resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
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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