resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Power of Positioning
During the evening, I like to relax while either reading a book or watching television. One of my shows, NCIS, has the main character always drinking coffee. Everyone knows it is a Venti from Starbucks because of its distinctive color and style.
Alcohol Consumption Strongly Linked to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol intake is one of the primary risk factors for many human cancers, and is strongly associated with cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and notably, the colon and rectum.
The Power of Vitamin K
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
Body and Skin Rejuvenation Through Inner Balance, Equals Outer Beauty
First of all, I will draw a line in the sand. You know how there is often a big divide between the methods of Western medicine and holistic or energy medicine?
Cultivating Our National Strength
The time has come to seriously look at the state of this profession and its influence in the U.S. Where are we? What has happened? Where do we go from here?
Yo San University Celebrates, Supports Community Clinic
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently celebrated 25 years of teaching excellence and serving its community by awarding actor Pierce Brosnan the Robert Graham Visionary Award and raising money for its popular community clinic.
Eight Ways to Help Manage Your Content
You have just completed your last session for the day, checked your voice mail and emailed a new patient about their appointment, but something it gnawing at you, something you just can't quite put your finger it on.
Giving Chiropractic Some Much-Needed PR
Public relations has not always been the chiropractic profession's strong suit, a shortcoming that has subjected the profession to countless attacks on its legitimacy and seemingly perpetual confusion among the public and the health care world as to the skills and services doctors of chiropractic provide.
The McGill Approach to the Lower Back (Part 1)
Stuart McGill, PhD, brings a unique combination of tools to the table. He is a scientist who also functions as a clinician. He describes himself as a medical consultant who is referred challenging patients. He is both evidence based and practical.
Drug War Rages in Wisconsin
Based on its actions over the past 15 years (review the sidebar in the app version of this article), controversy and the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association seem to go hand in hand.
The Bottom Line ... From a Surgeon Who Knows
Regardless of individual relationships between providers, there continues to be a type of Hatfield-McCoy feud between the philosophies of medicine and chiropractic, particularly when it comes to musculoskeletal ailments.
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!
Hon Lee: Scholar, Warrior, Spy, Teacher and Healer
It was fun. Growing up in New York's Chinatown was like living in a Chinese village that had been transplanted to a five square block area in southern Manhattan. The thing I liked most about the city, and still do, is it's rich cultural diversity.
MUIH Launches Doctoral Degree Programs
Maryland University of Integrative Health recently announce it will now offer doctoral degrees.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Meets Modern Anatomy Dissection
Have you ever thought it would be beneficial to explore under the skin and examine qi deficiencies in every system of the body? Would you like to see traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis patterns as they relate to western biomedical symptoms and conditions?
Treating Our Veterans with PTSD
As July 4th, Memorial Day and Veterans Day continue to pass year in and year out, we honor our veterans from past wars with parades, BBQs and a day off from work, but our veterans live daily with the spiritual scars of war.
News in Brief
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Enrolls Second Group Member; Focus on Chiropractic Education at WFC-ACC Conference in Miami; Are You Ready for Another "Have-a-Heart" Campaign?
Behavior as Symptoms of Energetic Imbalance
Karen and Josh said they wanted me to help them fix their marriage. That is why they were sitting on the couch in front of me, complaining about each other. She was too domineering, he said, overly controlling and bossy.
"Turn, Turn, Turn"
Many people are credited with saying, "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." Given the fact I didn't become a teenager until 1970, I actually do remember the '60s (or at least part of it). And as a child of the '60s, I was, of course, influenced by the music.
Correcting Dysfunctional Movement Patterns – Is Local Treatment Enough?
It is widely believed that mechanical, non-traumatic back pain is largely related to dysfunctional or compensatory movement patterns the body has adopted over time.
The Art of Observation
How many of us spend time just watching our clients walk, climb in and out of cars, rise from a chair or navigate a flight of stairs? Spontaneity is the key. Along with a subtle ability to observe without the client knowing or being made to feel like a lab rat.
Learning a Hands-Free Solution to Fix SI Dysfunction
We are a society of therapists geared to touch, feel and fix through fascia and muscles. We help facilitate better joint function by working our fingers to the bones. Have you ever worked and worked and the client still walked away in lumbar pain. If so, this article really is for you. I am going to share with you how to relieve SI dysfunction, provide better stabilization and not have to massage, knead or stretch tissue. Interested? But, don't hang up your hands just yet. You are still going to need them, just not in the usual sense with this principle of healing.
