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Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
Chiropractic Care and Risk of Stroke: The Shoe Moves to the Other Foot
For decades, numerous papers have linked upper cervical chiropractic care to the incidence of vertebral artery dissections and stroke.
Research: Know What You're Talking About
Have you ever seen a patient in your office with multiple serious health problems you weren't sure exactly how to address?
Reverse Digit Span: A Useful Assessment Tool for Patients With and Without Concussion
Reverse digit span is an easily administered test of attention span. It is a component of the SCAT3 test, which is frequently used to assess concussion. It has been part of the armamentarium of cognitive assessment for many years.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
Are You Making the Wrong Impression?
Taking a page from Stacy and Clinton of The Learning Channel's hit television program, "What Not to Wear," we recently published an article in the summer issue of Chiropractic History: The Archives and Journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic, that explores the evolution of physician attire from prehistoric times to the present.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
The Winter of Life: A Personal and Chiropractic Practice Perspective
Last November, my wife and I invited an elderly relative, Uncle Josh, to spend the winter with us. He was 82 years old at the time and turned 83 during his stay. As soon as he accepted our invitation, we began preparing.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
7 Reasons You Want a Beacon in Your Office
Have you heard about how "beacons" are transforming the way businesses interact with their customers? Beacons are low-energy Bluetooth devices that have the ability to send information to a smartphone app.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
Looking Back: Abstracts From Chiropractic History (Summer 2015 Issue)
The following abstracts are reprinted with permission from Chiropractic History, the official journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. Chiropractic History is the leading scholarly journal of the chiropractic profession dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the profession's credible history.
The Strain of Compression
In order to enhance the distribution of strain through the kinetic chain between the foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh, hip joint and pelvis, imagine the lower extremities as circles and columns that are designed to load share the compression of standing and movements of all kinds. These are concepts that have aided my efforts to assist clients desiring to prevent hip, knee, and shoulder replacements or to improve the quality of their rehabilitation after surgery.
Jon Zahourek, the developer of the Maniken System of Anatomy in Clay, was my inspiration for the circles notion when Lansing Barrett Gresham and I attended a rive-day workshop with him in 1990. During that week, we used clay to form every muscle in the human body and then placed them on a 3 1/2 foot skeleton. It was an amazing experience. However, one might also visualize the lower extremities as composed of articulated column segments. Thousands of clients have been my hands-on teachers guiding me to the experience of how these concepts successfully work to enhance their lives.1,2
What are the proposed circles and columns that may more evenly distribute compression in the lower extremities? Visualize, if you will, the longitudinal and transverse arches of the foot. The space between and including the tibia and fibula. The angular shape of the femur bordered laterally by the iliotibial band and medially by the muscular band of the gracilis and encased in all the soft tissues of the thigh. The ovoid shape of the pelvis itself with the pubic symphysis and the two sacroiliac joints. And, even the circular shape of the acetabula.
Consider directing your hands-on efforts toward creating a more balanced suspension into the center of each circle or column, thus enhancing the load sharing capacity of the lower extremity upward through the kinetic chain from the feet to the pelvis. In my previous articles, I have described the more superior anatomical and physiological elements that may predispose a posterior slide in the femoral head. Of course, these inferior circular and columnar relationships may also influence hip joint deterioration, especially if trauma to any of these lower extremity joints and soft tissues has occurred.
Who among us hasn't sprained an ankle, twisted a knee, or landed rather unceremoniously on our duff, aka, ischial tuberosity, sacrum, or tail bone. And, if one has had a fracture of any of the bones that intersect with these joints, then the resulting compensations may still be skewing the load sharing. Creating expanded, more normalized, more integrated space is our intent to enhancing the function of this system of interrelated circles and columns:
The simple concept to highlight in your awareness is that such trauma injuries (as well as injuries due to repetitive misuse, etc.) may alter the symmetry and structural integrity of these circles and columns and lessen their ability to distribute strain and contribute to the tendency for the femoral head to slip posterior.
Our job is as bodyworkers and massage therapists is to restore the soft tissue balance and suspension of these geometric spatial relationships as best we can. This new perceptual orientation will enhance your ability to mobilize the joints within the feet, ankles, knees, thighs, hips and pelvis.
To aide you in your quest, the golden key is to recognize that by directing your efforts toward mobilizing each of these joints toward their normal range of motion, is the fastest and usually least painful avenue to restore the balance of each circle and column. And, as you facilitate these changes for your clients, visualizing and working from the inside-out is the more natural and effective approach.
To say this another way, realize that soft tissues serve the joints. It is nature's hierarchy. Much of any excessive tension around and between the joints is created because the joint surfaces become stuck in mid-range, prevented from completing their full range of motion and thus are structurally mis-aligned in their proper tracking relationships.3 Restoring appropriate tracking within these joints along with utilizing our additional skill sets for enhancing soft tissue suspension together is a more comprehensive approach for us to aspire toward.
