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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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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!
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.
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.
March, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 03
The Korean Four Constitutional Types, Part I
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
Most students and practitioners love looking at the different constitutional types in Chinese medicine and find it very useful in their practice. People who have studied Asian bodywork are familiar with the Five Element constitutional types.Many also know the European Six Division way of assessing fundamental characteristics, as popularized by Yves Requena. But unless your teacher was Korean or you had the good fortune of studying with Alex Tiberi at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, you probably are not familiar with the Korean constitutional types. Most of this information grew from seminars with Alex. I am sure you will find it useful in understanding more about your clients' nature and selecting which meridians on which to focus. I will talk about taiyin and taiyang (greater yin and yang) constitutional types in part one and then shaoyin and shaoyang (lesser yin and yang) in the following issue.
Taiyang -- Greater Yang -- Small Intestine /Bladder
When we think of taiyang, we consider our most external structure and protective framework. This is created by the Small Intestine and Bladder meridians, on the back of the shoulders and down the back. Strong musculature in this area of the body forms our armor, our protection. It's also the framework that creates our upright position and propels us forward. So that is what we consider in assessing whether an individual is taiyang or not -- strong structure and forward movement.
People who are taiyang are large and muscular. They are stocky and appear strong and sturdy. Their complexion is usually reddish or ruddy, appearing "thick-skinned." Their movement is always forward, allowing nothing to get in their way or distract them. For this reason, they are great people for starting companies. You will find that often they are ambitious entrepreneurs. They love to be in charge and noticed, and often display aggressive and outgoing personalities. Nothing is ever a problem for them, except for minute details that they will quickly glaze over as unimportant. Taiyang people never get sick or goes to a doctor. When they do get sick, it is usually sudden and serious. They'll be going along and then "blam"; they get hit with a heart attack or stroke that kills them. But we don't see them in our clinics often because they never admit to anything ever being wrong. They may be totally stressed out, but they just don't feel the impact like most people do.
Sometimes their partner will drag them into your office. (They won't come on their own because they always "feel fine!") You will give them a medical history to fill out, and they'll check nothing: name, address, signature at the bottom, that's it. So when you do the interview, you ask again, "any problems?" and of course they'll say no, even though the girlfriend who made the appointment said that he passed out from a bleeding stomach ulcer and is living on Tagamet. When you ask about it, they'll say, "Oh that? That's nothing." Treatment for taiyangs must include deep, strong work on the SI and Bl meridians. They will absolutely love it for one reason: it helps to relax the taiyang structure that has been propelling them forward their entire lives! You will find that Nuad Bo Rarn (Thai bodywork) is very effective for taiyang folks, as well as barefoot shiatsu. Taigyang people feel so good afterward, they often say that they didn't realize that they were not relaxed. Book another appointment right then and there, before they get back into their taiyang routine. You'll find that after a thorough assessment, they may have imbalances with the Kidney or Heart meridians, which after treatment will bring more long-lasting results.
Gradually suggesting lifestyle changes also will increase the efficacy of your treatments. Suggest that they take time off without their cell phones or laptops. Could they possibly find another favorite vegetable other than French fries? If they eat meat three times a day, maybe they could cut down to two? The more you work with them, the more likely they will trust and follow your advice.
Taiyin -- Greater Yin -- Spleen and Lung
The taiyin meridians, Spleen and Lung, both help regulate the water/fluids in the body. Remembering that for this type of person, these meridians are their greatest strength as well as their greatest weakness. You will notice that a taiyin person tends to have water buildup. Combine that with the extreme qualities of a "Spleeny Weeny" Earth person: one that ruminates obsessively and that of a stuck Metal element person with the inability to let go, and you have the classic taiyin constitutional type.
Taiyin people are large, like taiyang, but not as firm. They tend to be soft and flabby, kind of like big phlegmy yin balls. Their complexion is yellowish and their flesh feels mushy when you work on them.
Both taiyin and taiyang have "greater" in their name; they are people with "large" conditions. But whereas the taiyang person is excess in yang: motion - activity - energy, the taiyin person has excess of yin substance and stagnation. Taiyin people tend to have accumulations and blockages, such as cysts and tumors. They not only have stagnation in their bodies, they also have it in their lives. They will stick with a job as long as it takes to get it done, no matter how boring it is. They are great people to have working for you, because they are loyal and pay attention to details. But they get stuck in jobs that they hate, relationships that they hate, and living situations they hate for years and years. They always have a million excuses for why they couldn't possibly change! That is classic taiyin: the inability to let go, with the tendency to stagnate.
Interestingly enough, after receiving shiatsu for a few sessions with a focus on the taiyin meridians, they will start to shift. It will still usually take more work, but as you strengthen the Spleen and move through some of their phlegm, they will be able to see the possibility of change in their lives. Diet-wise, they probably need to cut down on sugar and dairy. Walking would be an appropriate form of exercise to suggest.
The Korean constitutional types are one paradigm among many! I always utilize it in combination with a more detailed assessment, using the tongue and pulse. I love the imagery used in this system; it's so easy to see parts of others and ourselves in these classic types. Enjoy!
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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