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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
TDR Massage for Self-Care of the Breast
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A new client stated that his doctor had recommended massage to reduce his anxiety level. He had been experiencing frightening episodes of chest pain, but all the tests indicated that his heart was fine – hence the diagnosis of anxiety.I found elevated tissue density (TD) in his chest overall, as well as several pectoral trigger points. I released the trigger points and instructed him on how to massage his chest, and his chest pain has never returned.
Tissue density restoration massage for the breast was developed to relieve non-cardiac related chest pain, and to help detect and prevent breast cancer. If you experience chest pain but have been told by your doctor that it is not related to heart disease, a simple routine of chest/breast massage can relieve and prevent pain symptoms. Hyper-dense chest and breast tissues can be a source of pain, especially during periods of elevated tension, for men and women alike. When tissues harden, nerves are caught up within them, impairing normal sensation. While many men assume breast massage would be for women only, it is important to point out that men get breast cancer as well, as many as 1 in 1,000. Whether you are seeking to relieve achy chest tension, or promote breast health, the treatment is the same.
Several years ago, in the course of having a sonogram on my liver, pancreas and gall bladder, the doctor told the technician to try to visualize my heart as well. He added that it most likely would not show up. I asked why, and he told me that at my (plus) size, my tissues would most likely be too dense to "see" through. I explained to him that, as a massage therapist, I made it a practice to keep my breast tissues massaged so that they are malleable, and hopefully, any lump that might develop would be easily detected. He dismissed the idea that massage could change the density; stating that it is either dense or it is not. At completion of the testing, the technician let me know that there were no visualization problems, even at my size. I do not offer this one, personal, anecdotal experience as proof that TDR massage can improve the ability to visualize breast tissue; I would have needed to have a pre-massage test, as well as several other subjects being tested. I do, however, offer it as a possibility. It is my hope that one day someone researches the visualization differences in breasts before and after TD alteration massage.
I am gratified that my suspicion from years ago of the relationship between breast density and cancer has been found to be accurate. I discussed the cancer risk of having elevated breast density with anyone who would listen to me, from radiation nurses to doctors, but was told that density had nothing to do with it. That opinion has changed; a government cancer fact sheet states that having dense breasts is a breast cancer risk factor. And by "gratified," I mean I am pleased that - even though we can't change our genes or physiology, elevated tissue density is a condition that can easily be altered, by the individual, at no cost.
Self TDR massage for the breast is performed the same way for men as for women. You will want to be sure the space you are working in is warm and free of drafts. Warm the chest for about 20 minutes before performing assessment with a warming pad or pack. You will be looking for tissue that:
The guidelines of TDR massage are to keep the tissues warm and not to go over a 3 on a 1/10 pain scale. Keeping that in mind, the goal is to use as much pressure and movement as possible to ensure that each layer of tissue is fully hydrated, perfusing well and is not immobilized. Remember that normal, healthy tissue does not hurt when pressed into.
Lie on your right side. Raise your left arm and grasp it firmly at the elbow with your right hand. Gently jiggle the underarm area, looking for tight, firm or hardened areas. Palpate the tissues from the elbow, moving toward the armpit with your fingers in long, smooth strokes. Do this several times all around the arm, on the top, sides and bottom. Make a fist of your right hand and press it into your left armpit, making wide, firm circular strokes. Cup and lift your left breast with the left hand and, using the tips of your fingers, press gently into the chest wall. Using small, circular movements, palpate the borders of your entire breast. Still cupping the breast, use fingers to lightly jiggle the body of the breast, noting any sensations of tightness, adhesions or discomfort. Press the fingers of your right hand into the ball of left shoulder, dragging towards the center of your chest, palpate the tissues around the collarbone. Repeat on left side. In an upright position, place the palms of your hands at the sides of your chest wall, gently press and rake your palms across the chest, toward the mediastinum, mobilizing the pectoral muscles.
You now have a good idea of where you may have elevated TD. You can restore the density by massaging thoroughly, using massage cream and a heated pad, or simply a good warm shower and gentle soap. I would do any work needed in the axillary region first, simply because it will encourage and promote proper lymph drainage. After that, pick the area that was most uncomfortable and clear it up first. If it feels too tight, warm and massage it as firmly as possible without eliciting pain. Once you are able to press into that tissue without discomfort, move to the next worst area. If an area feels denser than it should, warm it and move it around until it softens and normalizes. Even slight sensory changes indicate elevated TD, so if there is a muscle or area that feels tingly or itchy, work on it as well. Always modulate the amount of pressure and movement you use based on the pain level, keeping it under a mild 3.
Another important aspect of any form of TDR massage is to take whatever time is needed to affect a change in the tissue density. I expect to spend at least 45 minutes on a hardened area before it will soften, pink up and stop hurting. Once an area is cleared up it will stay that way for a long time, maybe permanently with maintenance massage. For this reason, you really need to emphasize to your clients that they will be better served to work on one area until it improves, rather than to try to work on multiple areas during a single session. Once they experience the benefits of TDR massage, they appreciate the improvements and are willing to "do the work."
A female client once complained that her breasts felt like hard balls in a sagging sack. I suggested she perform breast massage in a warm shower every day. Several weeks later she told me she was very pleased that her breasts were no longer hardened and, rather than sagging, they felt full, plumped and buoyant. She no longer had the sensation that the tissues were separated from each other.
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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