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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.).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
April, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 04
Stay in Touch With ... Ayurveda, Part II
By Karyn Chabot
"Stay in Touch With..." is a periodic column designed to provide an overview of a particular technique or modality. If you would like to contribute to this column, please e-mail .
Editor's note: Read part one of Karyn Chabot's article in the March issue at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2005/03/06.html.
Dr.Vasant Lad taught his staff of massage therapists to say (or chant) the sounds of Hari Aum to make the experience more powerful and auspicious. Aum or om is the sound that contains all possible sounds made by all possible creatures through all possible times, and the sound made by Gaia (Mother Earth) herself as she dances her dance of creation, sustenance and absorption. It is the sound astronauts have reported hearing when they are launched into space. Alexander Graham Bell was perplexed and intrigued by this sound. While he was inventing the telephone, he noticed that the sound of aum was always present when he tapped into the "airways," regardless of his geographical location. Saying the name of God with great reverence is auspicious, no matter what name you're saying. "Hari" translated from Sanskrit has many meanings: 1) Pure existence without thought; 2) The end of knowledge; and 3) Choice-less, passive awareness. Hari is Shiva, king of oneness and it is also Vishnu, the protector. It is also Krishna. Silently saying the sounds of Hari aum or chanting them out loud before each healing session invokes a loving, gentle force where no duality exists. The sounds of Hari aum create a sacred space in the room. The actual sound of "aaahhhh" is the sound of the Creator. You will find that in every culture and religion the name for God has the sound of aaahhh somewhere in it. If you question where the sound aaaahhhh is in Jesus, keep in mind the Hebrew pronunciation was "Yesh-u-ah." Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author and speaker, advocates using the sounds of aaahhh during meditation to manifest and create the things you desire in your life. Bodywork techniques that will sooth the vata dosha include:
Compression therapy, using 10-pound handmade heated sandbags will initiate the relaxation response. You can fill them with sterile sand from any hardware store or with volcanic black sand. Compression immobilizes the muscle, so there is a surrendering that must occur on the part of the client. When the body stops twitching and wiggling to find comfort, only then can we attain the inner stillness we all seek.
Sandbags create a perfect amount of pressure and can be heated on an oil heater. Laying sandbags on the top of the thighs will encourage the femurs to ground more deeply into the hip sockets. When the hip sockets are not in perfect alignment, it increases the likelihood of disturbing vata because spaces within all joints belong to the vata dosha, especially in the hips. It also helps redirect the energy downward by simply increasing body awareness in the legs.
The roots of hot stone massage therapy can be found in India. Stones are the ancient bones of the earth. There is an ethereal pulse within the earth and within each stone, and this pulse will harmonize perfectly with the human pulse, if we allow it. Dr. Naina Marballi, BSAM, DAC, owner of Ayurveda's Beauty Care in New York City, a sister school to Sacred Stone Center for Holistic Education and Therapy in Middletown, RI, reports that part of her curriculum at Poddar College and Mombai University in India was a course called "Shila Abyhanga." Shila is a Sanskrit word for stone and abhyanga is a Sanskrit word for oil massage. She told me that this course dates back more than 5,000 years as part of the standard protocol for most medical Ayurvedic physicians.
Another profoundly effective healing modality is Swedhana therapy, which integrates steam tent that fits perfectly on the massage table. It's a powerful addition for those therapists who need to save their hands. Shirodhara therapy is an ancient sacred treatment to the forehead and crown of the head. Shiro means "head" and dhara means "flow." Warm, herbal oil is poured in a continuous stream over the client's forehead and crown for 20-50 minutes. Shirodhara helps disperse negative electrical impulses that accumulate at the skull from stress. It opens the third eye, increases intuition, and renews the sweetness of life. It also has powerful medical value for healing neurological disturbances and chemical imbalances within the brain.
There are many books on the subject of Ayurveda that include lists of foods that pacify the doshas. Let these Ayurvedic food lists be your "training wheels." These training wheels will assist in developing your intuition. Living intuitively is synonymous with living in harmony with nature, which is the very foundation of Ayurveda. Do not get caught up in food lists and lifestyle rules. Educate yourself with the knowledge of Ayurveda, apply the principles to your life, then learn to eat and live intuitively.
Become aware of how your body feels after you eat a certain food or do a certain exercise, or if you go to bed by a certain time. Each person is a conglomerate of many attributes and a beautiful mixture of the Five Great Elements. You are not just a vata person, a pitta person or a kapha person. We contain all the doshas within us. Yet, we are all genetically predisposed to one - maybe two - doshic attributes that will have a preponderance to go out of balance more easily than other doshic qualities. Knowing how your body tends to go out of balance is extremely helpful. This is something that can be observed and intuited through meditation and keen body awareness or with the help of a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor.
Determining your imbalance is just as important - if not more important - as determining your Prakruti (constitution). Your Prakruti may not always be the same as your imbalance. The Sanskrit term "Vikruti" refers to imbalance. Most Ayurvedic self-tests are designed to determine your Prakruti, not your Vikruti.
Observe your actions and thoughts without judgment. Know your body; know yourself. When you observe yourself this way, observe the observer. "Watch the Watcher," as my teacher Dr. Lad would say.
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