What is CUPPING THERAPY?? AKA Myofascial Decompression technique....?

Cupping techniques were originally developed thousands of years ago and have been most popularly utilized as a traditional Chinese medicine treatment.  Cupping therapy has been used over the years to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.  Traditionally, the use of cupping assisted to reduce stagnation of qi along channels.  In recent year the use of this ancient healing art has gained interest of celebrities, healthcare practitioners and every day people seeking safe treatment for pain.  

Current terminology for cupping is Myofascial Decompression Therapy.  Much like it sounds, the cups are used to decompress soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligaments and fascia) of the body.  Fascia is dense connective tissue made up of collagen fibers. Fascia surrounds muscles, nerves and vessels as well as organs.  Basically, its the tough stuff that keeps everything where it's supposed to be and allows us to move without displacing our spleens and livers and such.  

Lets talk about the fascial connection as it pertains to the musculoskeletal system.  Muscles are surrounded by and interact with one another with the assistance of the fascia.  When there is injury, either chronic or traumatic, the fascia is also affected, not just the muscles, ligaments and tendons.  If the network of fascial planes is disrupted due to scar tissue adhesions (sometimes referred to as knots), restrictions in function and mobility will result.  When you don't move well, your body suffers.  Faulty biomechanics (the way the body moves) can lead to pain and altered function which can dramatically affect the way you perform activities every day and keep you from doing the things you love.  

Why does all of this matter? Because, when the body moves with altered function, joint surfaces can wear unevenly, which can not only be painful, but may progress to joint damage and arthritis.  

Functional problems are easier to address than structural problems.  Soft tissues are more pliable and reactive to change than bony/joint structures.  Fix the muscular imbalances, improve joint mobility and strengthen what has become weak and you may avoid painful long term damage!

Cupping/Myofascial Decompression is one of the treatment options offered in Dr. Pierce's chiropractic and acupuncture practice.  Dr. Pierce believes that long term benefit from chiropractic care and/or acupuncture therapy requires a well-rounded approach.  Release restrictions in the muscle and fascia, restore joint mobility with the adjustment and joint mobilization and re-educate weak muscles to do their job and you will have greater results and learn how to prevent re injury! 

Release. Restore. Re-educate!  

Can Acupuncture Resolve Breech Presentation?

Breech presentation refers to malposition of the unborn fetus.  Normally, toward the end of pregnancy, the baby turns so that it is oriented head-down toward the cervix prior to delivery.  A baby that is breech will typically present with either their buttocks down toward the birth canal or with one or both feet down.  Common causes are cases of premature delivery, subsequent pregnancies, abnormal amniotic fluid levels (too much or too little) or multiple births-such as twins.

The most common medical solution is to deliver the baby or babies by cesarean (C-section).  However, there are options prior to delivery that may enhance your chances of turning the baby to the proper position in time.
One intervention that has come back into favor in recent years is the use of a technique called external cephalic version.  Simply put, the doctor, usually an OB-GYN, will manually attempt to turn the baby by applying pressure with their hands on the expectant mother's abdomen and turning the baby to the proper position. This technique has good success rates and is relatively comfortable for the mother however, it is not without risk.  It is important that the practitioner be as gentle as possible when performing the maneuver.

Another option is the use of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to turn breech babies and in many cases has been very successful.  Some practitioners will incorporate an herbal medicine called moxibustion with acupuncture treatment.  There are a growing number of people supporting the use of this option for treatment of breech presentation.  Acupuncture treatment is extremely safe and should be considered as an option to aid in turning a breech baby.

How does acupuncture turn a breech baby?  There is a specific point on the fifth toe that is believed to increase fetal movement and encourage the malpositioned fetus to turn to it's correct position to prepare for delivery.  The use of this method has sparked the interest of the medical community in recent years.  Literature reviews and randomized controlled trials are concluding that additional research is warranted to further investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture for breech presentation and that use of this ancient healing art is a viable option for expectant mothers.  A randomized controlled study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Turin, Italy concluded that Acupuncture and moxibustion is "more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth."
                                        *Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14767050410001668644

'Tis the season. Feeling Merry? ... or Scary?

The holiday season brings with it feelings of good will, good spirit and great food.  Unfortunately, it also brings with it added stress of financial burdens, travel arrangements, deadlines and the aggravating relative or two.  Stress is not something to ignore or consider benign.   There is a distinct role for stress in causing hypertension, heart disease, ulcers, cancer, emotional illness and more.  While the holidays are meant to be a time filled with cheer and merriment, stress (to varying degrees) manages to poke it's ugly head and disrupt all the fun.  Have you ever heard of The ''Merry Christmas Coronary'' and ''Happy New Year Heart Attack'' Phenomenon? Simply put, studies have found that there are more cardiac related deaths on Christmas Day and New Years than any other day.   

Scary stuff.....But there's hope....

Let's now apply this new-found knowledge.  If you or someone you love has a tendency to be "high stress" or suffers with circulatory disease, it is important to diligently monitor stress-inducing situations and when possible avoid them.  By planning ahead and making wiser financial decisions when looking for that perfect gift, or perhaps not inviting crazy uncle so-and-so undue stress may be avoided.  If you are observing a stressful situation beginning to escalate, be the voice of reason and attempt to diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand.    

In addition to the added stress, the added calories and "adult beverages" are another concern.  If you're feeling content, skip the extra piece of pie and don't drink more than you're used to consuming. 

By thinking ahead and managing stress ahead of time, the holidays can be more enjoyable for all.  Plan your events ahead of time, call that pesky relative and hash it out over the phone before the family gathers, peel yourself off the warm cuddly couch for an hour and take a walk, stretch or meditate.  Take care of yourself!  

Acupuncture is a great way to combat stress year-round and help you find peace in a hectic world.  Acupuncture also helps relieve muscular tension and headaches, even digestive issues that may result from stress.  Take a time out and take care of yourself, so you can take care of everyone else's needs this holiday season!   To schedule a free consultation and find out if acupuncture or chiropractic are right for you, contact the doctor