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Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
Pain Rehabilitation Associated with the Head, Neck and Shoulders
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
Are your clients showing up with painful TMJ symptoms, shoulder issues, headaches, neck pain caused by whiplash, tension, arthritis, disc issues or even stenosis? Are you looking for new answers so you won't have to repeat the same techniques over and over again? If so, and your mind is open to looking at new and unique concepts, you will discover answers in this article that will resolve most of the oldest and most persistent painful symptoms that your clients have been experiencing related to the head, neck and shoulders. There is a unique approach that is significantly different from what you have been exposed to or studied.
Structural Energetic Therapy utilizes a "golden nugget" called cranial/structural therapy which is a missing link that achieves long-term rehabilitation by providing total structural support from the feet to the head with one application for your soft tissue treatments. The head, neck and shoulders are at the top of the spine. If there is no weight bearing support for the spine, then maximum rehabilitation is extremely difficult to achieve. By applying cranial/structural therapy, you can bring the pelvis, legs and feet into weight bearing support at the base of the spine for rehabilitation of head, neck and shoulder issues at the top of the spine. This weight bearing support totally expands the effectiveness and longevity of all therapeutic and rehabilitative massage techniques for the rehabilitation from pain and dysfunction found with head, neck and shoulder issues.
There are so many soft tissue treatments that relieve painful conditions found in the head, neck and shoulders temporarily, yet clients tend to return with the same symptoms. There is nothing wrong with these soft tissue treatments, but what is missing is the structural component that will allow these changes to last long term. This is true even when high quality techniques such as myofascial restructuring, structural integration, neuromuscular or other deep tissue treatments are successfully applied. All of these techniques seek to achieve long-term relief by balancing structure. Yet, over time, their clients tend to collapse back into the old structural core distortion. Cranial/structural therapy releases this core distortion and brings structural balance and support to the body that was previously unattainable.
What became apparent from years of treating clients with structural imbalances was that there was a basic distortion in the body. Anyone who specializes in structural bodywork will agree that this distortion exists even though it may be called different names – i.e. spiral distortion, core distortion and the like. The foundation of this distortion is a rotation of the iliums, resulting in a lack of support for the sacrum. This lack of weight bearing support for the sacrum results in the sacrum being tipped so there is no level support for the spine, which is the basic cause of exaggerated spinal curvatures. This is important when viewing issues in the head, neck and shoulders. Like a flagpole, when it is off slightly at the bottom it will be further off the higher up the pole you go. Thus, there are greater distortions in the head, neck and shoulders at the top of the spine due to the lack of weight bearing support in the pelvis. This rotation of the iliums also creates a long leg/short leg with distortions into the feet that further complicates achieving long-term balanced support for the head, neck and shoulders.
From the description above, it is apparent that for long-term successful treatment and rehabilitation of head, neck and shoulders symptoms, this structural imbalance needs to be addressed. Otherwise, the effectiveness of any therapy will be extremely limited when looking for long-term relief. This is where cranial/structural therapy comes into play.
There is a torsion distortion in the cranium that is related to the anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums and tipping of the sacrum – the core distortion. The discovery that releasing this core distortion in the cranium will release this distortion in the pelvis and bring the sacrum/ilium relationship into weight bearing support, gave birth to cranial/structural therapy. The core distortion in the cranium is a cranial torsion with the sphenoid tilted down on the left and the posterior ridge of the occiput tilted down on the right.
This cranial torsion is held by soft tissue which governs the ranges of motion of the cranial bones just like any joint in the body. Cranial/structural therapy releases these soft tissue restrictions within the cranium, allowing the cranial motion to move into balance. This is what brings the ilium/sacrum relationship into weight bearing support with a leveling of the sacrum that will support the spine and reduce the curvatures in the spine all the way up to and including the cervical spine. Much more happens throughout the entire body including the feet, but here we are concentrating specifically on how to improve the effectiveness of therapy for head, neck and shoulder conditions.
The torsion imbalance in the cranium creates a very definite imbalance in the temporal mandibular joint. If you treat TMJ with soft tissue protocols without first releasing the torsion imbalance of the cranium, you are not addressing the principle cause of TMJ dysfunction. However, if you release the core distortion in the cranium first, the majority of TMJ imbalance disappears, and any additional soft tissue treatment for TMJ can be very specific and create further maintainable balance and function. Thus, TMJ is a significant part of the core distortion.
There are many types of headaches and most of them relate to the core distortion in both the cranium and the body. Migraine headaches tend to have congestion issues inside of the cranium. The imbalance of the cranial motion does not allow for efficient movement of cerebral spinal fluid or detoxification of the brain, so releasing the distortion in the cranium can very effectively address these symptoms. The most common severe headaches relate to a C1/occipital jam with pressure on the brain stem. This is due to the torsion of the occiput which is part of the cranial core distortion and is very effectively released with the cranial/structural core distortion release. Headaches caused by compression of the trigeminal nerves under the temporalis muscle relate not only to TMJ imbalance, but also to the imbalance of the temporal bones when the cranium is restricted in the core distortion.
The severe headaches behind one eye result from the optic nerve being compressed or irritated, again due to the distortion of the cranial bones in the core distortion. Tension headaches result from imbalances in the neck causing chronic tightening and tension within the neck muscles compressing nerves - a result of the core distortion in the neck. As you can see, most headaches relate to, or are at least partially caused by, the core distortion in the cranium and the body. Thus, releasing the cranial core distortion first by applying the cranial/structural core distortion releases before applying soft tissue protocols, allows you to directly release the cause of many of these headaches.
Neck pain caused by tension, disc problems, arthritis, injuries, nerve entrapments, or stress related directly to the core distortion with its curvatures in the cervical spine due to lack of balanced support for the spine. Applying soft tissue protocols to bring the neck into balance are limited in effectiveness if there is no weight bearing support in the iliums and sacrum creating a level base for the spine when the client stands up. This weight bearing support is achieved by applying the cranial/structural core distortion releases which will reduce curvatures in the cervical spine in just one treatment. This provides structural support for the neck for soft tissue protocols to further release the myofascial holding patterns and soften and normalize the adhesions and scar tissue. The result, as found with Structural Energetic Therapy, is that soft tissue treatments are substantially more effective and long lasting.
Even severe stenosis and disc problems can improve when a more balanced structure is able to be maintained and supported. Degenerative disc conditions, which can result in arthritis symptoms, are caused by exaggerated curvatures of the spine putting imbalanced pressure on the discs. This process is halted and the spine and discs become more balanced with the application of cranial/structural therapy so that the uneven pressure on the discs causing the degeneration is dramatically lessened. The incidents of nerve entrapments, arthritic spurring and lipping, and the buildup of adhesions to compensate for the imbalances are all diminished, and range of motion and function are often restored.
In the core distortion, one shoulder is raised higher than the other and one is rotated medially. The greater the core distortion, the more the shoulders become distorted and the more severe the chronically tightened muscles, pain and dysfunction become. This imbalance creates weakened muscles called strain patterns which can lead to additional complications and injuries. Again, you are limited in treating the soft tissue symptoms without first releasing the torsion and the high/low shoulder patterns caused by the core distortion no matter how good your soft tissue treatment is.
The whole ribcage is also in distortion affecting the shoulders as governed by the whole body core distortion. The cranial/structural core distortion releases will release this torsion not only out of the pelvis, but also out of the ribcage and the shoulders. Starting your therapy session with the cranial/structural core distortion releases will provide a more balanced structure and support for your soft tissue treatments for long term improvements and results.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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