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TCM & the Caregiving Population: Treatment Considerations & Our Vital Role
Informal caregiving is increasingly a reality for many Americans who find themselves providing unpaid care for a loved one or a family member with a long-term, terminal, or chronic illness.
Chiropractic in Texas Is Under Attack
The profession of chiropractic faces an unprecedented challenge in Texas, an attack that is more aggressive, sustained and dangerous than anything previously seen. The medical lobby has launched a coordinated, multi-front assault.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter
New estimates suggest more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. The medical significance of this statistic is astounding.
A Brief History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctoral Programs
A doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been a goal of the profession since its beginnings in the late 1970s. At that time, however, the maturity of the educational institutions and the regulatory environment made it a goal with only a distant completion date.
Latest Cassidy Study on Stroke Risk Published
The latest study to investigate whether a unique association between chiropractic manipulation and risk of cervical artery dissection / stroke exists has yielded similar encouraging findings, with the authors noting "no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care" and no significant risk difference between patients receiving care from a DC or a primary care medical provider.
Advancing the "Whole Organ" Spine Model
Historically, the human spine has been organized by body region utilizing specific anatomical landmarks and transition zones.
Paperwork Done Wrong, Done Right
I was visiting a doctor's office recently and a member of his staff brought a stack of forms to his private office and laid them on the doctor's desk. She informed him he needed to complete the forms for patients and a few third parties.
Reader Beware: Consider the Source
The aftermath of last year's presidential elections brought a running conversation on the role played by "fake news" that was largely presented via social media.
News in Brief
The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) board members recently met with the Korean Customs Service, which is similar to the FDA, to discuss herbal safety and importation issues.
4 Things Every DC Should Know About Levels of Care & Prevention
As health practitioners, we help people with their health problems and assist them with health promotion and disease prevention.
Gather & Grow
I recently attended a faculty seminar held by one of the acupuncture schools. There was a facilitator who led us through some very interesting experiences. The attendees were a diverse group with varying opinions.
AOM Residency at NUNM
Imagine you're a recent acupuncture graduate, worried about making enough income as you forge your new career and seek more in-depth training in a particular treatment style.
Getting Unstuck: Healing From Trauma With TCM, Qigong & Movement
We all come into this world vulnerable, with seeds to grow into our strength. Some of us — through a combination of good fortune (i.e., family and culture we are born into, constitutional inheritance, or ability to learn) grow with minimal interruption from traumatic injuries and experiences.
Treating the Lower Pelvis (Pt. 2): Midline Structures and Fascia
My previous article [October 2016 issue] outlined evaluation and treatment of pelvic issues involving the sacrotuberous ligament and the pubic symphysis. Now let's discuss two case studies that illustrate how to address additional problematic areas of the pelvis.
VF Works / DMX Works Epilogue: Almost Two Decades Later, the Lawsuits Continue
An article in the March 8, 1999 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic examined whether then-VF Works / Nu-Best Franchising was selling its franchises illegally to doctors of chiropractic.
Helping Patients With Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD), a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects motor function, has a slow onset over time.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 2)
The primary channels (main channels) are introduced in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, these channels are referenced in many chapters throughout the Su Wen and the Ling Shu. The primary channels have become the main channel system used in TCM.
Spiritual Initiation: Opening Your Higher Healing Abilities
People drawn to the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine tend to be those who march to the beat of a different drummer.
The Large Intestine Official
The large intestine (AKA colon) is the great eliminator, or as J.R. Worsley called it, "The Drainer of the Dregs." Dregs are defined as the remnants of liquid with its sediment left in a container, or the basest, least valuable portion of anything.
Correcting Rib Dysfunction: Improve Patients' Pain, Posture and Breathing
As chiropractors, we tend to focus on the spine, and rightly so. Many problems our patients face can be corrected by manipulating the correct spinal level.
Near-Infrared Therapy for Diabetic Neuropathy
The pain experienced by people with diabetes is a symptom of diabetic neuropathy. The impact on quality of life is significant. Pain makes walking difficult, sleep troublesome, and eventually contributes to a decrease in social interaction.
House Calls With Dad
My father was a chiropractor and he did house calls. On Wednesday nights, while my mother attended the weekly women's meeting at the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs hall in our small town, dad loaded up the portable adjusting table, fired up the Pontiac and drove off to treat a few patients in their homes. I went with him.
Palpation Skills in Clinical Practice?
Have you ever thought about the process involved in the way experts make instant decisions as they work? Experts can be shown to have the ability to observe, recognize, interpret, judge, decide and to act appropriately, in a split second – not based on planned decision-making, but more on a foundation of sound knowledge and practiced skills. Consider these examples:
Not Intuition Alone
It would be a mistake to label such improvisation as merely intuitive. Intuition, in expert settings, needs to be based on solid foundations, otherwise we would all be brain surgeons or gifted musicians. This is just as true in manual therapy as in any other field, since skilled manual therapists are also experts.
Consider the words of Donald Schon as he discusses reflection in action: "Often when a competent practitioner recognizes, in a maze of symptoms, a particular pattern, and constructs the basis for a coherent design in dealing with it ... something is being done, which cannot easily be described. Practitioners/therapists make judgments of quality for which they cannot [always] state adequate criteria. It is not difficult to understand why practitioners [therapists] should [sometimes] be puzzled by their own performance in the indeterminate zones of practice."1
I am sure that we can all relate to describing something as deviating from normal when palpating – far more easily than we can describe what that difference is; for example, when tissues just do not feel right. During palpation our hands recognize normality, as well as deviations from it. However, trying to put the perceived differences into words, or to analyze those differences, is not always easy. It seems that many skilled people – in all areas of life – demonstrate know-how as they learn to perform complex actions, without necessarily being able to describe them.
Palpation: Skill PLUS Art
It has been suggested that four basic characteristic signs should be evaluated when seeking evidence of localized musculoskeletal dysfunction.2 The acronym STAR can usefully be applied to describe these features:
Where a combination of these characteristics are located and identified by observation, palpation and assessment, is also where evidence of a dysfunctional musculoskeletal area exists (described as somatic dysfunction in osteopathic medicine).
Of course, this sort of palpated evidence doesn't tell us why dysfunction has occurred, only that it may be present.
Tests, palpation and observation assessments may offer answers to the question what. For example, that the tissues being evaluated are sensitive, asymmetrical, restricted, short, tight, weak, etc., but such findings do not actually offer indications as to what to do clinically.
When we ask why, we can narrow down treatment choices:
What we feel, what we sense, and most importantly, how we interpret the information we gather from palpation and assessment, determines how we treat the problems that we're asked to manage.