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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.
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.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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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