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Building Kidney Yang and Jing
Kidney yang, if we include mingmen fire, is the energy and heat source for the whole body. Jing is the essence of yang, and is stored in the kidney, extraordinary channels, and in the bone marrow, which in TCM also includes the brain.
A Very New Year: It's Time to Track
As we enter 2017, we find "affordable care" is not so affordable for many individuals. They are discovering what employers learned long ago: Health care is expensive – and keeps getting more expensive.
Change on the Horizon? New White House Spells Shift in Health Care Policy
On the morning after Election Day, many in our country were surprised to learn that not only did the Republican nominee win the White House, but also that the House of Representatives and the Senate remain under GOP control.
The Key to Recovery
Starting in the 1970s and developing over a decade of assessment and improvement, the South Bronx's Lincoln Recovery Center staff refined the method of using five basic ear-points, which became the NADA protocol for the treatment of addiction.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion.
What Are Prebiotics – and Why Should You Care? (Part 1)
In previous articles, I spoke about the different kinds of fiber and their effects, and the potential risks of taking probiotics without also consuming prebiotic soluble fiber (PSF) in foods and/or supplements [see August & October 2016 issues].
Case Study of Benign Hand Tremors
Patients without degenerative diseases causing tremors are often given the diagnosis of essential tremors, for which treatment options are limited to lifestyle changes and medications.
Increase Your Practice Income With Retail Products
With only so many hours in a day, there is a cap on the revenue an acupuncturist can generate by way of appointments. Once your appointment book is filled, you can't really add more without burning yourself out.
The Mysterious Divergent Channels
The divergent channels are among the most mysterious entities in all of Chinese medicine. They are rarely mentioned, lacking reference in modern TCM study, and rarely used within popular Chinese medical treatment.
Losing Your Mind? Try Coconut Oil
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently the 6th leading cause of death in America according to the CDC. It affects over 5 million Americans and 50 percent of nursing home residents (2014), and is projected to spike to 16 million by 2050.
Top 2017 Health & Fitness Trends
We really did sign up for a career of learning and development. Now that you have built a strong foundation of your manipulation skills, nutrition base, movement assessments and business knowledge, it's time to keep up with the American College of Sports Medicine's 2017 worldwide health and fitness trends.
MD-DC Affiliations Under Fire
I am George P. McAndrews, lawyer for the chiropractors in the Wilk, et al., v AMA, et al., antitrust suit that resulted in an injunction against the AMA and others, banning them from interfering in lawful professional relationships between medical physicians and doctors of chiropractic.
Your Patients With Cancer Need You
It was a chilly Minnesota morning in March 1999 when she asked to speak to me alone. My then-busy chiropractic practice wasn't built for much privacy, but I quickly scooted the 60-some-year-old, white-haired patient to my exam room, as the open adjusting area was buzzing with excitement.
An Education in Stroke Risk and Chiropractic
Dr. Steven Shoshany's ninth appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show" may prove to be his most significant, as he addressed questions related to the death of Katie May, who suffered two strokes in February 2016, hours after her third visit to a chiropractor for what she described in a Twitter post as a pinched nerve in her neck experienced during a photo shoot days earlier.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Time for Change?
The University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic Student Government Association sponsored a panel discussion on Oct. 25, 2016.
Acute Locked-Back Syndrome: Cause and Correction
As we all know, occasionally a patient will present with acute-onset low back pain with or without a precipitating incident. A distinguishing feature of the presentation is visible lateral antalgia, both standing and walking.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 1)
Applied correctly, modern skin needling techniques can form part of a holistic treatment and incorporate the principles of Chinese medicine.
Clinical Outcomes & Safety for TCHM
The practice of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCHM) may appear archaic to those who misunderstand the theories and principals that guide it. In fact, TCHM continues to evolve and new systems are consistently being discovered and applied within the tradition.
January, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 01
Positional Release Techniques: What are the Mechanisms?
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
At its simplest, positional release techniques as used in manual therapy settings, involve the unloading of tissues, placing them into less-stressed, "ease" positions. In such a comfort state, a number of beneficial changes may emerge including reduced pain perception and reduced inflammation,15 greater local muscular strength, reduced fascial stiffness,1,2 reduced pain-medication use and number of days of hospitalization, as well as enhanced peripheral circulation, post-surgically.11
There are four main forms of PRT methods:3
The benefits of reduced stimulation, applied to the whole body may help us to understand the effects of PRT. For example, time spent in a flotation tank, immersed in neutral temperature water, of high salt concentration to increase buoyancy - described as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) – reduces anxiety, depression and pain in individuals suffering chronic pain.
