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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
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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