resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
June, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 06
Adventitious Tissue Structures of Elevated Tissue Density
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A 12-year-old boy was brought into my clinic complaining of pain in his right heel, which impaired his ability to participate in sports, even to walk normally. His doctor, having x-rayed it, diagnosed a bone spur, explaining that the pain may or may not resolve on its own and it could be surgically removed if it continued to bother him.The boy's mother had heard I'd helped a friend with a similar problem so she wanted to see if I could help her son with the pain until something could be done about the bone spur. A hard nodule the size of a pea was palpable on his right heel.
A mechanic came in complaining of right-sided upper back pain, with trouble raising his right arm. I found a large mass of dense tissue, approximately 9 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, with an approximate depth from 1 cm at the outer borders, to 3 cm deep at its center. Its presence, at the medial border of the scapula, involved all of the musculature at that region, and prevented full range of motion. Palpation indicated it was ensconced all the way through to the bones of the ribs.
A 65-year-old woman presented with severe low back pain. She stated that she had never had any problems with her back until several days earlier. She had driven for 6 hours to visit her daughter, stopping only for fuel and then going directly to bed once she had reached her destination. The following morning she awoke to find herself barely able to walk without grimacing and crying out in extreme pain. Upon palpation, I found a large, rubbery, firm area the approximate size and shape of a 5 x 3 cm oblong pancake, 2 cm deep, engulfing her right sciatic nerve and the tissues around it.
A friend showed me her left wrist where, over the period of just a few months, a knot had formed on the radius, proximal to the scaphoid bone. Her doctor had told her it was arthritis, and her sister told her that she had suffered the same thing on her wrist, and had it surgically removed – suggesting my friend should do the same. My friend was no longer able to wear her watch, due to tightness and irritation. The knot felt just as if it was solid bone.
What these seemingly unrelated conditions have in common with each other is that they all involve the formation of a new tissue structure. I refer to these tissue structures as "Adventitious" because they are extraneous and they do not belong where they occur. And while they are likely the result of a body's attempt to maintain homeostasis; their development often results in pain and dysfunction. In my previous article, "Tissue Density's Relationship to Pain and Dysfunction", from the April 2012 issue, I wrote as follows: "My thoughts regarding the etiology of elevated TD involve the lipid-rich components of our extracellular fluids, which I believe are attracted to the bio-polymeric nature of our cartilaginous tissues. This attraction, combined with a variety of dynamic factors, including body heat, compressive force, overuse, injury, hypo-hydration, torsion, sheer force, tensile force, inertia, chemical environment and fluid viscosity may cause the extracellular fluid to accumulate, thicken and eventually precipitate into gelatinous plaque. Over time, I believe that these plaques harden and become mineralized, turning into the rubbery nodules or bone-like overgrowth of arthritic joints, as well as contributing to many other conditions. The plaque may be as thin as a sheet of a single layer of fascia cells or it can form a large area of many tissue layers sandwiched together, such as those found over arthritic hip joints and the thick, tender pads which so often develop at the medial aspect of knees." (I suspect that the main component of this conglomeration is cholesterol.)
Elevated Tissue Density (TD) is, in my opinion, the first sign of adventitious tissue structure formation. It seems to continue to increase in size and hardness over time. I wouldn't characterize it as "growth," but as an accumulation. Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) massage is an effective way to prevent and reverse this condition. In most of the examples above, the structures were stable, easy to isolate, and not too difficult to resolve.
In the case of the mother who spent several hours driving, the problem was a little more complex. An adventitious tissue structure had formed and become dense at her sciatic nerve area. Because it had not impeded movement or caused her pain, she was unaware of its existence. Over time, it continued to accumulate and condense, holding the nerve firmly in place until, that is, it shifted. When my client spent several hours driving, with her right leg extended to the gas pedal, enough heat was created in the affected area to slightly melt the outer layer of the adventitious structure. She then went to bed, sleeping in a side-lying position. During the night, her tissues resumed their normal temperature and the structure re-hardened, but now it was in a slightly different position. While the structure maintained its solid grip on the nerve, it had shifted, pulling the sciatic nerve painfully out of place.
Adventitious tissue structures can form sharp points, such as the bone spur on the young man's heel; large, immobile, lumpy barriers to free movement, as found in the mechanic's back; unstable, shifting bodies such as the one experienced by the traveling mother; and some so smooth and solid one would easily believe that it was simply a large, bony prominence. Fortunately, these affected tissues can often be restored to normal density and function through the proper application of TDR massage, as happened with each of the examples listed above.
A client who has rheumatoid arthritis complained of pain in her right ankle, stating that she had erosion in an ankle bone, as explained to her by her physician, and evidenced by x-ray. She brought her x-ray in. It occurred to me that perhaps the eroded area might actually be an adventitious tissue structure, formed over the bone, which had then melted in one spot (due to the heat of RA inflammation), leaving the appearance of erosion. I applied TDR massage, relieving her pain. Our hope was to then have the ankle x-rayed again for comparison; however the health care provider was not interested in exploring the matter. Whatever the actual etiology may have been, almost a year later, the client has not suffered pain in that ankle since.
I surmise that the reason elevated TD and these adventitious tissue formations have been overlooked, is due to the fact that they are largely invisible to diagnostic imaging. They are, however, palpable and once located, treatable through the proper application of massage. Massage therapists have the ability to resolve a great deal of human suffering, literally, within their grasp.
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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