments that the most important component of muscle related to ROM is the connective tissues that develop and surround the muscle at its various levels of organization.1 He presents an "overstretching principle" as an analog to the overtraining principle:
By the "overstretching principle," Alter is noting that the tissue both accommodates in length to the regular stretching and in its patterns of neural response. In response to stretching, the muscle-tendon unit becomes more "compliant" (i.e., easier to stretch). Witvrouw, et al., comment that some of the literature disagreements on stretching may result from not considering the types of sports activities.7 They note that sports involving bouncing and jumping, with a high intensity of stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs), require a muscle-tendon unit that is compliant (stretchable) enough to store and release the high amount of elastic energy that benefits performance in such sports. Sports that contain low-intensity of limited SSCs don't require the same compliance, making stretching to increase compliance less beneficial.
Another useful clue comes from Ingraham, who concludes stretching to increase flexibility beyond that needed for sport-specific movements might cause or augment the chance of injury, particularly if time spent in such stretching reduces time spent in general conditioning exercises.5
The pattern that emerges is that we need enough ROM to freely complete the movement a sport requires, but more flexibility than needed may only add instability. We need our muscles to be able to elastically respond to the stress placed on them, which is sport specific. Too little ROM or too little elasticity and we ask for trouble. Balancing strength, flexibility and our activities leaves us free to move - whether "too early" or when the sun is high.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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