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The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
Infant Massage - Everyone Benefits
By Maria Mathias, LMT
People often ask what attracted me to infant massage. To answer, I have to go back to 1981, when I was teaching massage at a Midwest community college. Students wanted to know if massage could help children sleep better, help tummy aches, calm children after a tense day at school, or relieve a colicky infant.Searching for answers to these questions led me to my first training session in infant massage instructor certification, and I've been teaching parents infant massage ever since. Why do I teach parents? Because it works: It benefits the baby and the whole family.
A loving massage by a parent enriches a baby's body and soul, and softens many of the "bumps in the road" for a new baby and his or her family. I have worked with countless families who were worn out because of a fussy baby. They tried everything, including taking long rides in the car at night to calm the baby - and, perhaps, to steal a few moments of quiet.
With the exception of babies with medical problems, the rule, rather than the exception, is that massage greatly reduces (if not resolves) fussiness within the first week. This gets the family out of crisis, and helps both baby and parents to sleep better. And since it doesn't take long to see positive results, most parents are motivated to learn more.
Infant massage has been around for centuries. It jump-started in the U.S. in the late 1970s; the 1980s was a decade of slow but steady recognition, primarily by parents with "well babies" and the infant massage instructors teaching them; and the 1990s saw an expansion of infant massage into hospital-based inpatient and outpatient programs, as well as community programs servicing families of at-risk and/or special- needs children. Working with these populations clarified the need to create an individualized massage approach that would support each child's unique sensory and nervous systems, thereby defining and birthing a new paradigm of infant massage.
This approach was assimilated into the well-baby population with the emerging realization that every child is unique, and will, therefore, benefit most from a massage approach carefully designed for his or her changing needs at a given moment. The key to this approach is teaching families to touch their babies deliberately and mindfully, and closely watching the infant for cues that tell whether the touch their baby is receiving is pleasurable, needs to be changed, or should stop altogether.
The growing popularity of infant massage paralleled an increase in research to study the effects of touch on infants, including its effect on premature babies; babies exposed to cocaine; children with autism; and even parents with postpartum depression.
The application of infant massage as a catalyst for normalizing a baby's physical and emotional life has a wide range of benefits, including helping to promote relaxation; improving sensory integration; helping aid deeper and longer sleep; encouraging mid-line orientation; assisting in bonding and attachment; helping improve state regulation; assisting in vocalization; stimulating the circulatory and GI systems; assisting in pain relief; and enhancing neurological development.
The benefits of infant massage are a two-way street: The baby usually comes more into accord with his or her own nature, but the parent's experience also is illuminating. Recently, during a parent/baby group session, one baby started to cry very deeply, which caused his mother to cry. She said that until that moment, she had never realized her baby was a person and that he had feelings. She said she felt guilty every time he cried, and she didn't know what to do. She and her husband were both highly successful career people who had not planned on a baby, and now that he was there, they felt lost. But this day was the turning point. With tears streaming down her face, she picked up her son. He stopped crying and became beautifully quiet and alert. Mother and son gazed at each other for about 20 minutes - it was like witnessing a birth.I've seen this profound bonding happen many times, which is why I've continued teaching families for over two decades - I'm inspired by each family's success.
Infant massage contributes to infant-parent attachment. The experience resonates with the baby, while bringing out nurturing qualities in parents. This is why infant massage is advocated as a parenting interaction, rather than as therapy performed by a massage therapist. Many leaders in the infant mental health field share this view: Infant massage is for those who will be raising the baby over the long haul. This can be a tough pill to swallow for some aspiring infant massage instructors, although the desire to massage babies is almost always discarded after experiencing the powerful effect the process has on families.
Many new parents who massage their babies come to realize over time that the most life-giving returns are related to attachment and deeper communication, and that the experience has helped them to better know their children. Touch has welcomed the new baby into the family structure by demonstrating not only that baby is safe and protected, but truly cherished. All parents have that power at their fingertips.
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