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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.
October, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 10
The Theory of Orthopedic Massage, Part 2
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
In my previous article published in the August 2013 issue, I introduced the topic of orthopedic massage and explained five core theoretical principles of this modality.This article continues by discussing orthopedic massage assessment and treatment techniques.
The assessment process involves taking a detailed history and then performing a series of physical assessment tests. Each question in the history and each assessment test is designed to give you specific information about the client's condition — such as the possible causes of their injury, the severity of the injury, the specific structure(s) that are injured, any other relevant medical conditions and so forth. The duration of the assessment will vary depending on the area of the body you're testing. For example, for the back, there are 26 tests plus a set of palpations, while for the shoulder there are 12 tests. To yield accurate information, each test must be performed with precision and skill.
Orthopedic assessment tests fall into three major categories:
Following the assessment, the next challenge is determining the appropriate treatment for the client. The goal is to restore full functioning by eliminating any adhesive scar tissue or fascial restrictions, rebuilding strength and either restoring or increasing flexibility. In an orthopedic massage practice, you might use a combination of friction therapy, massage therapy, anatomy trains or some other form of myofascial work, muscle energy techniques, positional release, active release techniques, trigger point therapy, active isolated stretching and strengthening and various other modalities. The technique that I've found to be most effective at removing adhesive scar tissue in the majority of injuries is friction therapy, so I'll briefly describe that method here.
Cross-fiber friction therapy, also known as transverse friction massage, is a very precise form of medical massage developed by Dr. James Cyriax, commonly known as the “father of orthopedic medicine.” It is remarkably effective in treating most muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. Of course, if the injury site is inaccessible to the therapist's fingers, this treatment cannot be applied and another must be chosen.
As I explained in my previous article, when microscopic tears occur in muscles, tendons and ligaments, scar tissue develops to mend the damaged structures. It often forms in a jumbled matrix, so the resulting scar has much less integrity and uniformity of structure than the original tissue it replaces.
Cross-fiber friction massage works by breaking down scar tissue that is preventing proper healing. It also separates ligament-to-bone adhesions and promotes the formation of properly aligned and mobile tissue. In chronic tendon injuries where collagen tissues have degenerated, friction therapy promotes collagen formation. This type of treatment also increases the blood supply to areas that normally have very little circulation. It accomplishes this through a mild, controlled trauma to the injury site.
Of the three main components of orthopedic massage — theory, assessment and treatment — the cornerstone of this approach is the assessment. Unless you know exactly what is causing a client's pain, it's very difficult to relieve that pain. It's also difficult to know why what you do works or doesn't work. I find it very satisfying that after taking a detailed history and doing a physical assessment, I have a really good idea of whether or not what I do can help the person. In cases where my skills will not be helpful, I can provide an immediate referral to a more appropriate professional, without wasting the clients' time and money. In cases where I do offer treatment, I do so with the confidence that I can make a lasting difference.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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