resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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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