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Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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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