resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Qi Focus: A Guide to Managing Stress
Stress, are you experiencing heightened stress levels? Your own, and your clients? Is Trumpitis getting to you? I recently polled a cluster of acupuncturists, Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) and psychotherapy colleagues on the issue.
The Chiropractor's Guide to CRISPR
Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2015 was described as "the gene-editing tool called CRISPR." CRISPR stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats."
Give Your Patients the Ergonomic Advantage
Prolonged sitting contributes to low back pain and is a health risk. When I discuss my POLITE technique practice recommendations with patients, ergonomics may be last, but not least!
The First (Only) Choice for Spinal Pain
The study on NSAIDs for spinal pain summarized on the front page of this issue is intriguing on a number of levels, the most obvious being the conclusion that "compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide a clinically important effect on spinal pain, and six patients must be treated with NSAIDs for one patient to achieve a clinically important benefit in the short-term."
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Why Now Is the Time to Expand
In my January article, "Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Is It Time for Change?" I discussed the use of the term primary spine care practitioner, the loss of privileges to diagnose in Texas, and the fact that the definition of "chiropractic" varied from state to state.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Family Practice
Every practice has a personality style. A practice that caters to athletes, PI cases or adults, for example, projects differently to patients than a family wellness practice.
Insomnia Treatment Based on the Yu Theory
In recent years, acupuncture has risen in popularity as a form of alternative or supplemental medicine for the treatment of many different types of disorders.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Heliotherapy
I can't imagine anyone not feeling good strolling in the sun on a beautiful spring day. The sun is responsible for all life on earth and is best illustrated along the equator touting the richest biodiversity on the planet, in stark contrast to the Arctic Circle and South Pole.
Caring for Refugees in Greece
At the beginning of 2016 I had no idea what was in store for me, but I was looking forward to a personal retreat on the Greek island of Paros; a graduation gift to myself after 22 years of motherhood, and four-plus years of Chinese medicine school.
Making Sense of Liver Regulation
In Chinese medicine, the liver has the function of moving and storing qi and blood. In its moving function, the liver smoothly distributes qi and blood to the tendons, muscles and flesh through microcirculation.
Integrative Cardiology: The Heart of TCM & Western Medicine
Patient centered therapy is a growing trend in hospitals that are expanding to boutique services.
News In Brief
A "Modern" Business Model. Acupuncturists may have a new professional atmosphere to consider, as a new concept is on the horizon - at least for one business.
Help Save an Important Chiropractic Landmark
The chiropractic profession has a splendid and varied history. Sadly, many landmarks have been lost to bulldozers and wrecking crews, such as the Ryan Building, Little-Bit-O-Heaven, Spears Chiropractic Hospital, and Clearview Sanitarium.
How to Correct a Cuboid Subluxation
Cuboid subluxation is a poorly recognized condition, even though it is not uncommon. It has been described in the literature under various names: cuboid subluxation, cuboid syndrome, locked cuboid, dropped cuboid, cuboid fault syndrome or peroneal cuboid syndrome.
NSAIDs No Better Than Placebo for Spine Pain
A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain concludes that among 6,065 spine pain patients, "NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo."
Treating LBP the Right Way: Think Natural
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive, non-drug therapies as first options for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, rather than pain medications, as stipulated in the original 2007 guideline.
Toxicity & Kids: The Importance of Environmental Intake
The old adage is true that children are not little adults. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long known that the physiology of children is unique, as are the diseases that plague them.
Chiropractic: A Great Fit for the White House
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a New York Chiropractic College alumnus; a No. 1 best-selling author whose books include Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator; a chiropractor for professional sports teams and elite athletes; and even served as an advisor under the Clinton Administration to the President's Council on Sports & Physical Fitness.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter (Part 2)
Now let's discuss the clinical approach to reducing WC and implementation in today's chiropractic practice. The primary intervention centers around dietary modification and lifestyle habits aimed to reduce adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately, diminish systemic metabolic dysfunction.
