resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
July, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 07
TDR Massage Protocol for Pain Relief
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) massage was developed in response to my clinical observations over a number of years that musculoskeletal tissues experiencing pain are associated with an elevation in tissue density (TD) and once the elevated TD is reduced, the pain is alleviated.Wanting to focus on these phenomenons and better understand their nature, I decided to stop doing relaxation massage and limited my practice to clients in pain.
My original focus was directed at determining the components of treatment that are most effective and discarding actions that, at best, do not appear to contribute to improvement or, at worst, are counterproductive. I asked my clients to participate; rather than just laying back and quietly enjoying the massage, they keep me informed about what they are experiencing throughout the treatment. Patterns of duplicable efficacy emerged, resulting in an extremely beneficial protocol.
Once I determined I had a replicable method of alleviating pain by treating the elevated TD, the questions that remained were:
The answers I've found are much like the treatment itself; simplistic, easily dismissed by some because they seem too elemental and easy. However, they are consistently reliable. In my experience of actively looking for elevated TD, I've found it happens to everyone in pain. All musculoskeletal pain can be located and felt (in the tactile sense) by a second person, as palpable areas of indurations at the locus of pain. From the toes to the top of the head, elevated TD can be found at any physical location that hurts. The older a person is, the thicker and more compressed the density can be. I suspect the reason has more to do with a buildup over time, rather than degenerative changes of aging. Rather than deterioration, it seems more accurate to describe it as a disorder of accumulation. (Perhaps previous injuries lay a foundation upon which TD builds? Maybe a residue is deposited during the inflammation process which, if not cleared out through normal circulation, attracts mineral deposits over time.) Through close observation and repetition I've found that the more malleable the affected tissue becomes, the longer the relief will last. People can be fully relieved of chronic pain and that relief retained with maintenance massages.
How it Works
I have ideas of how and why TDR massage works, but they are just that, ideas. I am not a pathologist, biochemist or neurologist, nor do I have the time or inclination to acquire the additional education it would require to be able to investigate the physiology involved in the formation of elevated TD. But I don't need to. I trust what I can see, experience and duplicate. I don't have to fully understand the mechanism of the combustion engine to drive a car, but that doesn't impair or hinder my ability to do so. I can leave scientific research to those who have dedicated their education and interest and are qualified to do such work. I suspect that in much the same way that I am impelled to discover how to affect changes in tissue density, a motivated researcher will investigate that explanation one day. I am a nurse massage therapist – my duty, talent and intention is to provide my clients the best possible pain treatment outcomes.
In order to share the method of TDR massage, I use the term, "Protocols". While I do not anticipate changes to these protocols, I think that it's a mistake to declare rules and dogmatically follow them. Doing so fosters resistance to any future perspective or observation that may suggest they need to be adjusted. It also stifles exploration, hinders growth and suppresses conversation and communication. With that said, I've found that by following these directions, the results are reliable and effective.
TDR Massage Protocol
The massage movements I use are abbreviated Swedish – friction effleurage in small, circular areas; using slight petrissage movements, which helps monitor the boundaries and density of the target area as they change throughout the treatment; and vibration, which can be used as the tissues become malleable and are able to be grasped and gently shaken. The smaller the focus area, the sooner it is likely to be resolved.
You will want to measure and document the state of the target area before providing treatment and then again afterwards, using the Tissue Density Grading Scale (TDGS). (See "The Tissue Density Grading Scale: A Communication Tool," Massage Today, March, 2014.) By doing so, you will have an accurate picture of the condition the tissues were in before treatment and proof of the effectiveness of your treatment afterwards.
First, focus on the location of the pain and target the worst spots first. (As tissues soften and the pain begins to resolve, the target area may shift.) Causing pain promotes the localized excretion of inflammatory chemicals which I suspect may play a part in the development of elevated TD. Regardless, there is no reason to exacerbate an already painful condition. The amount of pressure to use at any time will depend on the clients ability to tolerate it without going over a 3 on the 0/10 pain scale. Using the Walton Pressure Scale along with the TDGS will help you determine treatment progress and provide more precise documentation.
Keep the tissues you are working on moving continually. This will usually require working on areas no larger than the span of your two hands at a time. Doing so not only contributes to tissue heating through friction, but I believe that in addition, the movement combined with appropriate pressure, creates a fatigue state that helps soften TD.
I have found that it takes about 45 minutes of consistent, firm, circular massage to begin to affect change at which time you can feel a smoothing of ridges and softening change in the density of the target area. At this time, the client will also state that it feels better. Continue treatment(s) until the indurations are no longer palpable, and tissues are with a Grade 1 on the TDGS.
If the condition requires more than one treatment to resolve, it is best to schedule following treatments as closely as possible. The tissues seem to remain more malleable for a few days following treatment, thereby not requiring as long to respond and soften.
This protocol applies to pain of any size, at any location. When a new client comes seeking relief, I tell them that if I can feel elevated TD at their pain site, I will be able to help them. As one develops their sensitivity to the palpable varieties of tissue densities and becomes adept at restoring it, they will find themselves able to truthfully state, "I feel your pain," and then relieve it.
Click here for previous articles by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT.
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