Sunday, May 26, 2013

Student success strategies at HAPS 2013

If you happen to be here in Las Vegas at the 2013 Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) Conference, then you may want to check out my workshop on Tuesday morning:


Helping A&P Students Succeed: 
Using Supplemental Courses and Workshops to Reinforce Concepts and Promote Learning Skills

LAS 221
Kevin Patton and Suzanne Hembrough
St. Charles Community College, Cottleville, MO 

Do your A&P students struggle with the whole process of learning? Do they seem ill prepared in their study skills and their knowledge of basic principles of biology? Explore case studies in which optional student workshops and short supplemental courses provide underprepared and unskilled students with knowledge and skills that make them better able to succeed in the A&P course and beyond. You will also receive free resources to help your own students succeed.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Acupuncture and connective tissue

A recent article in TheScientist proposes a novel theory about how acupuncture may produce some of its therapeutic effects.

It turns out that when an acupuncture needle is inserted into the connective tissue under the skin and twisted, the needle becomes wound with connective fibers in much the same way as noodles enwrap a fork as it twirls.  This pulls on fibroblasts and causes local changes that may be transmitted throughout a large area of connective tissue and possibly produce therapeutic effects.

ATP released from stretched fibroblasts may also contribute to a pain-relieving effect.

An interesting new direction for further study.  And a good little story to weave into a discussion of fibrous connective tissues in our A&P course to illustrate that "it's not just glue."

Want to know more?

The Science of Stretch
  • H.M. Langevin
  • TheScientist published online 1 May 2013
  • Article summarizing the context and results of the research.  Includes nice graphic showing stretched fibers wrapped around a needle.

Biomechanical response to acupuncture needling in humans
  • Helene M. Langevin
  • Journal of Applied Physiology December 1, 2001 vol. 91 no. 6 2471-2478
  • The original research article.