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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.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
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.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
May, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 05
Intention and Touch
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
One of my first windows into the impact of intention opened in the late '60s, when I was beginning to use acupuncture extensively. At the time, we had free clinics in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida.Acupuncture was particularly attractive because it was cheap and did not involve drugs. Many of our patients had been active drug abusers, so the fewer pills we used, the better.
Oddly, we found that some of us could do acupuncture with great success, while others didn't get the same effects, even on the same patients. At first I thought this was due to suggestion, so we tried to control any positive or negative comments about our expectations. We even went so far as to say nothing at all to patients before, during or after the treatment.
The strong correlation between the results seemed attributable to the unspoken attitude of the therapist. Those of us who had seen acupuncture work and believed in it got much better results than those who didn't or weren't sure. Two doctors who were performing it thought it was absolute "poppycock," and didn't get good results at all. Yet I often treated the same patient the next day and got positive results immediately.
It was easy to test acupuncture in this fashion, because the results occurred before our eyes. Pain went away. Breathing in asthmatic and emphysema patients improved. Cravings for certain addictive drugs, such as heroine, subsided. The red-hot rash of shingles faded - as long as the acupuncture was performed correctly by a practitioner who had confidence in it. Our saying became, "It isn't where or how you put the needles in, it's who puts them there that counts."
That's when I realized just how directly the therapist's attitude and intention affects the outcome of the therapeutic approach. And this seems to go well beyond technique or the power of suggestion. Surgeons who are in a good mood or are generally happy seem to get better results than chronically angry, cynical or depressed surgeons. In the same way, hands-on therapists who are happy, trusting and confident get better results than those who are not.
Sister Anne Brooks was one person in my life who demonstrated the power of intention to me on many different levels. I first met her about 30 years ago, after she had canceled three appointments and finally showed up for the fourth.
Sister Anne had applied to work as a volunteer at our St. Petersburg free clinic. She wanted to work with needy people, and she had heard that our clinic serviced the kind of people she wanted to help.
Our program director, a young man named Butch, interviewed Sister Anne and suggested she see me. Dependent upon a wheelchair, she had been struggling with what was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis for the previous 20 years or so. At the time she met Butch, several of her doctors were recommending she have both of her hip joints surgically replaced with artificial ones.
Butch told her that if she wanted to work in our free clinic, she would have to see me about her hips. He explained that I did some rather offbeat things, including acupuncture, hypnosis, osteopathic manipulation, and a fairly good brand of general medicine. Apparently fear was a contributing factor in the cancellation of her first three appointments.
When we finally met, I was touched by her story. She had been the principal in a ghetto school for some years and loved it. As her disability and pain worsened, she was transferred to a school that serviced mostly upper-middle-class children. Yet she wanted, she needed to put her efforts into helping the poor and needy. This is what brought her to our clinic: to nearly beg Butch to allow her to volunteer her services. Had she not wanted to work for us so much, I'm sure Butch would not have been able to convince her to see me.
During that first visit, I began using acupuncture and CranioSacral Therapy, and I gave her advice on nutrition and vitamins. I couldn't do any traditional osteopathic manipulation - to touch her body between the waist and knees to manipulate bone or even deep tissue was to make her scream in pain. I couldn't see how this poor lady was living like this. Her blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis were positive.
I set up weekly appointments with her. We soon discovered that acupuncture, when appropriately applied, completely relieved her pain. In a few weeks we found that one acupuncture needle inserted in the end of her right middle finger for 15 minutes a day controlled her pain enough so that she could get out of her wheelchair and tolerate more traditional osteopathic work. In my opinion, motion is necessary for health, so we worked very hard to reestablish movement of the bones, joints and other tissues from her head down to her toes. I also believe that as the pain diminished, the nutritional changes began to take effect.
Sister Anne was almost completely rehabilitated within a year. She went on to work ceaselessly at our clinics (there were three by now), and eventually became our full-time director after obtaining permission from her church authority. Her blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis returned to normal after 20 years.
Sister Anne and the Upledger family became very good friends. When I moved to Michigan in 1975 to join the faculty at Michigan State University, we stayed in close touch. Her condition continued to improve. She didn't need my "doctor" work anymore.
She came to visit us within a year. She asked my advice about embarking on a program at the University of Florida that would lead to a degree as a licensed physician's assistant. She wanted to work at the migrant farm labor camps in Florida.
I suggested that, should she pursue this course, she would always be dependent upon the supervision of a licensed physician to do her work. Why not get her own doctor's license and be independent to do things as she felt they should be done?
After some discussion about her age, her lack of premedical requirements, and the difficulty in getting through medical school or osteopathic medical school and internship, she went out into the woods behind our house for a few hours. She did what deeply spiritual people do. Then she came back and said, "Okay, let's try it. What do I do next?"
I arranged an interview with the admissions officer of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. He was so impressed that he asked me what we could do to get Sister Anne to apply there.
After obtaining permission from her mother house to venture into this new direction, Sister Anne completed one year of premedical work in St. Petersburg. Then she moved in with us in Michigan to complete her second year of requirements. Next came acceptance into the Osteopathic College and four years of very hard work.
After graduating with her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, Sister Anne moved to Detroit for a year-long internship, at which time she made an in-depth study of poverty-stricken and needy areas of the southeastern United States. She eventually settled in Tutweiler, Mississippi, where today she operates a busy clinic along with a tremendous emergency and family medicine practice. All of this from a woman who, in the mid years of life, was in a wheelchair, in constant pain, and contemplating surgically replacing both her hip joints.
I once asked Sister/Doctor Anne what she thought was the key to her healing. Without hesitation, she replied that it was 80 percent attitude and intention, and 20 percent the mixture of acupuncture, nutrition, CranioSacral Therapy and the rest.
We therapists should always keep in mind the tremendous power our intention, attitude and expectations have on our clients and their responses to therapy. A gloom-and-doom forecast by the health care practitioner may well cause the client to live down to that expectation. Fortunately, the reverse is also true. In Sister Anne's case, we just wouldn't take no for an answer.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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