You know when you see a demonstration and it makes you scratch your head and wonder exactly how did that work? Well, that is how this article came into being. I was attending a fitness convention with a friend and in the list of workshops to choose from was a class titled, "Fixing SI Dysfunction." Of course, I was thinking what kind of fitness is going to fix an SI dysfunction? The gentleman teaching the class was a chiropractic physician. He asked for someone in the audience that had chronic lumbar pain to come forward and he would show how easy it is to help an SI dysfunction. My friend's son Robert, a trainer and ex-baseball player, fit the bill for the demonstration. The chiropractor assessed the SI and showed how Robert's SI joint was not stabilizing or closing in a one legged stance. The joint was functional in open chain but dysfunctional in closed chain.
His demonstration included showing us a bilateral comparison. It was obvious the side of dysfunction and it correlated with Robert's chronic pain side. Here is where the no hands approach comes in. He used breath work, visualization and isometrics to fix the dysfunction, not any form of hands on manipulation. When Robert stood up, a reassessment of the opening and closing of the SI joint was done and the SI joint was now functioning properly. Later that night and the next day, we asked Robert how he felt and he said there was no return of pain. I was sold and I needed to know how what appeared to be such a simple thing fixed a long standing chronic problem. So, I asked some questions, bought his book and found the importance of using principles and not methods.
Do you know the difference between a method and a principle? A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. There are hundreds of healing methods. In fact, when I researched it on many websites, there are sometimes 10 or more methods for every letter in the alphabet. Each healing practice is trying to create the same effect of better postural control, joint alignment, balance of the mind-body-spirit connection and relief of pain symptoms. What does acupuncture, ashiatsu oriental bar therapy, vitaflex, alexander technique, and bowen technique have in common? Well, they are all healing methods based on similar principles. Cross over into the exercise field and you see the very same thing with Cross Fit, kettle bells, the barre method, yoga and pilates again all based on similar principles. In both fields, we are going to see more and more different methods spring up so be aware. The new ones tend to replace the old ones with each trying to get the individual to their goals of better health and healing. Everyone is looking for the one method that has all the answers instead of relying on the principle foundation these methods are born from. In fact, you're awareness of the basic principles will make any method you already have in your tool box better. Having a deeper understanding of the principles of human movement and rehabilitation will keep you alive and well in this ever changing healthcare stream.
The first principle to consider is the use of deep diaphragmatic breathing with the activation of the pelvic floor muscles to help reset the core musculature. In the absence of ideal respiratory patterns, the motor system will be forced to choose between respiration and stabilization, with preferential selection of the former (Hodges et al 2004). The diaphragm has an important role in stabilizing the core. It forms the top of the core canister with the internal and external obliques, quadratus lumborum, pelvic floor and transverse abdominus.
Proper breathing is a way of interrupting the "Fight or Flight" response or the overuse of the sympathic nervous system. When clients are over stimulated they recruit muscles in dysfunctional patterns. This can happen from sitting too long, an accident or injury, or a disease process. The loss of breathing from the belly and starting to breathe from the chest creates a core dysfunction and the wrong order of recruitment.
Do the following exercise: Sit in a chair. Draw in your navel, now draw your shoulder blades back, now squeeze your glutes, hold your arms out at a 90 degree angle and start to type. How long would you last? A principle of recruiting the wrong muscles for the job is what you are learning here. This activity of sitting and typing should have been done by a low level activation of inner core muscles. By the habitual use of the body in this way day after day, sitting and not breathing properly, the deep core musculature gets replaced by muscles that are designed to move the spine not stabilize the spine.
The connection of how breath work effects SI function lies in understanding the Deep Facial Line. The DFL is the connection of psoas and the diaphragm just behind the kidneys, adrenal glands and the solar plexus, and just in front of the major spinal joint of the thoracolumbar junction. Also, connecting with the intervertebral discs of levels L1-L5, to attach to the lesser trochanter of the femur as well as blend into the pelvic floor. The junction of T12-L1 is a critical point of both stability and function in the human body. "The myofascial of the DFL is infused with more slow-twitch, endurance muscle fibers, reflecting the role the DFL plays in providing stability and subtle positioning changes to the core structure to enable the more superficial structures and lines to work easily and efficiently with the skeleton." (Tomas W. Myers, Anatomy Trains second edition.) The thoracopelvic canister joins the trunk with the bottom of the body and it functions to join breathing to walking.
The second principle to understand is the use of visualization. In the early 1900's, Mabel Todd developed an approach that is called "ideokinesis." Ideokinesis uses imagery and conscious thought patterns as ways to improve posture and habitual movement patterns. This concept was adopted and is still used within Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, and many forms of athletics. And as a side bar, I use it with my stroke and Parkinson's patients.
Treatment plan for a SI dysfunction:
I have used these principles for more than just SI dysfunction. It will help with many forms of chronic pain. One of my students related they had used these principles for a very acute back spasm and the patient called the next day with amazement and relief of pain.
I want to leave you with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that really made me think about the importance of the use of principles going forward as a massage and movement specialist: "As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble."