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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?."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
The Importance of Scar Tissue Release Therapy
By Marjorie Brook, LMT, CIMI
Scar tissue therapy is generally overlooked by health professionals because the extent of physiological effects scars can have on the body have never really been acknowledged. As massage therapists, we know that the slightest restriction in the elaborate matrix of fascia can have major repercussions from one end of the body to the other.A simple scar from a childhood accident to major surgery can have a lifelong effect both physically and mentally for your client. Scar tissue has the potential to spread in any direction including internally throughout the body. It can also restrict movement or function anywhere in the body from a joint to an organ.
Scar tissue release therapy is extraordinarily simple to learn, easy to apply and yields powerful results that can prevent a lifetime of compensation, complications and pain. I have been a licensed massage therapist for more than 12 years and in all that time, a reoccurring theme seems to have prevailed. The presence of scar tissue can have a lifelong physiological effect on the body -- a fact that seems to have eluded traditional health care professionals. This realization combined with my clinical experience, education, teaching and research, has led to developing methods that improve upon existing fascial techniques for scar tissue release.
During the course of my career I've treated many patients whose problems could be traced back to a scar they had forgotten they even had. Almost everyone has a scar. While not every scar presents a problem, often they can. This is due to the fact that the body is one large, three-dimensional piece of fascia that envelops us like an intricate spider web. Any kink, pull or restriction in one area affects the whole matrix.
Scar Tissue & Adhesions
Scar tissue and adhesions are the result of our body's natural healing process and it occurs both internally and externally. The process, if working correctly, is supposed to eliminate the scars and adhesions once the wound is healed. In some cases, a person's body does not breakdown the scar tissue. The adhered tissue continues to spread which can trigger a cascading effect of compensations throughout the body.
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that have replaced normal skin, or other tissue, after injury. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair (protective, useful barrier) in the skin and other tissues of the body. Scar tissue is never as functional as the original tissue it has replaced. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound (both internal and external) results in some degree of scarring.
Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that anchor and support the wound. It binds together all tissue it comes into contact with. Adhesions may be thought of as internal scar tissue. Although adhesions can occur anywhere, the most common locations are within the stomach, pelvis and heart. (For a comprehensive list of specific types of scar tissue and adhesions go to www.brookseminars.com/resources.)
Cases of Scar Tissue Treatment
Scar tissue release therapy is extraordinarily simple to learn, easy to apply and yields powerful results that can prevent a lifetime of compensation, complications and pain. The therapy is a series of fascial techniques that release and realign the restrictive tissue from the starting point (visible scar) to the end point (where the line of frozen fascia stops). This release system differs from traditional methods because it approaches the multi-faceted matrix of fascia three dimensionally.
I have used this therapy with success for clients who range in age (from children to seniors) and who have experienced a broad scope of problems. In many cases, the results have been achieved within one to three sessions. Below are the stories of three clients who have experienced dramatic results (client names have been changed to protect their identities):
Another client for general relaxation massage referred "Laura" to me. Prior to starting our first session she forewarned me (out of being embarrassed) that her leg was "scary" looking due to vein removal surgery she'd had several years prior. I've seen and helped many clients with scar tissue resulting from vein removal surgery but was stunned at hers. Starting about two inches above her knee all the way down to the middle of the foreleg was a scar every inch and a half - with skin puffing up in between. It looked as though she had been bitten by a shark. In addition to the physical scarring, she experienced pain in her knee and down her leg (which made it difficult to keep up with her four boys). As you would imagine these scars not only affected her physically, but emotionally as well. She was very self-conscious of their appearance, so uneasy that she had not worn shorts since the surgery. She was frustrated that she couldn't keep up with her mother's walking pace while out shopping. And she was angry because her doctor told her nothing could be done, "it just healed that way." But after just one scar treatment session Laura experienced relief physically. By the end of three sessions the swelling was gone, the scars were reduced and Laura was thrilled. Laura's scars have faded by 85 percent. She now wears shorts and was able to actually go skiing with the boys for the first time in four years!
"Debbie," 35, came to me several years ago for help with what she thought was carpal tunnel syndrome. After observing a large scar on Debbie's wrist I inquired as to its origin. When she was nine years old she had put her hand through a window chasing her brother. After working on her hand for two sessions, scars from the glass cuts were reduced visibly by about 80 percent, she obtained range of motion back in her hand/wrist and the numbness was gone.
Another regular massage client one day inquired about my services for his 10-year-old son "Bobby." Bobby, who is very active in sports, was born with a clubfoot and was experiencing a lot of pain in the Achilles tendon of his good leg. After three surgeries his foot was locked in an inverted position causing him to walk on the outside edge of the foot. He was also scheduled for a fourth in a series of seven surgeries. After a thorough evaluation it was clear that it was not the deformity of Bobby's club foot that was holding his foot in this position - but the scar tissue and adhesions from the past surgeries which was wrapped around the ankle into the arch of the foot and up the back of the Achilles tendon. Due to the inversion of the foot, Bobby was using his hip flexors to move his leg forward. After working on Bobby's good leg, I asked his parents if it would be all right if I worked on the other foot. Much to the parent's shock after the first session of treatment, Bobby's foot released about 90 degrees. Upon seeing her son stand with his foot almost flat on the ground Bobby's mom said half in shock and half in anger, "Why didn't the doctors tell us to work on the scars? We would have done it everyday!" I continued to work with Bobby for almost two years. Along with continued work on removing the extensive scar tissue, he needed stretching and strengthening sessions to retrain the muscles in the atrophied leg and throughout his hip. While his foot will always be stunted from his deformity he never did have that fourth surgery.
It is my hope that with modern science starting to recognize the importance of fascia and the effects of scar tissue on the body that scar tissue release will be brought to the forefront of therapy. Massage therapists can make significant and long-lasting changes in the health and well-being of their clients by incorporating scar tissue release therapy into their treatments. It is my experience that this therapy can play a major supportive and therapeutic role in helping anyone living with the physical, emotional and mental effects of scar tissue and adhesion restrictions.
Marjorie Brook has been a nationally certified, New York State LMT since 1997. She is an advanced AIS practitioner/instructor who teaches nationwide, as well as in Canada and Europe. Marjorie offers continuing education courses in Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening, Scar Tissue Release, and Body Mechanics through her company at www.brookseminars.com.
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