Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Treating Headaches with a Cranial/Structural Solution
Massage therapists treat many clients looking for relief from headaches. These headaches range in severity from tension headaches to severe migraines. Some are constant and some just occur occasionally. When working with clients who have headaches, it is important track the severity, as well as the frequency to determine when you are achieving changes, as long-term relief is desired.
Jennifer, a 28-year-old school teacher, was having two headaches a month. They always seemed to appear when things were most hectic at school. Jennifer was sitting in her car at a red light when a car going 5 mph rear ended, her causing minimal damage to her car. Even though her neck was stiff afterwards, she felt she had escaped a whiplash injury. However, Jennifer's headaches increased in severity to the point she now called them migraines. She had at least two a week and never felt her head was entirely clear. After the accident, she noticed a popping in her jaw when she fully opened her jaw to eat.
Chuck, a 40-year-old accountant, had chronic headaches for two years. He first noticed his headaches during the stress of tax season when he would wake up grinding his teeth and having heart palpitations. Chuck spent long hours working on his computer which also caused eye strain. Unfortunately, after the second year of a stressful tax season, Chuck's headaches were more intense and occurred several times a week, even after tax season was over.
Paula, a 22-year-old college student, developed migraine headaches after an auto accident. She spent a week in the hospital after multiple surgeries for her knee and internal bleeding. When Paula started walking again, she had vertigo and often felt like she was going to pass out. The doctors never explained why the migraines began occurring after the accident. Paula had to take medication almost daily to try to head off her migraines.
These three clients cover a large range of the types of headaches of clients that I've treated over the years. They all had soft tissue issues that contributed to their headache symptoms. They also all had cranial distortions, dysfunctions and imbalances that needed to be addressed before their headache conditions could be resolved.
When Jennifer came for treatment she was actually starting a headache. Upon structural evaluation, Jennifer had a spiral core distortion with a rotation of the iliums, high low shoulders, neck forward and to the right with head tipping back to the left. Since she had a headache in progress, the first order of treatment was to reduce that headache. The Quick Release Technique (QRT) was applied, which worked a series of acupressure trigger points and soft tissue of the neck and shoulder ending directly under the ridge of the occiput. This was followed by a modified atlas/occipital release to restore normal cranial motion and lengthen the dura. This disrupted the onset of Jennifer's headache so that the Cranial/Structural Core Distortion Releases (CSCDR) could be applied to release the torsions in Jennifer's cranium that were responsible for the torsions in the rest of her structure. This had an immediate effect on the chronic stress patterns in the soft tissue of her neck and shoulders which had been triggers for her headaches for years.
The imbalance in the cranial bones had also created a significant imbalance in her temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) and pressure on the trigeminal nerve. Jennifer was amazed immediately after the CSCDR at how she could open and close her jaw without any popping. She was still somewhat foggy so a therapeutic technique to release the soft tissue restrictions affecting C1 was applied. For the first time since Jennifer's car wreck, she felt like her head was clear. The facial bones were mobilized to further balance the jaw and address pressure on the trigeminal and optic nerve. A specialized myofascial soft tissue protocol was applied to further release the core distortion holding patterns from the soft tissue of Jennifer's neck and shoulders. Jennifer left without a headache and able to think clearly.
When Jennifer returned for her next treatment, she reported that she only had one more migraine which quickly abated. Jennifer had three more treatments in which additional cranial/structural releases further balanced her cranium, TMJ and the structure in the rest of her body. Myofascial soft tissue protocols were applied to unwind the chronic holding patterns of the core distortion out of the soft tissue of her neck and shoulders. After that, Jennifer came monthly for two more treatments and reported that even her old school headaches had disappeared.
Chuck had just finished his stressful tax season and was having a headache when he arrived. For Chuck to be comfortable on the table, the QRT was applied to release the stress in the head, neck and shoulder area and restore cranial motion. Structural evaluation revealed that Chuck was in the core distortion, and sitting under stress working on his computer had moved his head, neck and shoulders into an even greater distortion with his head in front of the rest of his body. The CSCDR was applied releasing the torsions of his cranium to restore structural balance in Chuck's entire body from the cranium to his feet. This resulted in a significant improvement in Chuck's structure, taking the chronic stress out of his neck and shoulders and reducing the stress on his headache triggers. The soft tissue jamming his C1 were released and his headache disappeared. The temporal bones and sphenoid affecting the trigeminal nerve were also mobilized. Facial bone mobilizations released the stress pattern that affected Chuck's breathing and heart palpitations. Finally, additional cranial/structural releases addressing the optic nerve were applied. Chuck reported feeling better than he had for two years. After the cranial/structural releases specific soft tissue myofascial work was applied to further move his head, neck and shoulders into supported alignment and reduce the chronic holding patterns and tension in his soft tissue.
Chuck had six additional sessions over two months, working with the cranial relationships to his headaches and bringing his body into structural alignment. At Chuck's last session, he had not had a headache or heart palpitations for more than a month and his body structure was supporting him preventing his head from coming forward while working at his computer.
Paula had just taken her medication to head off her migraine when she arrived for her session. Structural evaluation showed that Paula was in a core distortion with a significant twist throughout her body including her cranium. The CSCDR was applied to bring Paula's structure back into alignment and weight bearing support. This also freed the sutures that were jammed in her cranium that included the occipital/mastoid (OM) suture. Rocking of the temporal bones further addressed the imbalance at the OM suture. Paula noticed an immediate disappearance of the vertigo she had experienced since her accident. The soft tissue mobilization of C1 was applied to further restore structural balance to Paula's neck and to improve the relationship of the atlas/occiput in its cranial motion. Paula noticed she could turn her head further side-to-side. Additional cranial evaluation showed that Paula had swelling inside her cranium which can cause migraine symptoms, conceivably from a mild concussion. The Cranial/Structural Frontal/Occipital Decompression (CSFOD) was applied to increase the pumping of the cerebral spinal fluid through the glymphatic system reducing the swelling and excess fluid. Specialized myofascial soft tissue techniques were applied to bring additional structural balance to Paula's head, neck and shoulders. After a few more sessions, Paula's migraines disappeared completely.
These three clients all had headaches that were related to the core distortion in the cranium that was responsible for the spiral torsion throughout the structure of the body. The distortion of the cranium results in compression of cranial nerves, ineffective pumping of cerebral spinal fluid, and a structural distortion affecting the muscles of the neck and shoulder causing trigger points to become inflamed and their pain referral zones to fire up in the head resulting in headaches. If the core distortion is not taken out of the cranium, you will have limited success when treating the soft tissue related to headaches. The distortion of the cranium affects the occiput/C1 relationship, creating pressure on the brain stem which causes many headaches that are classified as migraines. The distortion in the structure causes muscles in the neck, shoulder, jaw, and cranium to be under constant stress which become stress triggers for many headaches.
There are also specific cranial sutures that compress cranial nerves creating headaches. The most common are the occipital/mastoid suture, the temporal/sphenoidal/frontal/parietal, the ethmoid/vomer/maxilla, and the palatine/maxilla/sphenoidal sutures. These can be responsible for significant headaches, regardless of what is taking place with the rest of the cranial bones. A restricted cranial motion can result in congestion of cerebral spinal fluid found in the cranium which causes pressure and some migraines. When the glymphatic system, which pumps cerebral spinal fluid through the brain under pressure becomes sluggish, the result is excess fluid, inflammation, and an accumulation of waste and toxicity – another cause of headaches. These case histories with explanations of cranial relationships to headaches makes it clear that cranial/structural techniques are very effective for the relief of even severe headaches.