Animals Have Orthopedic Issues, Too
June 11, 2014
Hosted by Mary J. Rogel, Ph.D., L.Ac.
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Humans are not the only species to experience orthopedic problems. All living beings with joints experience similar problems and respond to those problems in much the same way, whether they walk on two legs or four. My guest today, licensed Clinical Massage Therapist Rachel Purpura, treats structural alignment problems in both humans and their small and large companion animals. We will talk about the similarities and differences that come from walking on two legs vs four, special considerations for doing massage therapy and structural realignment on animals (especially 2000 lb horses), why we need to treat our companion animals, how the structural alignment problems of equestrians can create alignment problems for the horses they ride, and what can be done about it.
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I would like to shift our understanding and practice of orthopedic medicine away from the prevailing model of the body as a machine with replaceable parts toward an understanding of the body as a dynamic, adaptable structure with potentially reversible problems. If we shift our view of the body from the insides of the joints to the outsides of the joints, we get a different understanding of how they function. In this show, we will explore that adaptability and its consequences for structural alignment. My hope is to encourage health care practitioners to see new possibilities for, and to improve upon, their treatment methods so that their patients can derive more benefit from therapy, and to help people understand their orthopedic issues better so they can prevent problems, recover faster from ones they have, and work more effectively with their physicians and therapists.
Mary J. Rogel, Ph.D., L.Ac.
Mary J. Rogel is a licensed acupuncturist whose practice has a strong focus on orthopedics and body mechanics. Her approach differs from that of most practitioners in that she focuses on tendons and ligaments and their effect on structural alignment. This is her starting point for diagnosis and treatment not only of pain conditions, but also of internal medicine conditions such as digestion, breathing, and cardiovascular problems. Acupuncture is a second career for Mary. She holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from The University of Chicago and spent 10 years teaching psychology and 25 years doing health research and consulting before becoming a full-time acupuncturist. Mary is invested in sharing her unique methods with other practitioners. She has published a number of articles concerning her concepts and methods and is a licensed provider of acupuncture continuing education in Illinois. She has been teaching her style of orthopedic diagnosis and treatment to practitioners in various health care professions since 1991. In addition to teaching, Mary is the editor of Oriental Medicine Journal and does specialized editing of manuscripts and texts on topics in Oriental Medicine. Mary played a major role in legalizing acupuncture in Illinois. She served for many years on the Board of the Illinois State Acupuncture Association and was the Chairman of the Illinois Board of Acupuncture for the first 14 years after the Illinois Acupuncture Practice Act was passed.