Below, I describe some of the more crucial osseous and soft tissue relationships which are instrumental to the distribution of strain within these circles and columns. Many others are also important; yet, if you master these, your competence to assist your clients will leap forward, as will your income. Increasing your anatomical and physiological knowledge and the depth and breadth of your hands-on skill sets is your best marketing tool. What generates new clients faster than anything else is your clients speaking your name associated with a proclamation that they are feeling and functioning better after working with you!
In the feet, the navicular and cuboid bones counter-rotate in order to unlock the arches during the heel strike and foot flat phases of the walking cycle, thus allowing the foot to adapt to the irregular surfaces of the earth as was necessary before we began to wear shoes. Then they re-rotate to provide a rigid lever during push-off.3,4 Since the line of joints from the navicular to the cuboid is where the longitudinal and transverse arches intersect, this is a key concept to understanding foot function. Often, one or both bones will become stuck in the mid-range of their rotational motion.
In the ankle, the talus bone has no muscular attachments, so it is often vulnerable to displacement. Mobilizing it positionally in relationship to the mortice structure of the malleoli of the tibia and fibula is another important skill to develop. The talus bone frames much of the tarsal tunnel, the opening through which blood, nerve and lymph supply flow in and out of the foot. Mobilizing its position toward a more balanced perch above the calcaneus bone positively affects both proprioceptive stability and neurovascular supply.
Moving upward to the leg and knee, remember two important goals: mobilizing the proximal head of the fibula then diving into and opening the interosseous membrane between the tibia and fibula is the quick path to re-balancing the column of the leg.
Learning to guide the tibial plateau through a figure eight range of motion is an approach that often allows the femoral condyles to naturally reset in relationship to the concave surfaces of the tibial plateau. This change toward greater joint mobility can be a miracle to a client with a chronic knee misalignment. Similar to the foot bones, the knee must twist to open and then flex forward, initiating the walking cycle. Then it needs to twist back to its original position for there to be stability and power during the extension/push off phase of walking.3,4 Again, the femoral condyles in relationship to the tibial plateau often become stuck in the middle of their reciprocal counter-rotations.3
Within the thigh, developing an awareness of the lateral and medial intermuscular septa radiating and spiraling outward from the femur is a core anatomical understanding to creating space within this cylinder/circle. Make it a priority to learn to mobilize the range of motion within the hip joints. Visualize the femoral head moving within the acetabulum. Direct your efforts to increase the roll and spin of the femoral head within the socket itself.
In the pelvis, learning to mobilize the pubic symphysis and the sacroiliac joints are exceptionally useful skills along with learning how to release the attachments of the adductors whose fascia blends with that of the pelvic floor muscles. Finally, to complete this holistic view of the body, we come to the relationship between these circles and columns of the lower extremities and the shoulder girdle, which is so often functionally vulnerable to the distortions in this kinetic chain of support.
Allow me to begin with Dr. Richard MacDonald's articulation from osteopathic theory that there exists a contiguous fascial line from the latissimus attachment to the humeral bone through the fascia associated with the sacroiliac joints, then following the lateral hamstrings and peroneal muscle group downward all the way to the lateral ankle/foot. His stated inference was that distortions could begin from above, and refer downward or from below, and refer upward.5
One of Ida Rolf's most enduring quotes guides our understanding of this dynamic relationship, if the body is not supported from below then it will endeavor to hang from above.6 I believe that the physiological mechanism(s) related to the meaning and understanding of this assertion are principally mediated by the large body reflexes and the flexor/extensor reflex systems, as well as the effects of fascial suspension, vertebral segmental motion, and many other additional variables.
My theory is that the constant activation of these reflexes will invariably distort the smooth range of motion of the shoulder joints adding to the progression of arthritic changes and the deposition of calcium salts. Most clients coming to me considering shoulder joint replacements have complex histories all involving some degree of trauma which most likely initially activated these reflex systems.
As loss of support from below progresses over time, these reflexes begin to insidiously lock the scapulae against the rib cage, often creating some degree of frozen shoulder; while in others, the arms are unconsciously pulled medially against the side of the chest. Both of these actions will add external compression against the expansion of the thorax as a whole, thus also increasing resistance to heart and lung expansion. Then inevitably, the entire general physiology becomes strained without adequate supplies of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones that fresh blood delivers. The elegance of the human design is really all that connected and more.
Please do consider Jon Zahourek's notion of multiple circles and Glenn Gaffney's concept of multi-articulated columns as paradigms for how we may imagine creating a more balanced distribution of strain and load bearing along the kinetic chain of the lower extremities into the pelvis.
Please do consider that mobilizing opposing joints surfaces picks the protective lock of soft tissue spasms. And, yes, many will need a lot of "coaxing to more fully release." Many physiological therapeutic principles and techniques will be needed: fascial spreading and unzippering, muscle energy technique, trigger point therapy, reciprocal inhibition, cross fiber friction, indirect techniques such as strain-counterstrain or its English cousin orthobionomy, and many many others.