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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
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