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The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
January, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 01
TDR Massage for Headache Prevention and Relief
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
There are many different types of headaches and most of them, while painful and even debilitating, are not considered to be medically serious. As massage therapists, it is not within our scope of practice to diagnose the type or severity of a client's headache, but once we have determined there is no underlying pathological cause, there is much we can do to relieve, and even prevent, their headache pain.
The Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) massage method of headache prevention and relief is based on the belief that the pain being experienced is directly related to the density of the involved tissues. Whatever the headache trigger might be - emotional stress, muscular tension, etc.- it can be relieved by restoring those tissues to a normal, healthy density.
Hyper-dense tissue hurts because the involved nerves are entangled and compressed within them. When a person's scalp, neck and/or shoulders contain areas that are too dense or hardened, normal movements tug and tear at nerves which are no longer able to slide and glide within their surroundings. It is interesting to note that, in the throes of a headache, one may press into the scalp over the area that hurts and find pain experienced inside the head, which can often be palpated on the outside of the skull because, in actuality, that is where it is. The same phenomenon is present in painful knees and joints where a client will state that the pain is inside the kneecap or bone. The locus of pain is found within a dense area of tissue outside of the bone, and can be felt as a firm or hardened spot. Because that nerve has become immobilized and hardened, and is adhered so closely to the bone, it is experienced as being within the bone.
A good gauge of the condition of the head tissues is to press your fingertips into the middle of the forehead at the hairline, then firmly make circular movements. If the back of the scalp moves around with it, you know there is a TD issue. You will often find the hyper-density can be felt down the back of the neck and into the shoulders. This widespread stiffness indicates the tissues have become locally dehydrated, separate layers are adhered to each other and the fascia has lost some degree of elasticity.
The TDR massage treatment for headache consists of first, determining the area of focus, which is the place that hurts the most, and second, warming the tissues to facilitate their becoming softened and mobilized. And then, massaging them until they have been restored to their normal, pain-free density. It is important to remember the TDR massage rules. Do not go over a three on the 1/10 pain scale. Causing pain is counter-productive, it results in localized swelling, which increases the density (creating even less room for the nerves) and therefore, an increased level of pain. And remember to work on the tissue that hurts the most first.
Have your client indicate the area that hurts the most, and while massaging, warm the affected tissues with a heated pad or pillow. Once the area is well warmed, I use a scalp brush, pressing it firmly enough to grip the scalp, and make circular motions until the area responds by softening and becoming more mobile. If you don't have a scalp brush, you can use your rigid fingers to do the same. As the pain subsides, have your client direct you to the next painful areas. Use the fingers of both hands together, press and rub into the scalp as if you were trying to gently lift the tissues away from the bone. As one area responds, softens and is relieved of pain, move slowly to the next, until the entire scalp will move easily.
The nuchal ridge is an area where many people have an extensive buildup of density, within which much pain develops. With the client prone, warm this area for several minutes and then use the scalp massager (or your fingertips) to mobilize the area in large circles. Once you find that the tissues are moving more fluidly, use your full hand and fingers to petrissage the area. Reapply heat as needed to increase mobility. With your fingertips, move into the area of the ears, moving all tissue surrounding them, then gently cup the ears and move them in wide, smooth circles. Work your way down into the neck and shoulders, with the aim of mobilizing and softening all areas. When you find hardened areas, apply more gentle heat and continue movement until tissues are malleable.
For those who are having sinus-related pain, have them lie supine. Warm a small amount of oil in your hands and massage, starting from the neckline and collar bone. Using gentle petrissage, work your way up the throat, below the ears, over the Eustachian tubes, to the chin and cheeks, under the eyes and sides of the nostrils, around the eyes, over the temples and especially the forehead and eyebrows. Follow with light effleurage down all areas worked in reverse, encouraging drainage. Place the palms of your hands over the forehead and make wide, circular movements and slowly work your way up into the hair into the sides and top of head, then all the way back to the mastoid area.
It is important to understand that this can be a time consuming process. It is futile to prescribe a specific time period for the application of these procedures. One must focus on what hurts and treat it until the tissue responds. I surmise that the reason one cannot fit TDR massage into a neat little package of protocols is because each person's condition is different. While two may have the same pain, in the same place, their response to treatment is going to be affected by several factors such as the length of time the condition has been present, how well hydrated they are in general, etc. However, the results of this treatment are significant. Once the tissue has been restored from firm, hypo-hydrated, elevated density to a warm, well-circulating, and well-hydrated condition, the pain has been eradicated.
To prevent their headaches from returning, it is my policy to teach clients how to maintain their restored tissues. I explain to them that by keeping their head, neck and shoulders moving freely, they maintain the appropriate environment for the nerves to exist comfortably. I suggest they massage their scalps vigorously all over when shampooing, and while drying off they should place the towel behind their neck, taking one end in each hand, raking it firmly from side to side and pressing the neck and back of the head into it in an attempt to move the neck and lower scalp tissues around on the skull. For the face, I suggest they use a light facial oil or virgin olive oil, and massage every bit of it, from the hairline at the forehead to the sinuses under the eyes, the cheeks, chin and around the ears, as well as the neck and throat area, down to the collarbones. They should take note of any tender area and continue to gently massage it until it clears up.
Many clients report they have no more headaches after treatment and those who still get them say they have fewer headaches and the ones they do experience are less painful and shorter in duration than before receiving TDR massage and following the maintenance routine.
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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