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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Clinical Pearls for the Massage Therapist: Learning and Using Acupuncture Back-Shu Points
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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