resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Clinical Pearls for the Massage Therapist: Learning and Using Acupuncture Back-Shu Points
Click here to return to Online Only Articles
By Mark Anthony Kestner, DC, FIAMA, CCSP, CSCS
Imagine that while working with a new client you observe a mild, erythamatous dermatitis. She has broad areas of red, dry skin. You question her about it and she tells you that she has seen her primary care physician, a dermatologist and a cosmetician with little help. The redness started seven years previously, and she relates no association with any illness, food sensitivity, allergic reaction or other cause.
As I examined her spine, I noticed that she had several specific areas of tenderness in her thoracic area not directly associated with her primary complaints of neck and low back pain. I had taken postgraduate seminars in kinesiology and trigger point therapy, so I treated the tender thoracic areas as well as her cervical and lumbar spine. After several spinal adjustments her complaints of neck pain and low back pain resolved, as did the other tender areas. I asked her to return for a follow up visit in one month.
When she returned, she asked me to examine her back. When I did, I saw that the skin had healed completely. Her dermatitis had disappeared. She asked me what I had done to "cure" the dermatitis. That was my introduction to the back-shu points of acupuncture. As I searched to discover the reason for her healing response, I discovered that the points I had been treating manually were associated with the lung and liver meridians. Specifically, the points were known as the back-shu points for those meridians, otherwise known as associated points.
For each of the twelve primary energy meridians that flow throughout the body, there are two powerful points located along each side of the spine. These points lie on the bladder meridian, and link to the Du or governing vessel meridian. Chi is infused into the corresponding organ meridians through these points. There is a close association between these points and the spinal ganglia. Meridian points have been shown to affect the functioning of the neurological system. When an organ is impaired, or the respective meridian is blocked or deficient, it is common for the back-shu point to be tender. It is also possible that you will observe a solitary pimple or other skin reaction at the point. For this reason, the back-shu points are also considered to be of diagnostic significance.
As you work with your client, it is a simple matter to routinely examine and palpate the back-shu points. Note any that are tender or show other signs of reaction. Any that are reactive should be stimulated. The points can be stimulated in a number of ways. Obviously to an acupuncturist, proper needling can be applied. For those who are not trained acupuncturists, non-needle methods include brisk circular rubbing, tapping, using a tei-shin, acupressure, warming and vibration. Manual stimulation does not need to be lengthy; in fact, brief stimulation is usually effective.
Now, the question remains, did my stimulation of those points result in this lady's healing and if so, what do the lung and liver points have to do with dermatitis? The first answer is "definitely maybe." The only intervention that she received during this time was my treatment. The fact that a chronic condition of seven years duration healed immediately following stimulation of the back-shu points certainly suggests that the treatment had a cause-effect relationship.
Why were the lung and liver points related? The lung meridian is often treated in skin disorders. Dry skin, itchiness, rashes and chronic skin disorders may be related to problems associated with the lung meridian. The association with the liver point is less obvious. The liver in acupuncture stores the blood and is associated with overall movement of chi. Although not typically directly associated with skin conditions, the liver can be involved with any situation that involves disturbance of the flow of chi.
The elegant simplicity of learning and using the back-shu points is that by stimulating the points, you can help the body to balance itself. It will be beneficial for you to continue to learn more about how to use meridian points and work closely with an acupuncturist in your area. The back-shu points are a great way to directly affect the meridian system while you continue to learn more complex procedures. Include the back-shu points in your work with every client.Resources:
Kaptchuk, Ted J. The Web that Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.
Xinong, Cheng. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Revised Edition).
Mark Anthony Kestner, DC, FIAMA, CCSP, CSCS
Published: May 9, 2005