resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
April, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 04
Iliosacral Pain You Can't Touch
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
As a practicing therapist, I know the anxiety one can feel to produce results during a therapy session. Throughout your career, clients will present you with iliosacral pain that is very sensitive to the touch.In some cases, they report no longer wearing tight-fitting pants or jeans because the pressure on their sacrum or coccyx produces too much pain. So how do you provide relief in this area if you can't touch it?
The information in this article can be easily applied and integrated into any therapy setting and with any application of treatment techniques. While iliosacral pain can have numerous origins, this article will focus on the trigger point patterns that exist along with practical tips to produce positive outcomes.
Pain is a symptom and we want to address the cause. Determine the contributing and/or perpetuating factors influencing your client's pain with intake forms, pain scales, accident questionnaires and headache diaries to help guide and support your physical assessment. Read "Tools to Succeed for Massage Therapists" (MT, May 2009).
Before a surgeon operates, a dentist drills or a chiropractor performs an adjustment, they review images from X-rays, CT scans or MRI and information from other tests. Then the healthcare provider designs a multi-session treatment plan to help their client achieve specific goals. Our clients also expect us to assess and provide a solution.
Standout from your competition by taking five minutes to quickly evaluate your client's gait pattern as they walk down the hall to the therapy room, perform a quick postural analysis (Read "Getting Comfortable With Postural Analysis" MT, July 2008), check range of motion (ROM), and perform orthopedic assessments.
I use the camera on my cell phone to take postural analysis photos and instantly zoom in on the images to review my findings with the client. I quickly review the different postural views and correlate/translate their posture photo to answer:
Which myofascial tissues are shortened and which are lengthened?
Which structures are under the greatest stress?
Review the trigger point patterns that could be involved.
"Connect the dots" as to how and why their posture, restricted ROM, trigger points and pain are related.
Just like other healthcare providers, you must proceed to explain the origin of your client's symptoms and a solution while referencing the tests (orthopedic, ROM) and postural analysis photos as supporting evidence.
Before moving onto my palpation exam and treatment, I educate my client's about trigger points. I circle on a trigger point chart the pain referral patterns of the eight muscles involved with iliosacral pain based on the research of Drs. Travell and Simons, authors of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual.
I explain the "X" in the trigger point images indicates the common location of each trigger point and the red indicates the common referral zones. Each trigger point produces a unique referral pattern and some are similar from one muscle to another. Being familiar with each pattern, will allow you to ask better questions and be precise with your evaluation and treatment. I will briefly review the common location of each trigger point and the associated referred pain pattern. This will reinforce and help you remember the information you should review with your clients.
The eight muscles with trigger points involved in iliosacral pain include:
Gluteus Medius: Two of the three trigger points found in the gluteus medius muscle refers over the iliosacral region. Trigger point 1 (TrP 1) is located lateral to the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and inferior to the iliac crest. It produces a referral that includes the posterior crest of the iluim, the region over sacroilac joint and half the sacrum on the ipsilateral side. (Fig. 1)
Trigger point 3 (TrP 3) is rare but when present is located just posterior to the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and just below the iliac crest. Referred pain is primarily produced in the low back and over the sacrum bilaterally. Read "Back Pain: Often a Pain in the Gluteus Medius" (MT, March 2009).
Gluteus Maximus: Three trigger points in the gluteus maximus can be involved. (Fig. 2) TrP 1 is located just lateral to the sacrum and refers over the sacroiliac joint. Trigger point 2 (TrP 2) is very common and located slightly superior to the ischial tuber-osity. It refers over most of the gluteal region ending below the iliac crest. TrP 3 is located in the fibers close to the coccyx and refers pain over the coccyx.
Multifidi: Trigger points in the lower segments around S1 and S4 may refer to the coccyx, making it hypersensitive to pressure. (Fig. 3) This is often identified as coccydynia.
Quadratus Lumborum: The trigger points located more medially in the quadratus lumborum (Fig. 4, See #1 and #2) refer pain posteriorly to the sacroiliac joint and lower buttock. Symptoms include low back pain upon standing upright or walking. Pain in the quadratus lumborum may be exacerbated by coughing or sneezing.
Soleus: TrP 3 is a very rare trigger point and located in the lateral mid-calf that refers deep into the ipsilateral SI joint. Even more rare, this trigger point could create a pattern similar to TrP 1. A couple of times this very exceptional trigger point has been observed creating severe pain to the ipsilateral face. Trigger points in the soleus do not appear to be involved in leg cramps like the trigger points of the gastrocnemius; however, they have been associated with "growing pains". Trigger points in the soleus and gastrocnemius may contribute to chronic Achilles tendon tension. (Fig. 6)
Coccygeus and Levator ani: If you suspect trigger points in the coccygeus and/or levator ani muscles, address them with stretching, post-isometric relaxation techniques and corrective seated posture and refer them to a specialist. (Fig. 7)
Trigger points can be treated with an array of techniques found in the massage therapy profession from Swedish to Thai massage, myofascial release (MFR) to active isolated stretching (AIS), and the list goes on. The key is to know the anatomy and the common location of each trigger point and their associated pain referral patterns. It is impossible to memorize every trigger point pattern in the body, so it is practical and efficient to use trigger point charts. In the treatment rooms of my clinic, I hang wall charts. I use flip charts when wall space is limited to provide a professional image when doing outcalls, chair massage or when meeting with other healthcare providers to ask for referrals.
I wish you much success in life and in the treatment room.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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