resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
Compassion and Integration
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Seventeenth century philosopher René Descartes is often blamed for the split between mind and body within modern culture and society. Descartes argued convincingly that mind and body are separate and that mind is the primary value.7 Modern philosophers seeking to give the body back its due have reflected on a number of the outcomes of this separatist perspective. 7 They ironically note that blind allegiance to the tenets of western science has overemphasized the visual and undervalued the vital, living aspects of people. In particular, those aspects pertaining to bodily feelings of emotion, movement, and touch are downplayed. In simple terms, what is not easily objectified by sight has not invited western scientific study and has been given low cultural priority. As a societal consequence, we have lost much of the felt-sense of the connection between body, emotions, and life itself. 2 We have become increasingly disconnected, both from ourselves and from our ability to feel empathy and compassion for the emotions and needs of others. 3 It is in helping to restore these lost links to ourselves and others that massage can extend an influence to so great a goal as planetary healing.5
In considering the healing of our split selves, I'm going to journey even further back in time than the 17th century of René Descartes - back to the 12th century that was the source of the Arthurian legends of the search for the Holy Grail (i.e., a cup or chalice). The Grail story begins with a vision of the Grail appearing before the Knights of the Round Table. The knights answer this call to adventure, not as a group together, but in the new European model of each seeking their individual way.
One of the central themes in the Grail legends is the myth of Parsifal. 1,4 In this myth, there is an enchanted castle that can appear and disappear. You only find the castle by invitation. The lord of the castle, the Fisher King, is the hereditary keeper of the Holy Grail. In many aspects, this legend of the keeper of a sacred vessel predates even this specific myth, going further back into Celtic mythology. 6 At some previous time, a black knight, symbolic of nature, challenged the Fisher King. Although the Fisher King killed the challenging knight, he was wounded in the thigh or genitals with a painful wound that would not heal. Metaphorically, in killing the aspect of nature within him, he also destroyed his generative or creative side and could find no peace. Since the countryside itself was tied to the state of the King, it too became a barren wasteland.4,6
Parsifal, starting as a deliberately uneducated boy, acquired the status of knight, and came eventually to the Grail Castle. Because he listened to social form (a knight should not ask unnecessary questions) rather than to his own compassion, he held back his questions and initially failed in his ultimate role of healing the Fisher King. After five more years of wandering and reflecting, he is given an unprecedented second opportunity, this time asking the questions that demonstrate his compassion and magically heal the King. In the end, Parsifal himself becomes the next keeper of the Holy Grail.
There are many kinesthetic realms in which we gain proficiency through practice. Within these realms, we often cannot consciously follow our moment-to-moment responses, yet still can gauge the overall impact of our actions. Even the inputs to which we are responding are often liminal (at the threshold of perception) or subliminal. Musicianship, dancing, skiing, martial arts and massage are all at least in part within the class of such endeavors. What becomes important are our intent, our connection to others, and our learned unconscious interactions. Among these, it is by compassion and touch that we can seek to heal the splits between our minds, spirits and bodies.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.