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The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
July, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 07
Using My Massage Therapy Skills to Help Save a Career
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
I always like to bring you a real case and a real story. I know you, too, will someday probably have that same type of client that needs your help with treatment. This time, I am helping an oral surgeon save his career by saving his hands.When this doctor presented in my office seeking help, he had been looking at surgery on his hands as his only option to save his career. It took him 10 years to complete his degree and 10 years of practicing to almost lose everything he had worked so hard for.
While working with him, it became clear to me that a massage therapist looking to specialize and gain a reputation as the one to seek out for hand dysfunction could have a forever busy practice. Just go to YouTube and look at what small instruments and awkward positions that this profession does on a daily basis. Now, think how many other professions use similar intricate tools. Those professionals need a therapist that can take a no nonsense approach to helping them save the career they have spent so much time and money on to achieve.
Working with hands or feet is very challenging for the massage therapist in terms of how it affects your hands. The work has to be very meticulous and that can be very wearing to your own hands. So I have tried to offer suggestions of how to do treatment in a manner to get the job done and have less wear on you.
He presented with aching hands all the time, he was beginning to lose grip strength, his fingers had become stiff feeling and it was affecting his ability to close his hand, he had bilateral thumb pain and bilateral numbness and tingling in the ring and little finger. He had more thumb pain on the right, but said this was due to the fact that three months ago he was playing with his son and his finger had been abruptly pulled backwards. He also complained of right shoulder pain.
The first thing we want to do is assess or take a screen of the patient. A screen helps you rule out, should they be in your office or do they need other higher medical care. Just a reminder to stay within your scope of practice, a screen is not to be used as diagnoses, it is to be used as a tool to understand movement quality. You are looking at how healthy or dysfunctional is the individual's joint movement. This helps you determine the complex of muscles and fascia to be treated. When taking a screen, you will want to look above and below the joint being questioned. From the screen, you can develop an organized logical approach to treatment and suggestions of home care.
Screen Number One
Rule out cervical involvement by looking at the quality of cervical motion and asking the question throughout the screen: is there pain or no pain? In this case, he has presented with ulnar nerve involvement. Also ask if they feel any referral pain when going through the range of motion. Cervical flexion: they should be able to touch their chin to chest 45 degrees. Cervical extension: 45 degrees with mouth closed. Cervical side bending 20-40 (watch to see if the shoulder rises indicating how tight the trapezius muscle can be). Cervical rotation 70-90 degrees without pain. See reference.
Specific to this case because he had shoulder pain, I also went through all of the shoulder range of motion tests and he had a positive impingement sign. He also had a very stiff neck. We are addressing all of his concerns from the screen, but for this article I have kept the focus on the hand and forearm.
Screen Number Two
Assess their wrist and elbow range of motion. Wrist flexion: 80 degrees. Wrist extension: 70 degrees. Ulnar Deviation: 45 degrees. Radial Deviation 20 degrees. Supination 90 degrees. Pronation 90 degrees. Elbow extension 0 degrees and Elbow flexion 145. See reference.
Screen Number Three
Muscle test wrist flexion, extension, pronation and supination. Muscle test elbow extension and flexion. Muscle test all the ranges of each digit including the thumb. Each finger may flex, extend, abduct and adduct and also circumduct. See reference.
The reason I listed all of the muscles indicates your need to be extremely specific. You want to look at an anatomy book and to the best of your ability treat each and every muscle you see. If you treat fractional inches at a time from the finger tips to the elbow joint, and then from the elbow to the shoulder, slowly along the bone, you won't miss anything. But if you always do an effleurage type of stroke you will miss something. Therapy should be about being specific, not generalized. The hand should not only feel better, but should also have better function. Recheck your range of motion and muscle tests to show the client how much improvement your treatment has made. I mentioned above all the tools I used besides my hands and every few minutes during the session I will trade out and use those tools so I save my own career.
Treatment Tip: I generally follow the thought of contrast first, myofascial second, specific work next, then PNF stretching and repeat. So far, 25 years and still going strong!
So, how is this client doing today? He is doing great and I continue to see him once a week. He has since been able to go back to more intricate work because his body isn't fighting him with pain anymore.
Fun Ring Finger Trivia
Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amoris, Latin name meaning, literally vein of love. Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger.
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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