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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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
The Spirit of Massage
By Retta Flagg
Editor's note: Retta Flagg has 16 years' experience in the massage field and 25 years' experience in metaphysical studies. She maintains a private practice in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, and offers continuing education courses in neuromuscular and muscle energy technique, palpation skills, and self-empowerment technique.
I was talking to a colleague one day, and he mentioned that he liked Thai massage best because it was the most spiritual technique he'd learned.I stood there and thought, "But they are all spiritual." For me, touch is a sacred act. My massage work is not just a job; it is part of my spiritual service in the world. I consider everything I do part of my spiritual service, but I have found that the act of giving a massage touches me and feeds me on so many levels.
How has massage touched me so deeply? First, I have come to recognize the depth and uniqueness of each person on my table. Every one of my clients is an extraordinary person. Have I been lucky in the kind of client that I attract? Perhaps, but it is more that I have come to appreciate each client's unique expression of their humanity and the challenges that that expression entails. Second, I am honored to be able to contribute to another person's well being in some small, and sometimes, large way. Third, "being with" another human being and learning to listen to and honor his or her experience has taught me how to "be with," listen to, and honor myself in my own journey.
Another aspect that I consider important in the spiritual realm of my massage work is holding a sacred, healing space in my working environment. Sacredness originates from within and grows from our connection to divine or higher energy. Holding that space for my office helps me to ground my connection in my everyday experience. It is my belief that by holding a sacred space, the quality of my massage work is enhanced by the energy of my connection.
There is a lot of research being done on the power of prayer and faith in a healing situation. Guess what? The power of prayer and faith is measurable in a research environment. Regardless of any validation by any authority other than my own heart, my spiritual connection sustains me in my work and daily life. Do I need research to validate the effect of my faith on my work? Not at all, but I think it is time that as a profession, we step out into the arena of research as a means to validate our spiritual experience in our work.
One of the main challenges in doing research on "spirituality" in relation to any field is in defining spirit. On the one hand, each person's spiritual journey is a unique and personal experience. On the other hand, many religious teachings limit a spiritual connection to one, and only one, valid means of expression. In defining spirit, the one group tends to feel threatened that its personal connection will be limited by another group's definition of its experience. The other group feels threatened that its one and only one means of expression will not be the definition of spirit. Personally, I not feel that spirit can be defined. It can, however, be described. Its effects can be measured. That description and measurement can be broad enough in scope to hold space for every person's belief system and experience. In the last 15 years, our profession has matured and moved into mainstream health care and health prevention. We have held out to the public the physiological benefits of massage, our comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and our high ethical and educational standards. As my colleagues speak about the changes in the massage field, they always remark that it is the spiritual side of massage that keeps them vested in their work. However, they feel that if they talk about it, they will lose their credibility in mainstream health care. I think it is time that we honored the spiritual foundation of our work as a credible aspect of what we do as massage therapists.
The sacredness of touch needs to be addressed in the massage school environment alongside anatomy and physiology. Perhaps spirit cannot be defined, but it can be taught, and it can be taught in such a way that it does not violate the boundaries of one's religious beliefs. Teaching how to hold sacred space and honor a client's experience can be done without having to connect it to a specific dogma. As a profession, we need to clarify and describe our spiritual experience even as we had to clarify and describe what we palpate with our hands.
I recognize that the medical profession is much more comfortable with a distancing word like "holistic" to include spiritual connotations in their work. I ask you, "What makes it holistic?" Body, mind, and spirit. Spirit is the fifth element that acts as the glue of the universe. I think it's time that we name it and claim it for what it is. Touch the body, and touch the soul.
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