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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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!
February, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 02
Movement Awareness: Connecting Client With Self, Part II
By Josef Dellagrotte, PhD, LMHC, CFP, RMT
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the December 2002 issue, available online at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/12/04.html.
The Essential Qualities of Human Movement
When the practitioner moves well, it indicates that forces are being transmitted along pathways of contraction and lengthening - an interplay of force vectors matching up with myofascial pathways of lengthening, such that the net effect is both postural uplift and neutralization of torquing stresses.An observer would see smooth motions and a relaxed, satisfied client. Movement is a science, a skill, an art form which, when well executed, affords practitioners a better chance of working without the attrition rate of injuries associated with the profession; a sustained pain-free practice; and more-satisfied, better-managed clients.
The Essential Skill of the Practitioner Is in the Quality of Movement
The real science and art of massage begins with the practitioner's awareness through movement, which has higher-grade value than simply learning several external techniques. Movement is the very condition of life and all life activities.
There is no escape: If the practitioner does not have awareness of movement and how she/he is being affected, it is only a matter of time before the gravitational stresses of life lead to structural and functional disorders in the form of musculoskeletal or myofascial pain. Disorder, the dreaded entropy of the body, sets in. Will power and determination are no match for these forces. The practice life of the bodyworker is cut short; damage and pain becomes recurrent - and all the unnecessary result of poor learning or weakened kinesthesia!
Moshe Feldenkrais, the somatic innovator and pioneer, observed that life without movement is inconceivable. Ida Rolf understood that structure was the key to stability, balance and mobility. Several somatic innovators have developed new learning approaches, so that not only the practitioner, but also the client can experience basically efficient movement, leading to the maintaining of supported upright posture. The field of somatic study has moved outward, from treatment to educative therapy.
Once again, historically speaking, the client has another chance at self-learning and self-maintenance. Once aware that the way we move is a major key to practice, we can look into the detail of primary functional movement actions. What I'm referring to are species-based activities of daily life that have a purpose, satisfy life needs, and even share a species commonality, to some extent. For example, people all over the world must lie down, get up, sit, stand and walk.
What Practitioners Need to Know
To be structurally, functionally and even psychophysically well-integrated, every person needs the essential movement nutrients: resonant movement; lengthening through the spine and along myofascial pathways; stretching of local connective tissue pathways; strengthening of muscle groups in a balanced way; relaxation responses, which are built into every movement activity; feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment from movement activity; and clarity of direction and intention. We may not get the full complement at any one time; as when taking vitamins and minerals into our bodies, it can take place at different times.
The bodyworker needs to be able to access lengthening, which is how energy is being transmitted through the body. Every position we assume when working on clients requires this lengthening. Otherwise, shortening or harmful compressions start to take place by default. When you work, you are either lengthening or shortening; there is no in-between.
Stretching is an essential component, but a highly misunderstood one. Ideally, stretching takes place when we slowly move one local myofascial area. For example, yoga stretches work so well because they take place in slowed down, stillness time, with breathing, relaxation and focus.
Strengthening takes place whenever we move in concentric fashion against gravity. We also can focus on conscious strengthening through particular exercises. Doing massage work can strengthen, but it also can weaken. (I have done therapy with many practitioners who were getting weaker in certain areas of the body, especially the shoulder girdle and upper back.)
Resonance, or smooth movement, is an essential quality that represents everything working together, with forces being distributed without internal turbulence or damage. Resonance derives from physics: the resonant frequency-of-motion principle, represented in pendulums, coils and springs. All living bodies seek and enjoy resonant movement.
Relaxation is an internal physiological experience. The response has been described and documented by many. How does it occur in movement? Whenever movement is resonant, the points at which we move through our own center of gravity (the neutral place), we experience a millisecond of effortlessness, even enjoyment.
Psychophysical (Somatoemotional) Dimension: Empathic Touch
The client who is being moved well unconsciously responds and registers positive somatophysical or psychophysical well-being. This response is enhanced further when the client begins to notice improved sensation when sitting, standing, walking, or performing other activities. Whenever the client notices that, following a session, something has carried over, and that some function has improved, this has significance. Whenever the nervous system has an experience which is not imposed upon it, but is suggested through a empathic touch contact that matches the client's need state, there is likely to be not only healing, but more: improvement of function, and with this a further move in the direction of health and wellness.
Whenever the client notices that something beyond temporary alleviation of discomfort has occurred, he or she is far more likely to return. The massage therapist who follows this path soon has not only a regular clientele, but also a set of learners and movers who are ready to reclaim their bodies and actively take charge of their own wellness.
Josef DellaGrotte is a certified Feldenkrais trainer, registered muscular therapist, integrative somatic practitioner and body-centered psychotherapist. He began training with Ida Rolf, then with Moshe Feldenkrais, who named Josef as a training assistant. His interest and practice is in combining therapy with somatic education, taking the client beyond passive experience and dependency into learning and self-care.
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