resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.).
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.
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.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.