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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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 05
The Heart's Evolution
By David Lauterstein, RMT
The current war in Iraq and the events of 9/11 continue to be a clarion call. Perhaps the most important message to be gleaned is that the world has reached a new limit of how far it can progress by relying solely on the education of the mind.While we may be advancing in intelligence, we are lacking in emotional development, and as long as mental prowess stays the primary focus of education, the heart will remain comparatively barbaric.
We are in ever-increasing danger: Prejudice and genocide are rampant in the world, fueling vengeful and violent counterattacks; hypocrisy between the truth of religious doctrine and the failure to live according those values is prevalent; corporate greed, with little regard for ethics or social impact, is one of the taproots of heartless action; and people suffer every day from political allegiances to the self-interests of corporate profiteers, and the failure to take action to ensure a livable world for our descendants.
These atrocities indicate stunted hearts! What need is more desperate than education of the human heart? It has been said that, "To be [a blues singer], you don't have to play the guitar brilliantly or have a beautiful singing voice - blues singers don't, as a rule - you have to be open enough about your emotions to make them important to whomever happens to be listening. The more direct the path from your heart to your fingers and throat, the better you are." This corollary holds true for the types of education and touch we need. The more direct the path from one heart to another, the deeper the learning.
How Do We Educate Our Hearts?
In my experience, massage is possibly the best way to educate our hearts. The experience of receiving and giving high-quality touch is an experience that largely bypasses the thinking mind. Touch is direct and loving, and reminds us to reconnect with our internal and external worlds. We are alive! This fundamental miracle should give cause for reflection and wonder each day. Of all the particles and waves in the universe, how unlikely that they should coalesce in planetary life, and in our living, breathing, conscious selves! At the heart of massage therapy and teaching is the embodiment of skill and kindness. When students encounter the kindness and skill of teachers, and learn to touch with clarity and compassion, they begin to evolve. Convincing the hard-hearted (those with contrary opinions) can seem impossible; but try touching the hard-hearted and watch what happens almost at once: They begin to relax. Their nervous systems become more balanced and drop out of the "fight or flight" response. They become kinder to each other as a result of being treated more kindly. They remember that the greatest gift is simply to be alive. They stop focusing on external gratification and the acquisition of material goods; they stop fixating on rage, envy, and hopelessness; they stop emphasizing mental development; and they regain their health and wholeness in a single hour of massage that seems to last an eternity, realizing that they had somehow lost touch with their inner worth and health. There is a renewed dedication to remembering the wholeness that lives within each of us.
Reason plays a secondary role in the heart's evolution. Science, reason's handmaiden, does not recognize the existence of spirit and art, but sends a more general message; however, massage is both an art based on the science of the body, and a spiritual exercise. Massage does not utilize a medium of tones or strokes of paint, but the very substance of life itself: human beings, with their unique tissues, thoughts and feelings.
Massage is manual evolution. The art truly and desperately needed now is the evolution of the heart. Can we make as much progress in the human heart as we have with, say, computers? Isn't the necessity of this next evolutionary step obvious?
As students and clients explore anatomy, massage, and the psychophysiology of stress, they come to appreciate the deep, original meaning of kindness. Beyond our differences, we are the same "kind"; we are "kin." This lesson is communicated to some extent in every massage: The enlivened heart knows the kinship of life.
We can no longer proceed as a civilization without committing ourselves to advanced kindness, including the awareness that humans share the same feelings: Virulent hatred, the hunger for power, and uncontainable lust are not just the property of our villains, any more than great love, courage, ferocious loyalty and compassion are reserved for heroes.
The key to advanced kindness is enabling both reason and feeling to inform our responses: having total compassion toward the feelings we have, tempered with a vast, measured thoughtfulness that precedes our actions. These advances should be incorporated into the everyday challenges faced in elementary, secondary and college education. Currently, the only educational context in which I see this happening is in a few holistically-oriented massage or psychotherapy training programs - programs that are exploring a model for future education.
Receiving, giving and learning about skilled, compassionate touch is one of the keys to a healthy world. In such a world, the heart is given a chance to catch up to the mind, and we recognize that what we know "by heart" is equal to or greater than what we know with our heads alone. The idea that "What the world needs now is love, sweet love," has changed from being a subcultural sentiment to a sociopolitical fact. Touch is the most direct way to actualize love in the physical world; it is the key that opens the door to the next step in human evolution.
David Lauterstein is Co-Director of Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, Texas. He is author of "The Deep Massage Book" and "Putting the Soul Back in the Body." David has been inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame, received AMTA's Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award, and in 2013, was recognized as "Educator of the Year" by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. For more info, visit www.TLCschool.com.
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