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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
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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