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Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.)
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Important Therapies for Breast Health and Wellness
By William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE
With an increase in research and an increase in information and knowledge comes an increase in self-awareness. This couldn't more pertinent than with the subject of breast cancer and breast care.Breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy in women, with approximately 200,000 being diagnosed in the United States every year and 40,000 women fatally succumbing to this disease. Along with early breast cancer detection, there are many techniques that may benefit prevention and survival rates.
The breast is composed of different layers of tissue types; connective, adipose and glandular, which overlay the pectoralis muscles located over the rib cage. The subcutaneous adipose connective tissue and fat endow the breast with its size and shape. Lymph nodes and lymph vessels collectively comprise the breast's lymphatic system and work with a chain of lymph nodes that run up the center of the breast bone called the mammary chain and all drain to the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary) region.
The lymphatic system works as the body's garbage collection system, clearing the area of infection, bacteria, metabolic waste and any other stagnation. This natural action protects the area from the formation of unhealthy tissue, which can steadily progress to tissue damage and disease. With as many as 500 lymph nodes in the neck, chest, breast and axillary areas, it becomes more evident how maintaining a free flowing lymphatic system aids in the well-being of a woman's breast.
Additional causes that can compromise the health of the breasts are issues that women are truly becoming aware of; stress, poor diet, poor posture, trauma and even the possibility of excess debris from the lungs becoming lodged in the fatty tissue of the breasts. Even though the current research is inconclusive, there are countless reports linking aluminum based antiperspirants and parabens with the growth of breast cancer cells. Even the bra has come under question, with the underwire and tight fit potentially restricting natural lymph flow.
Today, women are becoming more proactive when it comes to breast health and are changing their dietary and exercise habits in conjunction with taking part in the benefits of massage therapy as part of their wellness protocol. Massage, either by a professional licensed therapist or through self-massage techniques, is looked upon as a foundational treatment for maintaining healthy breast tissue. Techniques used in modalities such as manual lymph drainage, swedish massage or myofascial release can be used effectively to stimulate circulation and loosen the fascia. If the area has soft tissue restrictions, there can be impeded lymphatic drainage blocking the elimination of waste products, ultimately storing them in the breast area.
Not only can massage aid in lymphatic flow, stimulation of circulation, stretching of connective tissue and promoting general relaxation, but recent medical studies support the use of massage for increasing the production of the natural hormone oxytocin. Numerous medical reports show that oxytocin induces significant growth inhibition of breast cancer cells, along with a change in cell phenotype, as well as an ability to remove free radicals associated with cellular metabolic processes.
The techniques used in vacuum therapies are a perfect addition to the previously mentioned modalities (as well as many others) and greatly accelerate the benefits of many types of treatments. Traditional cupping therapy has been used throughout history by many cultures for an assortment of treatments including insect stings, snake bites, respiratory conditions and injury recovery. Breast cupping emerged as a common treatment for lactating dysfunctions such as engorged nipples or inflamed breasts and resulted in the creation of the common breast pump.
Vacuum therapies combine the lifting action with pumping movements to stimulate the lymphatic cleansing process and release any drainage restrictions such as adhesions or scars. This cleansing and opening of drainage pathways aids the breast tissue by decreasing the accumulated waste products that often accompany inflammation and the treatment aids in the rejuvenation of the breast, as well as assisting the body to break down any benign cysts in the area. Vacuum therapies have demonstrated a dramatic detoxifying effect, allowing for a healthy pH of the blood and surrounding tissue.
For those who have had procedures such as lumpectomies, cyst removal and even radical mastectomies, vacuum therapies have such amazing benefits that open up and enhance lymphatic drainage, remove restrictions in lymph flow, posture and movement, and reduce pain and discomfort. Large cone-shaped cups are currently used to prepare patients for reconstructive surgeries, aiding or replacing the need for painful tissue expanders. Women who have breast reductions or enhancements have experienced elimination of unsightly and restrictive scars with gentle vacuum therapy techniques.
Home breast care can easily be done in the shower with a comfortable silicone cup and the treatment can be used over the entire body for overall health and lymphatic drainage. This is such a simple way to offset the restrictions from bras and tight clothing, stress and lifestyle which sometimes cannot be easily changed. All women can reap the benefits of vacuum therapies for breast health and wellness, whether performed at a professional office or for home care because healthy breast tissue is the best deffense against breast cancer.
William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE, is a certified educator for ACE Massage Cupping, hosting workshops and demonstrations. William is also a Massage Therapy instructor and owner of MindBody Therapeutics in Philadelphia, as well an author of "Deep Tissue Manual" used by local massage schools. William works with clients who have a wide variety of muscular, postural, and pain dysfunctions and conditions. For more information, visit www.MBTPhilly.com and www.massagecupping.com.
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