resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
August, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 08
Massage Today Reader Discovers "Anything’s Possible"
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Terri, a normally healthy 62-year-old woman, was recently scouring the Internet for help when she ran across a Massage Today article that she said "literally saved my life." She was suffering from severe anemia that doctors at two different hospitals couldn't explain.
Her health had started degrading a year earlier when she found herself dramatically short of breath. "I couldn't get dressed in the morning without having to sit down and rest," Terri said. "I couldn't even walk to the bathroom from my desk at the office."
Doctors suspected Terri had a rare form of asthma, but that didn't sit right with her. "I wasn't wheezing at all. I just had shortness of breath." Nonetheless, they put her on a steroid for six months to try to clear it up. "It didn't do anything except make me gain a lot of weight," she said.
Then last November, Terri's right foot and big toe went numb and turned blue. She immediately checked into the hospital, but this time she was told she probably had peripheral artery disease. The surgeons began preparing for an angioplasty. "In the process, they asked me to sign a release that gave them permission to amputate my foot!" she exclaimed. Fortunately for Terri, her intuition told her that something wasn't quite right with this picture. So against doctor's orders and pleas from her daughters, she signed herself out of the hospital and found her way to a different doctor, one she hoped would finally listen to her.
After a battery of tests ruled out plaque around the heart, doctors gave Terri a new diagnosis. "Your big toe is broken," they said. "What's wrong with that?" she asked. As it turned out, plenty. She was also suffering from something the other doctors hadn't mentioned: severe anemia.
Anemia occurs when you don't have enough healthy red blood cells, or when the red blood cells don't have enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the organs. For men, a count of less than 14g per deciliter is worrisome. In women, anything less than 12g is a problem.
By the time Terri went back to the hospital five days later, her hemoglobin was at an 8. But she still wasn't prepared for what her doctors recommended next: a blood transfusion. "I was shocked. I had no idea it was that bad," she said. "But it was all too much. I told them I had to go home and think about it."
Unfortunately, within a of couple days, her hemoglobin had dropped to the dangerous level of 6 and she collapsed.
Back at the hospital, Terri received four consecutive blood transfusions. "They say one every few months is the norm. But that's what it took to get my hemoglobin level back up to an 8," Terri said. Assuming she must have been bleeding internally, the doctors ordered another round of tests. Everything came up negative.
By January Terri's hemoglobin was back down to a 7, but the doctors still didn't know what was wrong. So they gave her another transfusion. Finally, they told her it was just too dangerous to continue doing that. They were going to wait until it got down to a 6 before giving her any more.
"I was playing with my life," Terri said. "I thought, at this rate, I might just not wake up one day." Her doctors agreed and actually advised her to get her affairs in order. "They still didn't know what was causing it. They even suggested chemotherapy just in case it was a cancer they couldn't find."
When Terri went home that day, she decided to take her health care into her own hands. She started by searching for clues on the Internet. The last time she had looked, she was reviewing the prosthetics she thought she'd need after her foot was amputated. But this time she was determined to "sit there for 24 hours if that was what it took to find some kind of treatment for anemia."
She began Googling. That's when she found a Massage Today article called "Unwinding Meridians to Reverse Anemia" by Dr. Kenneth Koles (April 2009 issue). In it, Koles talks about combining acupuncture with CranioSacral Therapy to treat a woman named Helen who was suffering from anemia like Terri was.
CranioSacral Therapy rang a bell with Terri. "I have a friend who's a massage therapist and she was trained in cranial work, too," she said. So she quickly called Laura Gomez, Ms.T. Coincidentally, Laura had just read the same article, and she immediately drove to Terri's for her first treatment.
"It didn't feel like any massage I'd ever had," Terri said. "It felt more like acupressure to me. It was strange, I remember hearing in my right ear the sound of blood flowing. It sounded like the ocean." Laura continued to work on her for two hours, coming back several times in seven days.
Terri went to her doctor to have her blood checked once again. "I was so depressed. If this didn't work, I didn't know what I was going to do." To her surprise, her hemoglobin count actually went up two-tenths of a point. "That doesn't sound like a lot, but normally I'd go down five-tenths every week. So to me, that was more like seven-tenths of an increase!"
Hopeful for the first time in months, Terri had two more CranioSacral sessions the following week. Her next blood test was even more promising. She was up to a 9.3. "It went up six-tenths of a point! And my iron levels went up one whole gram, and I wasn't eating spinach or anything. I had just started taking iron pills, but the doctor told me they wouldn't have started working for months."
"My doctor said it's a miracle," Terri said. And when she told him about CranioSacral Therapy, he commented, "I suppose anything's possible." Fortunately for Terri, with the help of hands-on therapy, he's right.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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