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News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
July, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 07
Cutting Through Chaos
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
We all benefit at times from retreating to a place in which the input to our nervous system is less chaotic than that of the normal pace of life. In doing so, we provide a space for regrouping our own energy and direction so that we may better meet creative opportunities. As I sit down to write this month's column, I have just returned from such a time; five days at the Esalen Institute, taking a workshop on Thai massage facilitated by Richard Gold.2 One of the impressions I have taken away with me is that of an interleaving dance of gentle rhythms.
Esalen is located on a sliver of land along the rugged Big Sur coast of California. At the western edge of the institute, the land sweeps precipitously down to the sea. Immediately to the east, the Santa Lucia range rises steeply. Within this sliver of land bathed by alternating sun and cloud, the ever-present rhythmic surge of waves breaks against the rocky shore. Joining these natural rhythms are the predictable human rhythms of the meal and workshop schedules. To these general rhythms, my own experience added the slow palm presses and stretches of Thai massage. Richard, both conscientious of time and material and possessing an ever-present twinkle of eye, marked the session boundaries with the soft tones of a meditation bowl/bell struck three times and with the chanting of the traditional homage to Father-Doctor Shivago.2 Day by day, we worked together through the slow, well-organized protocols of touch.
I dwell on these descriptions of rhythmic tempo and organization because I believe that we can learn much about the power of massage to center and heal from looking at situations in which chaos overwhelms and sensory integration fails. It is in these venues that the tools used to cut through chaos become most needed and most obvious.
Carol Kranowitz describes children who become overloaded with sensory information and cannot integrate the world around them to respond appropriately.4 Many individuals with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) have difficulty attending to tasks and learning new skills because they operate at high levels of arousal and anxiety due to over-reactivity to sensory stimuli.6 For these individuals, stimuli that for most of us would be barely noticeable evoke sensory defensiveness and flight-or-fight responses. What's interesting from a massage perspective is that rhythmic brushing of their skin with soft surgical brushes and rhythmic joint compression often seems to help children with deficiencies in sensory integration deal better with their surroundings and achieve a state of calm alertness. The patterned stimulus appears at least partly to counteract the sensory chaos.
While those with PDD form the outlying edge of those having difficulty with sensory input, they are not alone in struggling with sensory overload. Elaine Aron estimates that about 15-20 percent of the population is composed of what she terms highly sensitive persons (HSPs).1 Aron describes HSPs as having both greater sensitivity to subtle sensory inputs and a much higher susceptibility to experiencing sensory overload and fatigue from intense or sustained stimulation. While discussing the use of anti-anxiety medications for crisis intervention, Aron recommends more lifestyle-oriented methods for ongoing care:
These lifestyle methods combine to create a space of sanctuary, seeking emotional support, and immersing ourselves in repetitive rhythmic motions. In applying rhythmic movements and pressure, we perhaps intuitively act on the physics observation that nearby systems with similar resonant frequencies will synchronize, a phenomenon that can produce entire trees filled with synchronously pulsing fireflies.8 We pace so that we may subsequently lead. Behind the slow rhythmic patterns of a dance, such as Ma Avarech 7 or the gentle repetitive patterns of caring touch, there is great power for integrating our bodies and minds and cutting through chaos.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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