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Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Treating the Symptoms vs. Rehabilitating the Causes of Pain and Dysfunction
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
There is no shortage of clients in pain from musculoskeletal problems. All one has to do is look at the number of over-the-counter medication, chiropractors, physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons and neurologists to understand how great the need is for long-term solutions for musculoskeletal problems.This raises the biggest challenge for massage therapists - how to achieve long-term rehabilitation from pain for their clients so they can resume their normal life activities pain free? If successful in achieving this, massage therapy can become the overall treatment of choice for those with musculoskeletal problems.
Finding the Cause
When clients come for massage treatment, much of their pain is a symptom of an underlying cause. If massage therapists spend most of their time treating the symptoms and not addressing the cause, they are likely to either create a client who is dependent on constant treatments just to stay out of pain or, as most clients do, eventually look elsewhere into more invasive and costly treatments from the medical profession that lead to even worse problems. So, our challenge is to first understand the origins of musculoskeletal pain and then to treat it by rehabilitating the causes of the pain. This leads to long-term resolution of the client's musculoskeletal problems. When massage therapists do this, they will be constantly in demand and could possibly earn the respect of the rest of the medical profession.
Within the musculoskeletal field, structural imbalance results in pain and dysfunction, whereas structural balance equates to pain free function. Therefore, the origins of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction are actually easily observed in every client who seeks treatment for pain. This is usually the core distortion. Babies are born with it. The rotation of the iliums and the hip complex in infants and children is well documented by Dr. Terry R. Yochum and Dr. Lindsay J. Rowe in their description and images of normal acetabula angles in children from birth to three months and three to twelve months.
The left ilium is rotated anteriorly resulting in a functional long leg. The right ilium is rotated posteriorly resulting in a functional short leg. This imbalance of the iliums and sacrum collapses further into rotation with life experiences until symptoms of pain become prominent. It is very easy when doing structural evaluation of a client to notice the twist in a standing client's body. There are many differences of opinion as to these actual rotations due to the methods of evaluation and interpretations of what is observed. If, however, you use functional kinesiology, the client is supine and asked to raise the right leg about 10 inches off the table. When the right leg is pressed down toward the table, there is significant strength. The same test done with the left leg will show significant weakness. "The rectus femoris is a powerful extensor of the knee, but is weak when the hip is flexed," along with the hip flexors. The anterior rotation of the left ilium (flexion) prevents the rectus femoris and hip flexors from being functionally strong. This is a consistent finding over 38 years of evaluation of clients with the core distortion and is just one of the many functional tests that verify the imbalances in the pelvis that is a major part of the core distortion found in the body.
Finding a Release
The discovery of the core distortion in the cranial motion reveals that the wings of the sphenoid are restricted in a pattern identical to the ASIS of the iliums, and that the ridge of the occiput is restricted in a pattern identical to that of the PSIS of the iliums. Working with the cranium to release the imbalances in the cranial motion as described previously, results in a balancing of the rotations of the iliums, an equalizing of the leg length and a leveling of the sacrum reducing curvatures of the spine. This is accomplished by releasing the soft tissue restrictions responsible for the imbalances in the cranial motion. Amazingly, this has been the missing link to restoring the balance and weight bearing support to the hip complex which includes the sacrum, ilium and SI joints.
The core distortion is involved in the entire musculoskeletal system including the cranium and its specific imbalances relating to TMJ imbalance and dysfunction. Therefore, if we start looking beyond just the areas of pain and look at the overall balance and function in the body, we find the source of most clients' pain. This covers TMJ, headaches, the entire spine and appendages into the feet such as plantar fasciitis and compartmental syndrome. As you can see, it involves the entire musculoskeletal system. With the imbalance of the iliums and sacrum, we get exaggerated curvatures of the spine putting excessive stress on the edges of the discs leading to early degeneration, thinning and even herniations and ruptures of the discs.
When evaluating the muscles and soft tissue using functional kinesiology, 50% of the muscles are operating at a 50% or less efficiency due to this imbalance, leaving them susceptible to injuries such as strain, tearing, adhesion and scar tissue build up. In addition, the shortening and over contraction of some of the muscles directly result in compression along the nerve pathways and many types of nerve pain.
The body in core distortion is also much more susceptible to injuries at the joints. The imbalance of the core distortion results in a dysfunction at the joints since at least half the muscles at the joints are severely weakened and cannot support the stabilization and balance under strain. No matter how effective your soft tissue therapy is, if the weaknesses at the joints due to the core distortion are not brought back to strength, then the causes for the injury or pain are still present and full rehabilitation has not been achieved. However, if the core distortion is released, the structure is brought back into balance including the joints and the soft tissue is brought back to full functional strength. This will produce long-term improvements. The symptoms of pain will disappear. The importance of releasing the core distortion back into balance and function to reduce and rehabilitate the conditions resulting in pain cannot be stressed enough. This is a long-term solution to the structural imbalance resulting in pain and dysfunction of at least 90% of musculoskeletal problems.
It is amazing that most of the medical field has not looked at the imbalances in the entire structure, but rather focuses on individual areas. Consequently, there is no awareness of the overall pattern of imbalance found with the core distortion. There are some chiropractic and osteopathic treatment models that do include working with the entire structure, but mainly by adjusting the joints and vertebrae. While the chiropractors adjust joints and bones, when the soft tissue is engaged in movement and structural stabilization, it moves the bones back into the patterns governed by the tension and weakness of the soft tissue. Whenever structural drawings are made of the musculoskeletal system, the imbalances of the core distortion are obvious. Massage therapists have an advantage as the soft tissue governs the organization alignment and function of the musculoskeletal system. It is possible to stand our clients up for full structural evaluation and see how the core distortion relates directly to their musculoskeletal pain. It is then possible to work with specialized soft tissue protocols to bring the core distortion back into balance, not only in the area of the symptoms (pain), but also throughout the structure so every part of the structure supports function and balance.
Consequently, the reoccurrence of the old dysfunction and pain is prevented. This is most effectively accomplished when the cranial imbalances caused by soft tissue restrictions of the cranium are released first, which bring the hip complex back into weight bearing support balancing the sacrum and equalizing the leg length. This creates a balanced weight bearing foundation for the spine reducing spinal curvatures and excessive pressures on the disc. The improved structural balance is seen at every joint and restores strength to the weakened muscles surrounding each joint.
Once a foundation for rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system has been achieved by releasing the core distortion cranially, the body is trying to balance, there is weight bearing support at the hip complex and there is restored strength to the musculature governing every joint. At this point, further soft tissue work to release ischemia and trigger points, old myofascial holding patterns, adhesions, scar tissue and nerve compressions will be working with the body which is already moving into optimal balance and function. When this happens, structural balance results in pain free function. Even old injuries, damaged joints and discs can heal. Clients really are able to resume their normal life activities pain free.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
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