Head, Neck, Thorax

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Clinical anatomy, kinesiology, and the jing-jin ("sinew meridians" or myofascial tracts)

  • Bones, muscles, discs and facet joints, and neurology
  • Posture and motion dysfunctions
  • The arthritic progression: strain/sprain, derangement, degeneration

History-taking for head, neck, thorax: key diagnostic questions

  • "Red flag" symptoms of urgent/serious medical conditions warranting referral to physician care
  • Differentiating symptoms of muscles, joint, disc, and spinal cord, plexus and nerve root injuries
  • Neural hypersensitization and psycho-social factors
  • Functional capacity questionnaires for reporting to managed care insurance

Physical exam of the head, neck, thorax: key procedures

  • Observation, inspection and palpation
  • Joint exam: active range-of-motion, stability, and tracking assessment of the cervical and thoracic spine and TM joint
  • Neurologic exam: upper motor neuron; arm reflex, sensory, and motor function; and brachial plexopathies
  • Special orthopedic tests for the spine and ribcage
  • Documentation of physical exam findings
  • Measuring and reporting functional capacity baselines and treatment outcomes

Diagnosis and pattern identification

  • Cervicogenic and tension-type headaches
  • Temperomandibular joint pain and dysfunction
  • Cervical and thoracic sprains/strains and chronic myofascial pain
  • Cervical and thoracic disc and facet joint injuries: dysfunction, derangement, degeneration
  • Nerve root and spinal cord injuries
  • Intercostal sprains/strains
  • Brachial plexopathies and thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Myofascial trigger points and referred pain patterns for over 17 muscles of the head, face, neck and thorax

Treatment of head, neck, and thorax pain and injuries

  • When and how to use distant and local needling for rapid and lasting pain relief
  • Electroacupuncture for neural blockade and rehabilitation
  • Releasing muscle tension through myofascial trigger point needling
  • Prolo-acupuncture for spinal and TM joint stabilization and mobilization
  • Using 7-star, 3-edged and lancet needles to reduce inflammation and ischemic pain
  • Manual therapy: gua sha, tui na, and muscle energy techniques to reduce trigger points and restore muscle flexibility and joint range of motion
  • Active suction cupping: combining cups with passive and active movement for rapid and lasting results
  • Postural and ergonomic correction and exercise therapies

Build on your skills with the Review/Practicum Lab

Student Ratings and Comments

from evaluations as required by California Acupuncture Board, prior live class offerings in 2017.

Respondents: 20 of 20 enrolled

Average rating: 98/100