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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 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?
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
April, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 04
The Second Season of Spa: Spring
By Robin Zill, LMT
Author's note: This five-part series is designed to explore the language of nature as it relates to the spa experience.
In this spa series, I am using the language of nature as a metaphor for defining and creating the essence (or ousia) of the spa experience.The ousia (oo-SEE-ahh) philosophy explores the search for true essence in the context of something greater than self. This search is based on living seasonal patterns of change, evolution and connection. Integral to this concept is the idea that "spa," like "nature," is a not a thing to measure and dissect, but an energy event waiting to happen; an energy event waiting to dance.
The ousia philosophy combines the four quadrants of the seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) with the four-step process of the spa experience:
Each of these steps leads to a fifth stage, which is not actually a step, but rather an experience that can only be achieved through integration. It is the individual's unique perspective that unifies all of the stages as one. This is the experience of synethesia, in which your senses blend together to create a transcendant personal experience. This is what the spa experience, and nature, are all about. Personal integration creates a story, an indelible memory that takes the spa journeyer deeper into the process of understanding self.
The spa journeyer is a pioneer on a quest to explore new frontiers in personal wellness. This kind of exploration avails itself through the senses and personal experiences. I am speaking of personal awakening. What we perceive through our senses is what inspires our intellect and spirit to bring forth our unique selves; it is what inspires us to bloom. In the language of nature, spring is the season of new beginnings that enlivens the dormant seed created during the restful, inner season of winter (when vision took root).
From a spa business perspective, the soil has been tilled, and the seeds and seedlings now are being planted. It is time to step out into the world and say, "Here we are." Spring is the season of birthing your spa. You are ordering and receiving the products, equipment, supplies and specialty items you envisioned. Advertising and marketing promotions are in full swing as you finalize employee selection; fine-tune treatment nuances; train staff; and learn new software and specialty equipment. Everything is blooming. Although actualizing your vision may now seem a little like the lone daffodil pushing up through a crack in the sidewalk, there is no turning back.
Have you ever noticed the color of the first spring flower? It almost seems to glow or resonate, so much so that you can almost taste or hear it. The exuberance and energy of finally bringing forth your vision is indescribable. Spring is the time when you are most alive. Just as the color palette of the first flowers of spring change into summer, the greening of the spring world brings monetary and personal success if you have planned wisely. However, it also can be stressful. Spring is the height of the allergy season and unexpected weather changes. Can you have too much blooming at one time? What if there is a late frost? The diversity of challenges you face will be vast, which is why working with experienced consultants and vendors in your weak areas is highly recommended. If you need assistance with plumbing nuances; treatment development; software; specialty services; etc., reach out; a thriving industry is ready to help you.
You are the master landscaper; you know where everything is planted, and why. You know what is expected to bloom next month - and what plant is unexpectedly taking over, killing the opportunity for your precious gladiolas to rise. At this stage of business development, communication is everything. Communication to employees, customers and vendors is of the utmost importance. I suggest you take the time to develop company policies and an employee manual right from the onset. This will give structure and clarity to the staff, and give you a tool to evaluate the success of the business choices you've made thus far. Focus on communication, and pay attention to the nuances of connecting with staff at all levels.
For me, all this makes the difference between a successful business, and one that merely survives or is mediocre. Spa business is not only about profit, but also life fulfillment. Do you love your work? I believe in encouraging you to learn the language of nature as you grow within the industry. Attuning yourself to this perspective is what separates the weeds from the flowers in spa business.
My hope is to encourage you to look differently, because if you are able to see the nuances and details in your work and environment, you will be able to create a spa experience that deepens clients on their journeys to wellness. This season, teach yourself to observe your environment; think of plants and even people as patterns of moving energy. Have you ever noticed how a plant grows over a period of days and weeks; how a flower opens; how a leave unfurls on a vine?
As Michael Schneider, author of A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science... A Voyage from One to Ten would say, this is life in action. It is only our slow nervous system that fixes surfaces and takes static snapshot of plants (and people) that are, in reality, in continual change. Although it may be a slow process, it is energy in motion.
Simply put, nature is a living system that embraces the interplay between structure and randomness. This elusive quality of the healing dynamic for the therapist and client is the magic that is often difficult to put into words. Easier said than done, the interplay between a consistent organizational system (business or treatment protocol) and the random environment (economy and consumer choice) it is operating in, is what makes the whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
The spa experience is like nature: It is not a thing to measure and dissect, but an energy event waiting to dance.
And might I add ...
Click here for previous articles by Robin Zill, LMT.
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