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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
The First of the 10 Elements: Water
By Robin Zill, LMT
The 10 Elements of the Spa Experience are designed to teach the consumer and professional about the integrated nature of the spa experience. This is the second article in a 12-part series and focuses on the first of the 10 elements: Water.(Editor's note: The graphic of the 10-Element Circle appears on line at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/01/16.html.)
Water is transformational by its very nature. The study of water in its many forms has stimulated some of the greatest thinkers and visionaries throughout time. An excellent metaphor for life and vitality, water is central to the human experience. The study of water and its many roles could actually be considered a bridge between science and art. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, water is one part oxygen, two parts hydrogen, and the rest is magic.
In the spa environment, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy are the most common terms used to describe the use of water. Hydrotherapy is usually defined as "the use of water in any of its three forms, solid, liquid or gas, used internally or externally for the prevention and treatment of disease or trauma, or used to enhance optimal wellness through daily health programs." Balneotherapy is the art and science of bathing for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. This includes partial and full bathing practices. Crenology, not as common in the U.S., is considered the therapeutic use of waters from mineral springs for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. The chemical composition of the water is significant, as is temperature and location.
The Transforming Power of Water
Why is water so magical? Fundamentally transforming, it is used for cleansing, purifying and basic survival. Both the external use of water through compresses, showers, wraps, bathing, and swimming, and the internal uses of water through drinking and other internal cleansing procedures, are critical to the spa experience. Water therapies are homeostatic in nature - they depend upon the body's ability to maintain balance or stability in a changing environment. This process is thermaldynamic in nature: by varying the temperature, the mechanical distribution and/or the chemical composition of water, many different treatments and effects can be achieved.
Temperature variation is the most common tool used in hydrotherapy treatments, because the temperature of the water will determine the extent of the stimulation on the skin. The skin is the portal of entry for hydrotherapy treatments. It connects our outer environment to our inner environment. The nervous system responds to this thermal change, and the stimulus is transferred to the organs via nerves, lymph and blood vessels. As one of the primary functions of skin is to maintain the body's temperature at a comfortable and consistent level, it is critical to maintaining homeostasis or balance within the body. This function primarily uses the circulation of the blood and lymph system. By increasing or decreasing circulation, hydrotherapy can help to affect the body's organs, and therefore assist in natural detoxification, cleansing or elimination processes.
Water is an excellent conductor, which allows it to transfer heat effectively and quickly. Water also possesses the ability to absorb and distribute large quantities of heat.
Water, a universal solvent, can readily dissolve many other substances to form therapeutic solutions: electrolytes, sugars, salts, osmotic baths, etc.
Because the density of water is similar to that of the human body, it produces a buoyant effect upon immersion equal to the weight of the water displaced. This is particularly useful for paralyzed muscles unable to move heavy limbs. Because of the unique qualities of water, hydrotherapy can be truly therapeutic and useful in treating many diseases. The new research on hyperthermia and cancer is just one exciting example. That is why, depending on the treatment, therapists should be well-trained and have a working knowledge of the body, especially the circulatory system. Contraindication for hydrotherapy treatments are similar to those for other heat treatments: pregnancy; heart diseases; acute or inflamed conditions; high blood pressure; varicose veins; other circulatory problems; rashes; and extreme obesity. Also, treatments should not be performed if the client has just consumed alcohol or a heavy meal.
Water, a precious resource, is inexpensive in essence and available as a healing tool in many forms. In the spa setting, how and how much water is used is usually determined by the treatment protocols and equipment selection. This can range from hot towel cabis, hydrocollators, and moist heat packs to Vichy and Swiss showers, scotch hoses and hydrotherapy tubs. Generally, the basic tools the water therapist works with are water temperature; the body area immersed or exposed to water; the duration of the bath, shower or treatment; the mechanical features such as underwater massage wands or shower sprays; and chemical factors such as botanical extracts, salts, seaweeds, and other natural agents.
The environment is also an important variable of the treatment. Often this is determined ahead of time; the therapist may only be able to control temperature and ambience, but beauty and art go hand in hand with bathing. New trends that embrace the importance of environment include Watsu and water dancing pools, floating pools and the innovative liquid sound pool in Germany that combines the floating experience with light and sound.
Exploring the dimensions of water in its many forms is a great way to begin understanding the integrated nature of the spa experience. Please visit the Great Spa Conversation (www.spaelegance.com or visit the ISPA Web site at www.experienceispa.com) to share your insights and connections to water. The spa movement is a cultural expression of the people's new perception of optimal health. Your voice is important.
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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