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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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?
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
Tilling the Soil
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
I've been enjoying the coming of the central California spring: alternating days that push temperatures into the 70s and beyond with days characterized by rain squalls dropping ice water. The daffodils started blooming early with their displays of gold and white, and trees have put forth their yearly show of pink and white blossoms. The hills, which turn golden brown in summer, are now verdant green and in places interlaced with yellow mustard. As I run with friends at noon, golden-orange poppies grace the fields and the redwing blackbirds remind us with song and swoop that we are merely visitors in a territory to which they have long ago laid claim.
These features of spring also bring me back to the days in which I was a dues-paying member of a garden club. There are lessons learned in the endeavors and rewards of gardening that long reside within the memories of our bodies and souls, forming a metaphorical guidebook for our endeavors in general. These lessons apply as well to the learning and practicing of the art and business of massage as to the tilling of the soil. A successful practice, like as garden, is not made by sitting in the shade and saying "Oh how lovely"; it requires planning and effort.
Among the first decisions in planning a garden are the choices of place and structure. What is the goal? There are plants that thrive in full sunlight and plants that require shade. There are aquatic plants that must have their feet wet, and others that will rot and die if overwatered. Choices of structure and place, once made, hold for a while, like the garden plot along a chain link fence a friend chose to support her raspberries. In choosing training and locations for massage practice, consider whether you are aiming towards relaxation and stress management, sports facilitation, or therapeutic intervention. Do you want to do orthopedic work on injuries, lend comfort to the bodily strains of pregnant women, or add touch to the lives of the aged? Do you want to run a one-person business, share a practice with others, or work within a larger organization such as a health club or spa?
Just as a gardener will consult books and landscaping experts in laying out a new back yard, tie yourself in to available resources in doing your practice plans and business goals. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), for example, provides both e-mail counseling and offers local workshops through its chapters. I maintain a list of links to SCORE and other small business resources on the McKinnon Institute website.1
In gardening, once the site is chosen, the work of soil preparation begins. Around here, the soil is heavy clay. To grow anything other than deep-rooted weeds requires a lot of shovel work, breaking through the hard crust, turning over the soil, and mixing in lots of organic compost. It's said that "if you double your initial estimate for bags of mulch and add three you'll only end up two bags short." Similarly, creating an office space that will be of comfort to you and your clients requires some thought, work, and final adjustments. It will likely be more work than you anticipated. If you are opening your own office, there are choices to make of wall color and decor, floor surface, furniture, clothing, and massage equipment and supplies. You might find yourself doing some cleaning and painting. Even working in an existing context, some of the choices remain. Depending on your opportunities, you also may find yourself wanting to add some "just in time" learning to reinforce your knowledge and skills in a particular area.
Once the soil preparation is done, the tasks of planting and tending begin. In the practice of massage, there are tasks of networking, marketing, record keeping, and beginning to tend to the needs of clients. Here you start needing the full combination of massage skills, communication skills, and business savvy to grow your practice - a combination that Claude Whitmyer and Salli Rasberry lump together in the single coined word "tradeskill."2 They note 10 characteristic traits that they have identified in those who have the knack of making small businesses succeed: being persistent; facing the facts; minimizing risks; being a hands-on learner; being good with numbers; being organized; being able to read carefully; possessing self-starting energy; relying on cooperation; and being consistent in behavior. Over time, you'll begin to discover what efforts and clients are working for you, and begin to thin and weed the rest.
Finally, with the hard work done, there comes the time for harvesting, enjoying and sharing the fruits of you labor. There is a deep satisfaction in seeing what you have started from seed become substantial. There are also important opportunities to network with colleagues and to mentor those learning the way after you. I encourage you to take full advantage of these fruits of your "soil tilling".
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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