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The Potter's Wheel: Reflections on Practicing in a Technology-Driven World
In my very early years of practice, an older patient named Cora would call me at home, usually late Sunday night after she had consumed an unknown quantity of beer.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
Have a Heart: Say No to Soda
It's not enough that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to cavities and weight gain, among other negative health consequences.
Correcting Kid Logic in Health Care and Research Design
A recent broadcast on public radio described a fascinating phenomenon known as kid logic.
Side Effects From Big Pharma: Wellbutrin – Dangerous for You and Your Baby
Are some of your pregnant patients taking Wellbutrin? If so, it could be a danger to them and their baby. This drug is extremely popular, but it has a serious history.
Remembering Joe Weider (1920-2013)
With the death of Joe Weider, the world's most famous body-building visionary, crusader, fitness magazine publisher and icon, on March 23, 2013, chiropractic has lost one of its greatest friends and supporters.
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
Why You Should Get to Know the National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher has been a diligent advocate for providing parents with the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the usage of vaccinations for their children.
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
Are They Finally Fixing Medicare Reimbursement?
Even with federal sequestration cuts taking effect in March, including a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement to health care providers, hope may be on the horizon in the form of a much-anticipated, perpetually suggested overhaul of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which serves as the basis for determining physician reimbursement.
Medicine Presents: A Great Opportunity
The changing nature of health care presents both opportunities and challenges. While we tend to focus on our profession, we can sometimes forget the impact other health care professions can have on us.
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A Building Block of Healthy Aging
Coenzyme Q10 has gained enormous attention in recent years, and with good reason —it's the Energizer Bunny of the cellular world.
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
Chiropractic: The Right Choice for Relieving LBP
"Low back pain (LBP) is a common threat to medicine and a reasonable threat to all national health care systems. ... Reducing ineffective treatments is necessary to decrease the LBP associated costs."
Some Thoughts on the TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is an interesting and dynamic articulation that can cause a lot of problems.
Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss
There is a lot of focus in the acupuncture world on fertility and helping women get pregnant. It's exhilarating to hear the news that a patient is expecting a baby. The other side of that is pregnancy loss. That includes abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
What They Don't Say Could Hurt You
I have written previously regarding the difficulties of drawing information from patients who are poor historians, forgetful or just plain uncooperative. The thought to revisit the topic occurred recently during preparation for an upcoming seminar.
What the Science Says About Magnesium Stearate
It's often been said that scientific studies can be used to support just about anything. But discoveries are never made one study at a time.
Research Abstracts From the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics
Effect of Pain Relief on Lumbar Muscle Function and Activation; Effects of Thrust Amplitude and Duration of HVLA Spinal Manipulation; Immediate Effects of Upper Thoracic Manipulation on Cardiovascular Response.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Patient Perception and the Farce of "Fast Relief"; A Fly in the Ointment; Persecuted for Choosing to Practice Chiropractic.
You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Going Shoeless: The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running
With the subculture of barefoot runners and the products catering to them growing daily, just about every chiropractor has been asked at one point or another about their opinion regarding barefoot running.
News in Brief
Controversial Florida PIP Law Under Review; D'Youville Chiro. Students Learning Art of Co-Managing; And the Award Goes To...; F4CP Recognizes Major Contribution by ChiroTouch.
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 17 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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