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Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03
Massage for Surgical Adhesions and Scar Tissue: A Case Study
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
Weekly, I receive inquiries from massage therapists and potential clients asking for help with the pain they are experiencing from surgical scar tissue and adhesions. Scar tissue and adhesions can be effectively released. The following case study is one such example.
Sarah, a 63-year-old, was a disabled office worker. Her problems started 20 years ago when she donated a kidney for her daughter. The surgical incision was halfway around her body. Six months after the removal of the kidney, Sara had an additional surgery for the removal of surgical adhesions that had resulted from the initial surgery, and four months later had another surgery for surgical adhesions. The adhesions produced significant pain, preventing her from returning to work.
By the time she was referred to me, she had undergone a total of seven surgeries for adhesions over a 20-year period and was still unable to work. Her overall vitality and health reflected the 20 years of medication and pain, and she appeared older than her 63 years. Upon evaluation, she was severely bent over to her right side in an acute collapse of the core distortion pattern and could not rotate her upper body to the right. She was not able to fully straighten up due to the restrictions deep in her abdomen from the surgical adhesions. When I palpated the surgical adhesions and scar tissue, I found them to be fibrous, thick and hypersensitive from the surface tissues in the rectus abdominus, obliques, and latissimus dorsi all the way through the soft muscle of the intestines, and into the psoas and quadratus lumborum of the deep intrinsic stabilizing muscles. In addition, she had significant pain in the lower lumbar region of the spine, hip, neck and shoulders as a result of the structural collapse. She was also depressed due to the fact that she had not been able to work or take part in activities that she enjoyed.
The goals for the initial treatment sessions were to lessen the sensation in and around the surgical adhesions and scar tissue, release the buildup of fluid and toxins associated with the pain and inflammation, clear trigger points and soften surface layers of scar tissue to prepare the areas for deeper treatments as therapy progressed.
The strokes were applied in specific sequences and directions that would facilitate the release of the structural distortion to initiate the structural balancing. These initial strokes were lighter, milking strokes which were applied very slowly to allow more change in the tissue with less threat and less sensation for a client who is in severe pain.
In the next phase of treatment, one of the goals was to unwind the myofascial holding patterns of the structural collapse, not only in the adhesions of the scar tissue, but also in the restrictions throughout the rest of her structure that had been pulling her structure further into collapse. This would help reduce the pain in her hip and lower back from the structural collapse. We were also working to release some of the hardened fibrous adhesions and their compression on nerve tissue which was one of the significant causes of her pain. Another goal was to increase her range of motion as the fascia and scar tissue restrictions were released and mobilized.
After seven sessions, Sara was standing straighter with a significant reduction of the structural collapse. She was more mobile and was able to participate more freely in her daily life activities. Her energy was better, and her spirits were high because she was finally feeling and seeing the improvement: she was able be more active, having more fun, and feeling more satisfaction in her accomplishments. The pain was reduced both from the release of the direct pressure of the surgical adhesions on nerves, and from the release of the structural collapse causing the low back pain. She was experiencing less pain in her neck and shoulders due to the fact that she was no longer bent over, and her neck and shoulders were now more supported by a straighter spine.
The goals here were going to be specific release of the fibrous tension of the surgical adhesions, release of the shortened fibers and adhesions in the psoas and quadratus lumborum (to release nerve entrapment and allow structural balance), release other fibers in the pelvis that supported the structural collapse, and increase range of motion back to normal function. After seven more sessions that incorporated the deep individual fiber release to sufficiently lengthen and balance Sara's structure, take the pressure off the nerve entrapments and return range of motion to normal, we were able to accomplish the long-term goal of pain free living.
It was by setting goals, using them as observable and obtainable measurements allowing us to track improvements, that we were able to achieve successful resolution of Sara's long-time chronic condition.
The three-step approach of first releasing ischemia, fluids and toxins, then applying directed myofascial unwinding strokes, and finally releasing individual fibers allowed me to work with Sara staying within her pain thresholds even during the most intense phase of her rehabilitation. Using this three-step approach, the deepest of the surgical adhesions were able to be released, which ultimately released her structure into balance. Sara has gone back to work, and is finally happily participating in activities that had given her such enjoyment before the kidney donation.
As always, please be careful to work within your skill level and expertise, and refer out if necessary.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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