resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Treating the Terrain of Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections can be stubborn to treat, but the therapeutic path forward can be simplified when utilizing three distinct treatment principles which take into account the terrain of the body, and the way in which microbes grow.
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!
Integrative Cardiology: The Heart of TCM & Western Medicine
Patient centered therapy is a growing trend in hospitals that are expanding to boutique services.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Click here for previous articles by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT.
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