In 2001, Kjellgren et al, described 37 patients suffering from chronic pain who were randomly assigned to either a control group (17) or an experimental group (20) who received nine REST treatments over a 3-week period. The most severe pain intensity was significantly reduced, but low perceived pain intensity was not influenced. REST treatment elevated optimism, reduced the degree of anxiety or depression, and improved sleep.
In another study, Edebol et al (2008) reported the benefits of the REST method in the management of the chronic effects of whiplash injuries. And of course, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation approaches – are all known to be useful as means of reducing general over-sensitive states, whether mental, or physical. Here are some suggested mechanisms for manually induced stimulus reduction.
Neurolophysiological changes might involve muscle, fascial and joint mechanoreceptors (e.g. Ruffini corpuscles, Golgi tendon organs, muscle spindles),10 as well as pain receptors. To explore the role of muscle spindles, and the hypothesis that sensitivity of the deep tendon stretch reflex contributes to range-of-motion restrictions, Howell et al. (2006) measured stretch and H-reflex latency and amplitude before and after strain counterstrain treatment. The results suggest that SCS affected the sensitivity of the muscle spindle, thought to be heightened by the existence of tendonitis.
Proprioceptive theory is probably the most commonly discussed explanation for the efficacy of SCS. It is suggested that when a disturbed relationship exists between muscles and their antagonists, following strain, the positioning of these tissues into an unloaded, ease, position, may allow spindle resetting and partial or total resolution of inappropriate motor impairment.9
Mechanotransduction: Altered fibroblast responses resulting from changes in the shape and architecture of cells through mechanotransduction can be anti-inflammatory. Meltzer et al.14, observed that traumatized fascia disrupts the normal functions of the body, causing myofascial pain and reducing ranges of motion. Resulting inflammatory responses - involving fibroblasts - can be reversed in as little as 60 seconds by changes in load on the tissues, delivered either by counterstrain or myofascial release. In 2007, Standley & Meltzer observed that "fibroblast proliferation and expression/secretion of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory interleukins may contribute to the clinical efficacy of indirect osteopathic manipulative techniques..." such as SCS. Standley and Meltzer (2008) also reported that "it is clear that strain direction, frequency and duration, impact important fibroblast physiological functions known to mediate pain, inflammation and range of motion."
Ligamentous reflexes: Solomonow13 identified the sensory potential and major ligamento-muscular reflexes that have inhibitory effects on associated muscles. He states, "If you apply only 60 to 90 seconds of relaxing compression on a joint... an hour+ of relaxation of muscles may result. This may come not only from ligaments, but also from capsules and tendon" (personal communication 2009). A possible clinical application of this ligamentous feature may be seen when joint "crowding" is induced as part of Facilitated Positional Release and/or SCS protocols. Such effects would be temporary – 20 to 30 minutes – but this would be sufficient time to allow an enhanced ability to mobilize or exercise previously restricted structures.
Wong16 summarizes current thinking regarding ligamento-muscular reflexes and SCS: Ligamentous strain inhibits muscle contractions that increase strain, or stimulates muscles that reduce strain, to protect the ligament.7 For instance, anterior cruciate ligament strain inhibits quadriceps and stimulates hamstring contractions to reduce anterior tibial distraction.7
Hydration: Crowding (compression) of soft tissues – as used in SCS and Facilitated Positional Release (FPR), has an effect on the water content of fascia, leading to temporary (20 to 30 minutes) of reduced stiffness of fascial structures – with the potential for enhanced mobility during that period. This window of opportunity can be usefully employed to enhance function and for the individual to experience less painful movement.
Hysteresis: In a study at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Barnes 2012), 240 subjects were palpated for cervical articular somatic dysfunction. This was followed by use of a durometer to objectively measure soft-tissues overlying each cervical segment pre- and post-intervention, using a single consistent piezoelectric impulse, quantifying hysteresis (tissue stiffness/densification). Various soft-tissue techniques, including SCS, myofascial release, muscle energy technique and high velocity manipulation were tested. The results showed that all methods - but not the sham intervention - improved symptoms and stiffness of tissues but that SCS resulted in the most significant beneficil changes.
To what degree all, or any, of these mechanisms are operating during application of PRT in general, and StrainCounterstrain (SCS) in particular, remains to be more definitively established. Meanwhile positional release methods are among the safest and most effective ways of easing painful symptoms and inducing a healing response.3
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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