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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?."
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
Massage and Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
By Rita Woods, LMT
You can use your massage skills and talents to work on clients with diabetic and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathies. The degree of success is dependent upon the stage/severity of the neuropathy, client compliance with their own medical care and the "homework" you give them, and your understanding and use of the correct massage therapy protocol.
Neuropathies are characterized by a progressive loss of nerve fiber function. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy or (DPN) can be defined as "the presence of symptoms and or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in people with diabetes after exclusion of other causes." This is by far the most common form of neuropathy and one that you are likely to see in your massage practice. Symptoms include pain, tingling, a burning sensation, numbness or loss of feeling, pins and needles feeling and even muscle weakness. This neuropathy usually starts in the toes (in the most distal peripheral nerves) then progresses to the foot, then up the ankle and so on. The hands can be affected in the same way. This condition is almost always bilateral, involving both feet and or both hands. While DPN can involve organs and other body systems, our goal here, staying within our scope of practice, is to normalize function in the feet and hands using appropriate massage therapy techniques. It's important to understand some processes to help hone your skills and to help educate your clients about why it is important to follow their doctors orders. Understanding the why of something often encourages participation and compliance.
First, let's look at the condition itself. The feet of a person with long-term or poorly treated diabetes will often look discolored in a mottled pattern, bluish, shiny/tight or swollen. The client may or may not have been diagnosed with diabetes. Often, it's the neuropathy that causes them to go see their doctor. Early stages usually show no outward physical signs but more advanced stages may show blue toes. This can (and usually does) eventually turn to gangrene where the tissue dies and turns black. The first sign of gangrene can look like a small poppy seed sized black spot. This tissue cannot be regenerated and amputation is the end result of this progression. Naturally, the goal is to begin working on these feet before the condition gets to that point. Following is a case study provided by Charlotte Versagi, LMT, using the massage protocol. This was her first and most dramatic case that eventually led to the saving of hundreds of toes and feet.
The client was a 55-year-old male construction worker with severe diabetes and bilateral cold/blue feet with numbness and tingling. He could barely stand to have his feet touched and his feet were so painful from neuropathy that he could barely get his feet into his work boots in the morning and almost cried when he pried his boots off at night. When he went to the doctor, he was told, "you should plan on an amputation sometime in the near future." There was no mention of any treatment option, no additional medication proposed, just "plan on amputation."
He came to Charlotte asking what she could do. She started the protocol, very slowly, very lightly and called in his wife to teach her. After a few weeks, they were going in "to the bone" as the protocol suggests. He came once per week. His wife was performing the protocol twice a day. He rubbed his own feet whenever he could. In four months, he had almost no pain, had full function and his feet were warm to the touch and normally colored. The doctor retracted his statement about amputation. It should be noted that the client was following a strict diet and taking his medication as directed and was compliant with all aspects of his diabetes care.
Glucose in the body undergoes a series of chemical reactions. If you consume normal amounts of sugars (fructose, sucrose, any form of "sugar" including honey) the early stages of the chemical reactions form an equilibrium reaction. This is called a reversible reaction and allows the body to function optimally. On the other hand, if too much sugar is consumed, these reactions are not reversible and a cascade of events take place by joining the glucose molecule with a protein or fat in an abnormal process which is pathological in nature. This process is called glycation and involves every fundamental process of cellular metabolism. Eventually, through a series of reactions, you wind up with advanced glycation end products or AGEs. These are bad things and cause nothing but harm and damage.
Glycation has been implicated in many diseases and inflammatory processes. It affects the cardiovascular system in a very big way. Tissues that have a slow turnover (more permanent) in the body are most affected by glycation. So the cardiovascular system, connective tissue and skin, nerve tissue and renal tissue are major targets. Inside a blood vessel are elastin fibers to which AGE molecules will attach, thus decreasing the diameter (or caliber) of the blood vessel. There is also a lot of collagen in the arterial walls that can cross-link with the AGE molecules further compromising the blood vessels ability to function properly. Each time there is a glucose spike and AGE molecules are formed, distal circulation is compromised and the blood vessels themselves become occluded beginning with the small capillaries. Unable to supply the surrounding tissue and nerves with nutrients and oxygen the resulting oxidative debt turns toes blue and causes nerves to malfunction sending signals to the brain of pain, tingling, burning and numbness. In addition to the mechanical damage, it is believed these toxic AGE molecules (and other toxins) also trigger the release of substances that further damage the adjacent nerves.
The most important factor to getting DPN under control is to first stop the sugar spikes. Clients must maintain their glucose at a balanced level. No great highs or lows. (They know what level their doctor wants them to maintain.) With diet and medication under control, the massage therapy protocol (coming next article) can truly help save toes and feet from amputation and relieve some or all of the pain and misery of the neuropathy. The next article will discuss chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and give the detailed step-by-step massage therapy protocol for peripheral neuropathy as developed by Charlotte Michael Versagi who has graciously allowed me to share it, in its entirety, with Massage Today readers.
Editor's Note: For additional information, see Step-By-Step Massage Therapy Protocols for Common Conditions by Charlotte Michael Versagi with contributions by Rita D. Woods. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011. To find this book and more on medical protocols, visit www.charlottemichaelversagi.com or www.darienlourde.com.
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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