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Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
January, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 01
Myth and Magic
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
In ages past, the rhythms of our ancestors' lives were bound closely to the changing cycle of the seasons. The coming of the New Year was linked with celebration of the winter solstice, the point in the progression of celestial events that marks both the shortest day and the birth of hope that a new spring will come. Anglo-Celtic mythology metaphorically portrays the cycle of seasons as a recurring conflict between the Holly King, who reigns during the half-year of waning sunlight, and his brother the Oak King, who reigns during the half-year of waxing sunlight. In their midwinter clash, the Holly King yields to the Oak King, even as the old sun dies so that the new sun can be reborn. As deep winter approaches, the Holly King withdraws into contemplation. Within his chalice, he nurtures the nascent new sun, and perhaps sees visions and dreams of the year to come.10
Such shared myths as the Holly King encapsulate the themes by which a society makes sense of and responds to the world around it. Whether or not a myth has literal truth is often irrelevant to this metaphorical function. Similarly, we also share family myths and create personal myths to help us organize and make sense of the progression of our own lives. 1,3,4,6 Because our attitudes and responses towards life take form within our internal stories, our personal myths can be both powerful and limiting. Often enacted at an unconscious level, they can separate us from the vitality of our embodied life or allow us to fully experience and draw upon that vitality. In the process, our personal myths set the underlying tone of our emotions and mental imagery. These emotions and imagery, in turn, profoundly affect our health and bodily comfort. 2,9
Among the conceptual difficulties in trying to approach the efficacy of massage and bodywork in the medical sense are the myriad ways in which we can, simply by presence and touch, influence internal life scripts, mental imagery, sensation, and even sense of identity. We deal not with simple cause and effect. Instead, we interact within the ever-changing flow of complex patterns of feedback. The concepts of personal myth and imagery outlined above provide a helpful perspective. Such thoughts are furthered by recent research into phantom limb pain that has led to a hypothesis that the brain contains widely distributed neural networks that create an image of self through genetic programs and memories of past experience. Afferent inputs act on this neuromatrix and produce output patterns that lead to the report of pain. 5,7 What emerges is a view of the body as a system, with a memory that accepts and responds to sensory input, but does not necessarily directly echo it in form or timing.
The Celts viewed liminal (threshold) times and places -- times and places that are neither this nor that but contain a protean element of confusion and chaos -- as holding great potential for creation and change. The Chinese ideogram for crisis also succinctly captures this belief, being made up of the two symbols for danger and opportunity. Perhaps within our practice of bodywork, we learn to elicit the creation of such liminal moments of chaos and reorganization - a threshold or pause in what was a constant state of dysfunction that allows a client to move themselves towards wholeness and a new homeostasis. Our inputs of touch, sensation, and presence may well affect personal myth, imagery, emotion, and neurological state, facilitating such a reorganization of body and spirit. While this viewpoint is largely conjectural, it is conjecture firmly grounded in current concepts of human physiology and its web of interconnections.
Within ourselves, we have the need to create myths for our lives and work that provide us with the opportunity to experience and express wonder and marvel and to seek and find renewal. When these qualities flow into our work, they are conveyed and perceptible to our clients. As we enter into this New Year, there is no better way to promote your excitement with your practice of massage and to work out the creation of your own myth and magic.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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