A.R.T.

active release technique

Photo from Shepard Pain and Performance Care (http://www.bnchiro.com/)

So I started practicing for my A.R.T. (Active Release Techniques) seminar coming up in December. We have a huge book with a ton of protocols and an exam that we have to learn before we go to the seminar so that we will have some kind of base knowledge and know how to work with. There are just over 100 protocols for the upper extremity, so it is a lot of material to cover!

They have sent me a very large textbook along with a DVD that is an instructional video on how to do each protocol. So my roommates have been nice enough to volunteer their arms and shoulders and necks to allow me to practice on them! Essentially I will read over a protocol out of my textbook that covers which muscles I am working on, how to contact and where to contact the muscle and then what motion to put my patient through to get the correct tension and effectiveness. Then I will watch the video that shows how to do it and then practice it on my patient a few times on either side.

So far I have made it through half of the protocols, and I am starting to catch on to the trend of how A.R.T. works and how much pressure to use and how to move my patients through a motion while I apply pressure to the muscle or its attachment, etc.

I am finding this to be a big review of gross anatomy, which is great! Only two more weeks until the seminar, and I have a lot more protocols to go through before I’m ready, but nonetheless I am really excited to be getting certified in it! A.R.T was a big reason I became interested in chiropractic in the first place, so I am excited to finally be getting to learn how to do something that had sparked my interest in this career and got me to where I am today–here at Palmer!

Cheers,
Kailey

Seminars – Worth the money?

money

How will you spend your money?

Many students here at Palmer have a hard time deciding if it’s worth the money to partake in seminars off campus. Some seminars are as cheap as $50, and others can range up to almost $2,000 (that I know of so far).  With all the debt we are going into as students to pay for our education, some students feel the seminars are not needed because the school will teach them everything they need to know! Now, I agree and disagree with this.

I do believe that Palmer will give us all the tools necessary to become a great chiropractor. They will teach us what we need to know about the human body and how to do our best as chiropractors to remove interference and allow our patients to achieve optimal health. But, on the other side of this, I think it depends on the type of chiropractor you want to be.

For example: The reason I initially became interested in chiropractic was because of A.R.T. (Active Release Technique). This soft tissue technique, which is very popular back home, helped me immensely through some injuries I had growing up. This technique is not something Palmer offers through their program, so I’m choosing to travel to the seminars and pay to become certified in this technique. This is the case for many seminars that students choose to attend.

So in the end, is it worth the money? If you are content with the Palmer curriculum and do not desire to learn things Palmer doesn’t teach, then maybe not. But if you do, then now might be a better time than any. I know it seems like we’re all just in enormous debt and we cannot afford to buy expensive equipment and travel for seminars. But in my opinion, I’m paying to enhance my skills and knowledge as a chiropractor, which will allow me to better to help my patients–and I’m saving in the end because waiting to take these seminars until after I graduate will greatly increase the cost of taking them.

It’s win-win in my eyes, so if you’re on the edge and money is the only thing holding you back, try going to a local one or one to which a few others are going that you can carpool and share hotel costs with!

We are very lucky as students to receive all the opportunities we do between speakers, seminars, electives and the number of docs nearby to shadow. I think we have it made here!

Cheers,
Kailey

Toggle Class

In 4th trimester, the technique class we’re taking is called Toggle. This is an upper cervical technique that B.J. Palmer used in practice.

This week in Toggle we are working on our X-ray line analysis skills. There are different views of X-ray we look at, and we draw a bunch of lines on them in order to determine if we should adjust and how we should adjust. At first we were looking at drawn outlines of what we might see on an X-ray, but this week we go to view real X-rays.

I have to say that even though we’d done the drawn outline ones, and I felt like I had a good handle on them, looking at the real X-rays still came as a bit of a challenge. The drawings are slightly misleading because they give the impression that the structure will be outlined well and easy to see. This is not the case. Most structures have a faint outline, or blend in with other things so it is pretty hard to see at first. But with a little help from our instructors, it got much easier to recognize the different things we were looking for.

It is kind of amazing how you can first look at something and have absolutely no idea what you are looking at or where to look to find something, and then as soon as it is pointed out, it’s hard not to notice it and it seems much more visible than before.

Our class the rest of the week will be in a classroom that is just filled with X-ray viewing screens, so the lights are turned out and all we have to work with are our X-rays, the lit up box behind them and our analysis kits to draw the lines and measure the angles. But it’s cool to go through the entire process and come out with a listing or a finding. It is like physically measuring and seeing that the spine is misaligned and in need of correction!

Cheers,
Kailey