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News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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.
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.
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.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
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.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
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.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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!
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
The Significance of Tissue Density Measurement
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
Massage therapists often struggle with the perceptions and beliefs expressed by others about the validity of massage therapy. Some massage therapists end up questioning the benefits of massage as well.It saddens me when I hear a therapist state that massage is just a "feel-good" experience. While there is nothing wrong with basing one's personal practice on providing relaxation massage, there are many therapists who dedicate their work to the relief of pain. Those of us who strive, and are able, to relieve our client's pain are often told that our results are subjective, therefore, "anecdotal."
It's been suggested to me a few times that the reason I'm successful at relieving pain is that I'm so kind and my clients like me. Supposedly my, "therapeutic presence" makes people feel better. Therapeutic presence is very comforting and beneficial, but it alone will not change a physical problem. I've also been told I possess "innate healing abilities." Some of us may have been seduced by the heady notion that we are magical healers, an idea that finds room for consideration when one cannot otherwise explain good results where others have failed. However, we do the profession a great disservice by cloaking our positive outcomes in ambiguity. Such is the stuff that quackery surrounds itself with, "mysterious ancient secrets" and the like. Better to acknowledge that while we may not know why a treatment works, we use it because it causes improvement. By studying and refining such treatments, perhaps the improvements can be increased and eventually understood.
It was during a devastating period of time when a medical condition caused me to lose the ability to walk that I became aware that palpable changes in tissue density (TD) are a reliable gauge of musculoskeletal pain. I was not willing to give up my massage practice, so I made adjustments to my clinic, such as removing the legs from my massage table to lower it and working from a seated position in a rolling task chair. I looked at what I was doing from a different perspective, and started trying new things that I would never have considered had I still been able to stand correctly and utilize proper body mechanics. I can laugh now, looking back at the dark days when I feared I would no longer be able to make a real difference in medical conditions such as arthritis, back pain, sciatica and other painful conditions. I believed I would have to relegate myself to doing relaxation massage, that I could only do, "feel-good" work. I resolved, however, to give it my all and deliver the most relaxing, best feeling massage each client had ever gotten. It was at this point in time that my work became most effective. Seated, and spending more concentrated time on a focused area, I came to recognize the subtle changes in the density and texture of tissues.
Painful, elevated TD can absolutely be felt by the therapist. Once a therapist has developed the skill of TD palpation, they can recognize problem areas before the client is even aware of them. It is not a psychic or intuitive knowledge; it is a universally assessable, measurable and documentable state of being which can be determined, recorded, and understood by any skilled clinician. Most importantly, elevated TD is restorable, and, once restored to normal density, pain is relieved and function often returned. This is what successful massage therapists have been doing all along. By narrowing the focus of whichever method we use that effectively restores TD; one can increase positive outcomes dramatically.
I think of the existence of elevated TD as a sort of, "Rosetta Stone." You may recall that it was the discovery of the Rosetta Stone that led researchers to understand the meaning of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Upon it is recorded the same message in two languages using three different scripts, some understood at that time of discovery, the other, hieroglyphic, unknown. To over-simplify it, they were able to plug in what they knew about some of the writing and decipher that which was unknown. The association of elevated TD to a Rosetta Stone comes to mind when I think about conditions we don't understand, for example, the affect weather has on people with arthritis and old injuries. Science tells us that the complaints of pain that occur with changes in weather are subjective, therefore, are simple folklore and can't be proven. But "plug in" elevated TD as a factor, and there is an assessable, measurable, and treatable explanation. And, once recognized, it is undeniable.
Elevated TD results in tissue hardening and contraction, which can form various secondary compartments within the body. Our nerves become caught up in these formations and are subject to the stresses applied to the makeshift walls of these compartments by weather related changes in barometric pressure - similar to the discomfort we experience in our ears with changes in elevation. The severity will depend on the grade of TD involved.
Through the measurement of TD we can now provide consistent, corroborative, objective data about the condition of tissues before and after treatment. Combine that with a client's subjective statements, and the efficacy and benefits of therapeutic massage are provable. There is no longer justification for the benefits of massage to be questioned by doctors, clients or massage therapists. There is no reason left to deny the effectiveness of therapeutic massage, nor is there any acceptable excuse to decline payment for treatments.
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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