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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 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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 05
Ancient Trade Routes
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
By the end of the first century B.C., there was a great expansion of international trade involving five contiguous powers: the Roman empire, the Parthian empire, the Kushan empire, the nomadic confederation of the Xiongnu, and the Han empire.Although travel was arduous and knowledge of geography imperfect, numerous contacts were forged as these empires expanded-spreading ideas, beliefs, and customs among heterogeneous peoples - and as valuable goods were moved over long distances through trade, exchange, gift-giving, and the payment of tribute. Transport over land was accomplished using river craft and pack animals, notably the sturdy Bactrian camel. Travel by sea depended on the prevailing winds of the Indian Ocean and the monsoons, which blow from the southwest during the summer months and from the northeast in the fall.2
Cities along the silk, spice and incense trade routes are prime material for adventure and romance novels. Even the names of the routes conjure up visions and suggestions of exotic sounds, scents and textures. So great were the influences of ancient trade cities that even today, we can almost imagine the cries within their marketplaces. Cities such as Petra and Palmyra once grew rich providing services to merchants and acting as international centers of trade. They also became cultural and artistic centers, where peoples of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds could meet and intermingle. They were the commercial and intellectual hubs with links extending to touch every corner of the known world.
Interestingly, we are only now gaining full understanding of how pervasive such links and hubs are in our lives. In his recent book on networks, physicist Albert-László Barabási provides an overview of ongoing research into the laws governing the way connections form within networks as they evolve and grow.1 Common structuring seems to exist: from the number of chemical reactions linking key molecules together within a cell; to structures within our bodies for communication, transport and support; to associations between actors who have made films together; to ancient trade routes; to the links between the ever-increasing information nodes on the Internet. It has become apparent that, on all spatial scales of organization, the linking between nodes or sections is not random. There are patterns with small local clusters of linking, with few links per individual, and certain individuals or places that act as major hubs, with many connections leaping to distant parts and places.
One of the studies Barabási discusses found that job seekers more often succeeded through their acquaintances than through their closer friends. A person's friends were in the same "small world" cluster in which everyone basically shared the same information. One's acquaintances provided links to other clusters of people in which new opportunities were available. In marketing our practices, this concept of long-range links yields the insight that we should seek to find and develop connections with those who will be our gateways to other groups. As we become known for offering services that add to individual support networks, ameliorate stress, and resolve problems of body usage and history, our personal links will multiply, and our practices will prosper.
Several conceptual keys open doors to understanding and modeling what we observe in diverse worlds of interconnectivity. First, making the interconnections needs to be a dynamic process of growth and change. Second, when a new person or item in the network is added, key hubs already possessing many links will be favored to get the new link (literally a type of "the rich get richer" favoritism). Finally, a solution or place providing a better fit to the current need will preferentially attract links, even to the detriment of well-established key hubs.
This last point, in particular, explains how new trade cities might grow, and old ones decline, with the introduction of a newly discovered route or technology. It equally explains how, as an instance of adapting to strain in accordance with Davis's law, the fascia within our bodies will adapt to a change in posture and body usage following the start of a new activity, or following an injury.3,6 Our unifying webs of fascia grow from an embryological viewpoint and modify continually from a life usage viewpoint.3,5Tom Myers, particularly with his work on "anatomy trains," seems to have captured the aspects of our fascial webs as networks of communication.4
While it is true that 'everything is connected to everything else,' some bits are more connected than others. An extension of the pioneering work of Dr. Ida Rolf and her system of Structural Integration, these 'myofascial meridians' provide a map for postural compensation, which, when grasped, provide a model for 'tensegrity' balance of the myofasciae around the skeleton. Using this scheme, unexpected linkages lead to new 'whole body' strategies for manual and movement therapists.
The interconnectivity that Myers implies adds the perspective to our work that we are never, in truth, just engaging a local area but initiating a chain of communication and compensations that will spread over a client's entire body. As our fingers ply the ancient trade routes of our physical embodiment, we bring goods of comfort and relief that reach back to our beginnings as human beings and beyond. We are linked by many webs of connection.
Everything touches everything. - Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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