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A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
Integrating Vacutherapies Helps Achieve Homeostasis
By William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE
Let's play a quick word association game. Here goes: equilibrium, stability, balance, regulate, internal, conditions. And the word we're looking for is: Homeostasis. Simply defined, homeostasis is the monitoring and maintaining of the body's internal environment. This process aids the body in maintaining a balanced and healthy state.
In massage school, we learn the anatomy and physiology of each organ system separately, but as an organism, it is the functions of these systems working as one unit that keeps the body in a stable, balanced and healthy state. The main job of maintaining this equilibrium belongs to the Autonomic Nervous System. The balancing of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems is critical in keeping the body in homeostasis; you know ..."Fight or Flight."
Homeostasis is that virtual sanctuary where the body can hit the proverbial "reset" button. Our systems are always on alert status against negative outside influences keeping the body in a constant state of adjusting, readjusting, compensating and re-balancing. Along with our posture and the body's soft tissue, the body's temperature, pH and blood can all be affected by this negative bombardment. Our body, this wonderful machine, sometimes without warning, is thrust into a major conflict against these negative effects in order to bring the body back to homeostasis. One such negative force is stress and its cumulative effects. Stress can negatively affect our ability to combat and adjust to this challenge resulting in dysfunction, disease and even death. Another example of how homeostasis is negatively affected is by the accumulation of metabolic waste in the body. This will leave the body vulnerable to the effects of aging; slowing down the body's metabolic process, lymphatic and blood flow is stagnated leaving the body in a diseased state. But in the horizon we see the cavalry approaching to save the day aiding the body's battle.
The effects of stress are cumulative, but so are the effects of massage therapy through our applied strokes and/or techniques. Adding a defined intention and treatment plan along with the benefits of vacutherapies, we can encourage the body to "center itself" by creating positive effects on the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous and endocrine systems leaving the body in a better position to maintain homeostasis.
During a massage session, our strokes act to stimulate the body's natural healer: blood. Like other stimulating massage strokes such as petrissage, vibration, and/or rriction, the "lifting" action of the vacutherapies activates the sympathetic nervous system faster and with longer lasting results in the form of direct blood flow to dysfunctional area. The techniques of vacutherapies can also mimic the gliding effect of our effleurage massage stroke. Used rhythmically, this technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system which works to dominate the sympathetic system resulting in the dilation of blood vessels and the increase of chemical release and absorption.
Mechanically, vacutherapies work by lifting the soft tissue vertically while moving transversely, providing the stimulation and practically painless agitation to the structures being worked on: blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve pathways, fascia and soft tissue. This, in turn, can aid the body in relieving dysfunction, injury, as well as the pain, etc. Including the techniques of vacutherapy as an adjunct to your massage session will result in: decrease in pain messages via nervous system, increase Serotonin, Dopamine levels, you know, the"feel good" hormones released by endocrine system. Fresh, oxygenated blood and increased lymph flow exchanged in the capillaries accelerating the removal of any and all metabolic by-products, muscle tissues are elongated, pliable and suppler, which is the key to a healthier musculoskeletal and fascial system resulting in the "unsticking" of adhesions and releasing of trigger points.
Inflammation is drawn out as hydration is drawn in. With the stimulation of blood flow and the activation of the PNS, peristalsis is increased. Synovial fluid is increased in the joints allowing for more free joint movement. There are many other benefits such as: resetting muscle spindles, changing the viscosity of ground substance, and "erase" history.
Remember, the body is a machine, and like a machine has to be maintained every day in order for optimal performance. Nothing happens to the body's internal environment without causing an adaptive or compensatory change either directly or indirectly resulting in an unbalanced homeostasis.
William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE, is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping, hosting workshops and demonstrations. William is also a Massage Therapy instructor and owner of MindBody Therapeutics in Philadelphia, as well an author of "Deep Tissue Manual" used by local massage schools. William works with clients who have a wide variety of muscular, postural, and pain dysfunctions and conditions. For more information, visit www.MBTPhilly.com and www.massagecupping.com.
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