resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Freeing the Heart
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD
The central question is, what can we do as massage therapists to stem the tide of cardiovascular disease? Heart disease is a progression that expresses itself in many forms, lowering the quality of life for millions and is the cause of death for a citizen in this country every 60 seconds.1
My premise and clinical experience suggests that we can literally create more space for the heart within the thorax. This is achieved by increasing the suppleness and length of the soft tissues both within the chest and those of the outer wall, enhancing the mobility of the thoracic joints, and by reducing the pressure within the cavity itself.
The heart expands and contracts to send blood out over approximately 60,000 miles of vessels.2 By creating more room for the heart to expand, potentiates its capacity for gathering together and pushing more blood. The quantity of blood and the strength of the push during the contraction phase are both assisted by reducing the resistance to the heart's expansion phase. Something this simple can make a significant contribution.
Our touch, when guided by intention, perception and knowledge can truly make a difference.
In the book, The China Study, the author cites a study of autopsies done during the Korean War that identified that all of the 22-year-old young men in the study showed the beginning signs of moderate to severe heart disease.3 A rather chilling reference for us to consider that the progression of heart disease actually can begin this young. Yet, it offers us an anchor point in our awareness that most of our clients would benefit from our attention to "freeing the heart."
Let's begin with a method for quickly assessing the tension and pressure of the chest.
With your next 10 clients:
With each palpation, memorize the quality of the resistance to your palpations. The reason for assessing 10 people is to develop a continuum for your kinesthetic memory. It's a random sampling. You might want to do this same thing with an infant, a child, a teen, various adults and, people in your life that are over 60 years old to further develop your kinesthetic awareness to establish a continuum of what healthy distensibility of the thorax feels like.
It's been my repeated experience that resistance to compression, pliability, and distensibility, just beneath the breast area between ribs 5 and 6, is the most significant tip-off that the heart is unable to expand to its fullest capacity. This becomes even more significant if either side of the diaphragm muscle resists lateral excursion.
As our profession has so many different technique orientations, my intention in this series will be to outline the most critical perceptual, kinesthetic and anatomical reference points that my clinical experience has demonstrated to be effective in "freeing the heart."
One of my galvanizing experiences that prompts me to write this series is the feedback from a client in his 80's that his cardiologist had "never seen a left ventricle" that had been enlarged for 30 years shrink back to its normal size. The client has been seeing me on a regular basis since his mid-70's. None of us can promise or even assert with confidence that such functional changes will happen, but my clinical experience suggests it is possible.
Click here for more information about Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD.
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