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Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Incorporating Lymphatic Drainage in Facelift Massage
By Rita Woods, LMT
More and more therapists are performing facial massage as a stand alone session such as a facelift massage. Women in their 60s, the typical age group treated in my practice, present with specific issues that should be taken into consideration. First, if they do not receive regular massage and do not have an active lifestyle, they may have sluggish circulatory/lymphatic systems. Second, they may have health and medication issues that impact how, and if, you can proceed with the session. In this column, I'll discuss what you need to know and how to approach the facial lymphatic system in a basic and uncomplicated session.
Areas of Caution
First, some words of caution. If your client suffers from an active infection such as sinusitis, strep throat, tooth abscess or any skin infection, do not proceed. Active head/face infection is your number one contraindication for this work. If, however, they have been taking antibiotics for at least three days, it is generally safe to proceed. Next, if your client has facial swelling of unknown origin, do not proceed. Remember this is for a typical session with a healthy client and no extenuating circumstances. While it is possible to use this work to address blunt force trauma and post-facial surgery, that requires advanced training. Standard massage contraindications also apply even when working on the face alone.
Facial Lymphatic System
Now, onto the treatment itself. You remember from your massage school curriculum that massage increases circulation; it also increases lymphatic flow. That is, massage also increases the release and flow of lymphatic waste. As with any "waste disposal," some form of clearing should be done before adding more waste to the system. (For example, if there is mud stuck in the end of a garden hose, the mud must be cleared out before the water can flow effectively. The same holds true in the body's waste removal systems.)
Unlike the blood circulation in the face which drains in a variety of directions before ending up back at the heart, the facial lymphatic system follows a very exacting drainage path. The right side of the face flows to the right and the left side to the left - with both sides ultimately flowing into submandibular lymph nodes. While there are other locations housing lymph nodes involved with head/face "cleaning," such as under the occiput, the main ones for facelift style work are the submandibular ones. Lymph nodes vary in size from small - about the size of a pin head - to large, about the size of an olive. The ones under the mandible are about the size of a pea.
During a regular full body massage, muscles are warmed and circulation increases. When performing a stand alone face session, muscles must also be "prewarmed" in order to gain the necessary effects. As importantly, submandibular lymph nodes must be stimulated (rubbed) in order to open and enhance circulatory and lymphatic flow. Failure to do so could result in edema and puffiness especially under the eyes, an area prone to sluggish lymph flow.
If your client suffers from bags under the eyes or obvious fluid retention in the face, you may choose to focus more time on lymphatic work until some of the fluid and puffiness has decreased, possibly in one or two sessions. Although it is not possible or practical to teach a facial lymphatic protocol in this format, we can follow some basic steps that will surely help your client. Do not mix muscle work and lymphatic work. The lymph vessels are just under the surface of the skin on the face and are easily flattened by pressing too deeply. While they recover quickly, they need time to do so. A muscle technique to break up adhesions should not immediately be followed by a lymphatic stroke.
Two Key Areas
Two key areas to focus your attention are the submandibular nodes and the terminus. The terminus is where the lymph vessels dump into the circulatory system just before entering the heart. Unlike the rest of the body, the lymph vessels of the face have a straight shot down the neck and into the heart. You want to stimulate this area to prepare it to receive more lymph. This stimulation, while gentle, is more aggressive than work on the actual vessels. The same is true of the submandibular nodes. You will exert a steady and firm pressure, almost in a milking/pumping action, to these nodes. Done correctly, your client will be able to breathe, swallow and speak while you affect the nodes. The tips of your fingers apply pumping pressure on the underside of mandible and your fingers must remain in constant contact with the inner edge of the jaw line. The nodes are tucked up under the inside edge and in some cases can be palpated. Keeping your fingers on the bone will also ensure that you are not encroaching on arteries or veins in the neck.
Steps of Treatment
A typical session would be as follows: 1)Warm the facial muscles using any gentle, non-invasive technique; 2)Gently stimulate the lymphatic terminus which is found below the clavicles and on either side of the manubrium; 3) Stimulate the submandibular lymph nodes by using digital pressure up underneath the mandible bone; then 4) Proceed with your facelift session protocol. Upon completion of the facelift protocol, allow 5-10 minutes for stimulating the lymph flow through the lymphatic vessels. These vessels respond well to light stroking that is almost featherlike. Starting with the region closest to the nodes, apply a light stretch to the skin then follow the movement with a featherlike trailing toward the nodes. Your stroke will look like a 7 or an L. Work your strokes up to the middle of the face with the featherlike trailing toward the nodes. You may encounter some drag if there is lubricant on the face. If so, you can use a cotton ball for the trailing stroke. Cotton balls work well on and around the eyelids.
The combination of the proper facial and/or facelift massage and lymphatic drainage of the face can multiply the effects of facial work. Some of my happiest clients are those who finally get rid of the bag-gage.
I want to thank Charlotte Versagi, lymphatic massage instructor extraordinaire for sharing her knowledge and experience in the writing of this article.
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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