resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Make a Difference in Clients who Suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
There are manual cranial therapies for massage therapists that can make a significant difference for clients who have had brain injuries. Unfortunately, many massage therapists are unaware of the positive effect they can have with their brain injured clients.
Recent medical research has actually verified systems in the brain that were previously unrecognized. There are three that are of significant importance for manual therapy. The first is that they now recognize that the cranial motion exists with a subtle movement of the cranial bones. For years, medical schools have been teaching that the cranial bones do not move. The second was a breakthrough study at the University of Rochester Medical Center that discovered the glymphatic system. This discovery was only possible because of advances in technology that allowed them to study living brains.
The glymphatic system is a pressurized system that shadows the blood vessels of the brain and is now recognized as the principle waste removal process for the most sensitive of organs, the human brain. The third was a "stunning" discovery at the University of Virginia that overturns decades of textbook teaching that shows the brain is directly connected to the immune system by lymph vessels previously thought not to exist. While it has always been recognized that there were some lymph vessels in the brain, they were thought to be minimal and not of great significance. The new findings show that the brain has a complex and sophisticated immune system based on this newly discovered and extensive lymph system. Again, this only makes sense as the most sensitive organ of the body would need this.
In the past, when some of the treatable brain injuries occurred, massage therapists were seldom included in the treatment process. If we look at the systems mentioned above, we can see this was a major oversight by the medical community because, once the danger of further hemorrhage or damage to the brain was no longer an issue, massage therapists trained in specialized cranial techniques could have provided one of the primary forms of treatment. This is a bold statement which I now am going to back up.
First, we will look at what happens to the above mentioned systems when a traumatic brain injury takes place. When the cranial motion is examined after traumatic brain injury, it is dramatically diminished. The injury itself can jam sutures even to the point of causing them to become calcified. In addition, there is soft tissue damage. This can be from the surface layers of fascia just under the skin through the reciprocal tension membrane where it passes through the sutures, and inside the lining of the cranium into the tentorium that supports and holds the brain. This can dramatically disrupt the cranial motion and block neurological function as this tissue thickens into scar tissue.
In the acute stages of brain injury, a restriction of the cranial motion can cause a backup of fluids in almost any part of the brain. This backup of fluid causes pressure and swelling on the brain and inhibits brain function. Restoring cranial motion allows the systems of the brain to work normally and release the swelling. In addition, restoring the cranial motion can often result in a balancing of the temporal lobes which often dramatically reduces vertigo, and the inability to concentrate.
Case study #1
Robin, a 30-year-old real estate agent, had a brain injury from an auto accident. For three months she was unable to drive, had significant headaches, could not concentrate, could not stand bright lights, and was on medication for vertigo. She came for treatment because she also had a cervical flexion/extension soft tissue injury. Using kinesiology to evaluate her cranium, it was revealed that she had minimal cranial motion and almost no cranial motion of the left temporal bone. In addition, the relationship of the occiput/atlas/axis was jammed with no motion. The cranial/structural core distortion release, a complete unwinding of the restrictions of the cranial motion, was applied which restored full motion to the cranium. Additional synchronizing of the temporal bones and a mobilization of C1 were applied. By the time Robin got off the table, she felt her concentration was nearly 100%, her headache that had been present since the injury was gone, the lights in the room were no longer affecting her, and her vertigo had disappeared. Additional sessions further normalized and expanded her cranial motion and also treated the soft tissue injuries in her neck. Within three sessions, Robin felt that her brain injury was healed and that she could return to her real estate practice. This was a very good example of how the restrictions of the cranial motion which also jammed C1, had prevented her brain injury from healing. The timely application of cranial/structural techniques produced rapid and long lasting improvement.
Cranial motion is involved in both the glymphatic and lymphatic systems of the brain. However, each deserves special attention beyond just the restoring of the cranial motion. The glymphatic system is the principle waste removal system for cleansing the brain, and a brain injury damages the glymphatic vessels often collapsing or even breaking them. This is especially obvious when there have been broken blood vessels and hemorrhaging as the glymphatic system shadows the circulatory system. The first symptom of damage to the glymphatic system is swelling. Cerebral spinal fluid and blood will back up or leak out in an area that is damaged. The second is additional inflammation because waste products of the brain accumulate and cause constant irritation which also results in swelling. The third, and this takes place over time when the glymphatic system has not been restored back to full function, is brain degeneration due to lack of waste removal and a buildup of protein and amyloid beta. This may not be evident for a number of years after the injury, and is a major contributing factor to the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer's for those who have had multiple concussions.
In an acute brain injury, once danger of hemorrhage and additional damage has passed, treatment of the glymphatic system can dramatically speed up recovery. The glymphatic system pumps along with the cranial motion, but to engage it fully it is necessary to compress it. A specialized cranial/structural technique, the frontal/occipital decompression, will compress this system and then work it in a pumping motion. This will push fluid through collapsed glymphatic vessels and pump accumulations of fluid out of the brain. In addition, this pressurized pumping of the glymphatic system will dramatically increase the removal of waste products and inflamation. This will help to restore the glymphatic system back to full function. Many clients report immediate relief from concussion symptoms.
Case Study #2
Cindy, a college basketball player, had three major concussions in three years and, six months after the third one, hadn't shown any improvement in her ability to concentrate and attend school. She was also lethargic and had constant headaches. The physicians had said it was just going to take time and there could be some permanent damage.
At Cindy's first session, the cranial/structural core distortion release was applied to release the restrictions in her cranial motion. After the cranial motion had been restored the frontal/occipital decompression was applied to pump out the excess fluid and waste products and reduce inflammation in her brain. By the time the session was over, Cindy was not as lethargic and was starting to show more interest in her environment. This technique was applied four more times on a weekly basis with steady progress in her ability to concentrate, memory retention, and energy levels. Her headaches had also disappeared. By her fourth session, Cindy was back in school and able to handle her full load. This was after six months of not being able to read or concentrate enough to go to class. A CAT scan also showed a clearing in the areas that had previously been inflamed and swollen.
The lymphatic system also responds well to compression and decompression and is also treated with the frontal/occipital decompression. Consequently, there are two systems at work when treating inflammation and swelling with the frontal/occipital decompression. Both dramatically help in the recovery from treatable brain injuries.
Another effect of brain injuries, is leaving the client's brain susceptible to further neurological diseases and degeneration because of the damage to the lymphatic system which is the major component of the brain's immune system. Restoring the lymphatic system and lymph drainage can prevent the development of other neurological diseases such as MS, ALS and Alzheimer's.
As you can see, massage therapists can make a significant and long lasting therapeutic difference when treating clients who have had treatable traumatic brain injuries. Hopefully, this has expanded your awareness of the exciting possibilities that are available for successfully treating clients who have sustained treatable brain injuries. These techniques are not available through the medical community.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.