resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
December, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 12
Using TDR Massage When Treating Sciatic Nerve Pain
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A new client called, asking to be seen as soon as possible. She was experiencing severe right-sided low back pain. Her chiropractor had sent her to a joint and spine specialist. She was diagnosed with Sciatica and given an injection containing pain relievers and steroids, with no abatement of her pain. Diagnostic tests concluded there were no disc problems, so her doctor gave her permission to seek massage.
I palpated the tissues of her right sided glutes, pirifomis and hip joint. Together, we determined the precise locations of the pain. I was careful to ascertain that my client agreed with my findings as I went along. For example, I would say, "This spot feels denser than the tissues around it. It feels to me there is a border here where the tissues thicken, how does it feel to you?" And, "I feel a thick strand of tissue right along here, is this tender?" I was able to feel with my fingers the hardened, dense tissue at the places that were hurting her. She guided me to the areas that were the most involved with her pain and discomfort. I generally find the tissues which are most dense will also be the ones which hurt the most, although this is not always the case. While I have consistently found tissues that hurt have elevated tissue density (TD), not all dense tissue hurts. In this case, however, the most firm tissues were the most painful.
I found what felt like a thick, fibrous pad, approx 3' by 5", over the client's SI joint, which she identified as the location of the worst pain. The second worst area, and the one most responsible for my client's inability to lay on her right side, was another thickened mass of dense tissue which had formed over the greater trochanter, approx 9" by 4". Both felt to be variably ¼ to ¾ inches in depth, with the thickest part over the most firm, dense area (I consider these hardened pads to be Adventitious Tissue Structures (ATS) (see "Adventitious Tissue Structures of Elevated Tissue Density," Massage Today, June 2013). Other involved tissue was noted to follow the probable course of the sciatic nerve behind her thigh on down to her knee; also involving a notably tender ATS at the medial aspect of the knee; and finally, the distal lateral portion of her right leg, which felt as firm as a rubber tire.
Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) Massage is based on my observation and theory that musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction increases in direct association with an elevation in TD. I find this method to be very effective. Over my years of clinical observation and experience with TDR Massage, I have developed a few principles of application:
Having determined that the worst of my client's pain involved the ATS at the SI joint and the greater trochanter, and using a massage cream with excellent glide; I began massaging the areas with wide handed, circular motions, reminding my client to let me know if her pain level reached or surpassed a 3 on the 1/10 pain scale. At the beginning of a treatment, the overall area may feel uniformly tight and firm. As the tissues warm with the friction of the circular massage movements, the least affected tissues will begin to relax and soften. At this point, the outlines of the hardened, painful areas will become more apparent and easily palpable. As you are able to do so without causing pain, increase the intensity of the pressure and movement. Use your thumbs, knuckles or the ulnar side of your hand to target and focus on the boundaries of the hyper-dense tissue.
As you work, the tissues will eventually begin to feel as if they are becoming smoother, then softer. I checked with my client often, making sure I was still at the right level of pressure and that I was still working on the area that hurt. As dense tissues are warmed and moved, they become softened, resulting in pain relief. So, you will find that over the course of the treatment, the area of focus will often slowly shift into adjacent areas. As you are able to use more pressure and movement, you will find tissues that felt quite firm and solid at the outset become malleable to the point that you will be able to gently grasp and squeeze the area of focus without causing pain. It is at this point that the density of the deeper tissues may be reached through the increased pressure and mobilization you will be able to implement. Eventually, the tissues will be restored all the way to the bone.
Throughout the course of the massage, I explained to my client that my goal was to soften all of the overly dense tissues. As her pain levels and elevated TD areas were relieved, she was amazed to see there was indeed a relationship between the density and pain. I explained to my client that, once cleared, there are things she can do to help prevent the return of the elevated TD. They include staying appropriately hydrated, using warm packs or baths for sore muscles whenever they occur, massaging any area that feels tight and sore, being as active as possible and getting a regular, full body massage.
The worst of my client's pain was resolved at the first massage, giving her a great deal of relief and allowing her to sleep. She had a second massage three days later and then once a week for the next 10 weeks. At the point in time when the thickened pads at the hip and SI joint were no longer palpable, I worked my way down her leg to restore the density, ending at the calf. The tissues are now malleable and pain-free.
Clients often feel proud of the hardness of their muscles; they believe it is a sign of strength. I recall a gentleman who pounded his fist into his thigh, telling me, "This is all muscle! I don't want to lose my muscle, I just want the pain to go away!" I explain that as the tissues become denser, they crowd, engulf, squeeze, and compress the nerves and nerve endings within them. These nerves are no longer able to slide and glide around with movement, so they end up being tugged, pulled and pinched – which hurts and eventually causes dysfunction. My evidence is the repeated observation that dense tissue that hurts is relieved of the pain once it has been restored to an uncompressed state.
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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