What's Bugging You? Probiotics and Your Health
An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
Good Works at the Canandaigua VA
Faculty and students of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (FLSAOM) of the New York Chiropractic College have provided acupuncture to veterans at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Canandaigua, New York since September of 2007.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
Tissue Density's Relationship to Pain and Dysfunction
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A new client presented with a diagnosis of severe pain in her right arm. She had been seen by several doctors and specialists and undergone a number of tests, including an MRI and a CAT scan.A neurologist informed her that all of the tests were negative and nothing appeared to be wrong with her arm. He suggested she see a massage therapist to deal with her stress. He also suggested she seek emotional counseling to address her, "exaggerated pain" symptoms. It is not my intention to discuss her medical condition, but to share an example of what so many of us massage therapists often face in the course of our massage careers – not just a hurting client who is seeking relief, but a person experiencing anxiety over whether or not we will even believe their pain is real.
After carefully examining her arm with my fingertips, I could tell her where it was hurting. My client's relief that I believed her was just as palpable as the affected tissues I'd found in her hand, arm, neck and shoulder. Had any of her doctors laid hands on her, and known what to look for, they would also have felt the differences in tissue density. They would have known that something actually was there, something assessable, measurable, documentable and most importantly – something treatable.
Tissue Density (TD), as it pertains to therapeutic massage, is an expression of the compactness and consistency of body tissues. My theory is that musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction increases in direct association with an elevation in TD. This is significant because TD is alterable as massage therapists do it all the time. Muscle "knots", "tight" muscles, and "trigger points" are some examples of elevated TD, as well as firm, swollen areas that may be congested with lymph, or thick, hard areas such as the plantar fascia when it is engaged in plantar fasciitis. Other examples include, but are not limited to, tissue that has become fibrous, nodules, "bony overgrowth" or areas that appear to be nothing but skin over bone, and any joint, ligament, or tendon that "pops" or "twangs" with movement.
My thoughts regarding the etiology of elevated TD involve the lipid-rich components of our extracellular fluids, which I believe are attracted to the bio-polymeric nature of our cartilaginous tissues. This attraction, combined with a variety of dynamic factors, including body heat, compressive force, overuse, injury, hypo-hydration, torsion, sheer force, tensile force, inertia, chemical environment and fluid viscosity may cause the extracellular fluid to accumulate, thicken and eventually precipitate into gelatinous plaque. Over time, I believe that these plaques harden and become mineralized, turning into the rubbery nodules or bone-like overgrowth of arthritic joints, as well as contributing to many other conditions. The plaque may be as thin as a sheet of a single layer of fascia cells or it can form a large area of many tissue layers sandwiched together, such as those found over arthritic hip joints and the thick, tender pads which so often develop at the medial aspect of knees.
We know that studies have shown massage can improve blood pressure. I surmise that the improvement occurs when the massage therapist has facilitated a successful reduction of TD. We work on a client with tight, dense muscles, they get off of our tables relaxed, their muscles have softened, loosened and become much more pliable. Once the heart no longer has to force the blood through constricted vessels trapped within clenched musculature, it stands to reason that this alleviation of compression will result in a reduction of blood pressure and heart rate.
As TD increases, involved nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic pathways will become engulfed, compressed, displaced, congested or a combination of all of the above. Untreated elevated TD has many complications. Consider what might happen to tissues that have become partially isolated from a normal environment where adequate nutrients, hydration and waste removal are available for example, The plantar fascia receives the full brunt of our weight. Add compression, force and any number of other events, such as stepping on a stone, poorly fitting shoes, running, etc. Any of these factors can generate heat in the foot, melting local fat deposits. Force and condensation will have pressed much moisture out of the fascia making re-hydration even more difficult. Nerves and nerve endings get caught up between layers of ligament, aponeuroses and fascia, becoming hot-glued together into a thick, rubbery sheet. It seems likely that, given enough time in a hydrophobic environment, the result would be a loss of elasticity and tissue shrinkage. The affected plantar fascia must be warmed up with movement and painfully forced to stretch back out, bringing a measure of relief, but after a period of rest and cooling the pain cycle starts all over again when attempting to walk. Until the TD is properly restored, nerves trapped in the dense tissue matrix are going to suffer with every step.
Done correctly, TDRM is a highly effective modality whereby the client achieves pain relief and improved mobility. TDRM is a powerful tool for us massage therapists, caring professionals who lay our hands on our clients, quite literally feel their pain, and then do something about it.
Click here for previous articles by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT.
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.