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Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
Touch and Rapport
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
There go my people. I must hurry and catch them, for I am their leader
- Mahatma Ghandi.
The Path of Touch Unfolding
Facilitation, like true leadership, is paradoxical in that it often requires us to chase after those supposedly being led.Within such facilitation, there is a deep appreciation for the abilities and resources of the client, and an acknowledgement that the full outgrowth of the interaction will only become apparent as it unfolds. It is an orientation that obliges us to be flexible in our attitudes and approaches.
Depending on our therapeutic orientation, we may approach a client from a sensory-driven perspective of finding and gently releasing areas of unconscious holding and restriction. More formally, we might take the orthopedic perspective of assessing painful lesions stemming from structural and functional dysfunctions, then proceeding to systematically alleviate them. In any approach, having our interventions take hold often requires a change in body perceptions and use from our clients. I am particularly struck by Deane Juhan's (Job's Body) comments about massage opening a window for the client toward a new, less strained way of experiencing their body, and by his repeated emphasis on the importance of bodywork as client re-education:
Beyond what Juhan provides, there are several paths along which we can delve into underlying mechanisms and clinical experience. Pain researcher Ron Melzack continues on from the gate theory of pain (Melzack and Wall) in considering the neurological basis and implications of phantom limb pain. He conjectures that we possess an inherent neurological analog of our physical bodies . This analog system, he theorizes, can independently generate perceptions of pain until it is reorganized by new coherent sensory input, such as that provided by bodywork.
A second perspective is provided by psychologist E. L. Rossi's review of the new field of psychoneuroimmunology. In The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, Rossi discusses research indicating that stress on the nervous system produces chemical messengers that have profound effects on immune system functioning. In providing a supportive emotional environment and nurturing touch, we address the effects these neurochemical systems have on perceptions of pain and quality of embodiment.
Choreographer Eric Franklin (Dynamic Alignment through Imagery) is one of a line of dance movement instructors who have achieved their results working with the interrelations of imagery, body use, and neuromuscular patterning. These dance educators have noted the role our mental imagery plays in organizing the neuromuscular patterns that facilitate the ease or strain of our posture and conscious movements. We have only to think of movement or conflict and our body has responded, beyond the speed of our conscious thoughts. Just imagining a movement or a posture causes the body to activate muscles and to integrate optimal pathways towards that vision. Our positive body images can act to alleviate tension that results in unnecessary limitations and wear as equally as our negative body images can limit our effective use of space and increase the effort of our movements. We begin to understand the wisdom behind Juhan's assertions that bodywork can add new possibilities to a client's world of embodiment.
The Dance of Rapport
Psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson was notable for his abiding faith that, apart from unnecessarily limiting beliefs and lack of experience, clients possess all the resources they need to live full and rewarding lives. Starting from an attitude of accepting and utilizing the client's worldview and abilities, Erickson was a master at providing the needed experience and flexibility that allowed positive changes to evolve naturally for his clients. Neuro-Linguistic Programming originators John Grinder and Richard Bandler similarly stress the importance of pacing and leading. Pacing is a process of acknowledging and matching a client's current experience in a manner to establish rapport. If we attempt to lead without rapport, our efforts will fall short. Likewise, if we limit ourselves just to pacing, we lose the opportunity to effect positive change.
Part of the skill of pacing is simply to be fully present with our clients. To promote this skill, I teach my students a simple yet unexpectedly profound exercise; actively pacing a supine client's breathing with a hand on their anterior torso while staying conscious and present to observe subtle changes in their appearance and position. It is hard to over emphasize the emotional impact of such quiet presence and support in a culture in which it is so rarely encountered. This exercise draws on our skill at pacing and leading our clients in their perception and use of space, effort, and time. These are ways of organizing our embodiment that are used by dance instructors such as Constance Schrader (A Sense of Dance). I find they provide useful frameworks for understanding a client's body image and use. Each can be further refined, such as dividing time into tempo, beat and rhythm.
When we work on people, we act to increase the ease and comfort with which they inhabit their body. Amid the gentle stretching of fascia and facilitation of muscles, we send countless sensory signals throughout their nervous system. We focus intently on them, pacing, nurturing and supporting their emotional needs. In so doing, we provide them with a new sense of themselves as embodied human beings.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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