Why is it we generally feel that to reduce a stress-related vertebral subluxation, we must manually exert a force to the bone in an attempt to realign or alter the dynamics of the vertebrae, when the spastic muscle was clearly at fault as a secondary reaction to stress?
Is it not feasible for the vertebral subluxation to correct itself if the spastic muscle which produced the alteration were no longer a factor? Regardless of your philosophy, there is still this matter of innate to consider, which has become the cornerstone of our profession.
One of the most effective techniques which I use on a daily basis, which has proven extremely beneficial in a host of ailments, is simply to advise the patient of the benefits of using self-administered acupressure via the use of a tennis ball to the paravertebral musculature of the thoracic spine from T1 through T12 and into the lumbars through the sacrum.
According to Asian observations, anytime a condition develops, regardless of the reason, the thoracic and/or lumbar spine will reflex at the vertebral level consistent with the "SHU" point, otherwise known as the "associated" point.
These important points are two fingerbreadths bilateral to the vertebrae, at the level of the nerve root of the named meridian. Thus, the large intestine "associated" point is in the lower back, while the lung meridian is in the upper thoracic spine. It would stand to reason that the associated points of the stomach, spleen, gallbladder liver, etc., would be located in the mid to low thoracic spine.
By simply advising the patient to take the tennis ball which you have provided them, placing their back up to a firm wall or door and positioning the ball approximately two fingerbreadths lateral to the spine and rolling up and down, they will produce not only a relaxing of the paravertebral musculature but will also generally stimulate the reflex points to each of the named meridians.
This technique is so simple and so effective you will undoubtedly kick yourself for not using it earlier in your practice. Since the tennis ball produces a stimulation similar to the practitioners thumb, the patient may find relief and assistance to their problem at a multitude of times between regularly scheduled visits to the office, as they may employ this procedure anytime and virtually any place.
Any point which is painfully exaggerated becomes paramount and is often consistent with subluxation on further examination.
Remember these vital points run close together in a straight line, two fingerbreadths lateral to the spinous process, from T3 through the second sacral segment. Additional points of importance are in the cervical region and first two thoracic vertebrae, which literally makes the entire spine a significant factor in treating with the tennis ball for ongoing therapy and "homework."
With my lecture schedule taking me on international journeys several times a year, I find this technique to be a lifesaver for not only my patients but also for my practice: even in my absence I am being incredibly effective from not only an acupuncture perspective but a chiropractic one as well.
Allow this simple procedure to become a significant part of your home regime for your patients. Even though you may be on vacation or attending an extended seminar, the patient is back home performing this easy technique, and you get the credit. What else could you ask for?
Begin using this procedure today; your patients deserve it!
John A. Amaro DC, FIACA, Dipl.Ac.
Click here for previous articles by John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA).