resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
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.
Linda LePelley, RN, NMT is a registered nurse and licensed massage therapist with 19 years of clinical massage experience. She developed Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) Massage, an effective treatment for the pain found in hyper-dense tissues. For more information, visit www.MyHealingHands.com.
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