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News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
December, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 12
Unwinding the Meridians to Reverse Depuytren's Contracture
By Kenneth R. Koles, PhD, DSc, RAc, LMT
Jane is a 40-year-old African American hairstylist in my practice. She came in and described stiffness and lack of movement in her right hand. Her medical doctor had diagnosed this as Depuytren's Contracture, which is a hereditary condition reputed to be of Viking ancestry.It is where the fascia or aponeurosis of the palm thickens and shortens to pull the fingers down into a fist. The only medical treatment was surgery and that was not a sure cure, so Jane came in for a more holistic approach.
By unwinding the meridians with Craniosacral therapy, we were able to reverse and totally eradicate the condition within a month of treatments. Years later, Jane is still free of the problem. Craniosacral therapy uses the flow of cerebral spinal fluid as it goes up and down the spine around the brain and is reflected in the whole body. This is a closed hydraulic system that can be self regulating. The process of unwinding the meridians uses the meridians or pathways of acupuncture, which is also a closed system where one meridian flows into the next in a consistent flow and time. The gentle touch of craniosacral therapy is used on acupuncture points to influence their tendencies; to stimulate, relax or otherwise direct how they affect the energies of the body. We can use the analogy that the body is a sea of qi with the craniosacral rhythm as the waves in the ocean and the meridians of acupuncture as the currents in the ocean.
To work with Jane, I started unwinding the DNA points to "shut off" the genes responsible for Depuytren's Contracture and "turn on" the genes for a healthy, flexible right hand. In Taoist acupuncture, there is a history of the I Ching with its 64 hexagrams, which describes the possibilities or tendencies of events. In our body, the first 64 cells of creation are the 64 codons of our genetic code, which can be influenced for better health. There is a combination of two points that many of my students and patients have used to influence their genes. The DNA points are Governing Vessel 20 and Yin Tang. Then we added Gall Bladder 34, the influential point of tendons.
To unwind an acupuncture point, you gently use a fingertip on the point with just an energetic or electrical connection. Then feel for the craniosacral rhythm, which can be a delicate wave or pulse going out or in, up or down, expanding and contracting, for three seconds each way. More than five grams of pressure (the weight of a nickel) will impede this rhythm. To tune into this flow, it helps to relax, breathe down into your abdomen and feel your feet on the Earth. Let any excess tension go down into the ground and allow Earth energy to rise up in the body for healing. Next, open your subtle sense and tune into the personality and wisdom of the point. As the rhythm becomes more apparent, you can blend and harmonize with it to encourage it to enhance its fullness with the same three seconds in and three seconds out wave. This is done more with energy and intention than a physical push or pull.
The DNA points are Yin Tang, the third eye, "Hall of Impressions" located between the medial ends of both eyebrows above the nose; and Governing Vessel 20, Bai Hui, "Hundred Convergences," on the top of the head where the apexes of both ears would meet. This is on the sagittal suture located anterior to posterior in the middle of the skull. Using the back of a fingernail perpendicular to the head and sliding back, there is a slight dip at Governing Vessel 20.
The influential point of tendons is Gall Bladder 34, located in the valley anterior and inferior to the head of the fibula, just below and lateral to the knee. To utilize these points to reprogram tendons or other soft tissue problems (ligaments, discs, meniscuses, etc.), start unwinding Governing Vessel 20 at the apex of the head on the sagittal suture. Feeling for the gentle wave or pulse of the cranial rhythm with ones thumb just above or slightly touching the scalp, slide the finger along the suture to feel the dip, then feel for a wave there. Next, stay on that point using your intention and input to balance the wave so it is consistent in its rhythm.
You can get a "yes" or "no" response from a point by asking the point to show you either a "yes" or "no." Usually, the point will stop the wave or make the wave jump for a response. Ask the wave for a "yes" and go over a few questions you know the answer to, such as "Governing Vessel 20, are you there?" "Can we heal this condition?" "Do you have the DNA programs for Jane's healthiest tendons in both hands, going back into her genetic memory if necessary?" "Can you shut off the DNA programs for tight tendons?" "Can you turn on the program for youthful, vital and flexible tendons in her hands?" As Governing Vessel 20 responds in the positive, keep your thumb there and connect your third (middle) finger to Yin Tang (the third eye) and feel the rhythm there either just off the skin or as a very gentle contact.
After unwinding Governing Vessel 20 and Yin Tang, you can ask the points for a "yes" regarding if they can access the proper DNA program for healthy tendons and if they can feel the program for flexible tendons. Then keep unwinding the points intending for balance. It is almost always in the points' best interest to encourage health and if the points refuse to remedy the condition, it is your opportunity to find what else needs to be addressed for optimal health; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, nutritionally, environmentally.
With one hand on the two DNA points and the cranial rhythm engaged, the next part is to use the other hand to place one finger on Gall Bladder 34 (at the top of the fibula medially in the depression anterior and inferior to the fibular head), the influential point of tendons. Again, just off the skin to feel the heat and/or electrical charge, palpate the wave of the cranial rhythm. Unwind the point so the wave or pulse is consistent. Ask for a "yes," the abrupt stop or jump in the rhythm. Then use Gall Bladder 34 to again access the body's energies to encourage healthy, vital tendinous flow in the palm needing balance.
Once this combination of points is synchronous, you can use one hand to contact the contracture on the palm and the other at Gall Bladder 34 or Yin Tang with Governing Vessel 20 to bring the correct DNA program into the effected tendons in any combination that harmonizes the body. Jane is a motivated client and worked on these points herself daily before bed and in less than a month, she was completely cured. Once you can access the DNA, there are infinite possibilities for health and wellness.
Kenneth R. Koles is a certified Upledger Institute instructor who teaches "Unwinding Meridians: Applying Acupuncture Principles to CranioSacral Therapy." To learn more visit www.upledger.com.
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