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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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
February, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 02
Touching and Listening
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
In the Mediterranean climate of central California, it is difficult to predict the timing of the winter rains. During the high summer and long, hot fall, a persistent zone of high pressure sits off the coast, a nd storm tracks simply veer around it. When the high finally breaks down, the storms move in, settling the dust and bringing the sound of rain to soothe our ears. The needed moisture starts the process of sprouting and growth. This winter's heavy December rains foretell that, and by the time you read this, the hills will have turned bright green and daffodils will be blooming white and gold in gardens. We are not so distant from our human beginnings that the sounds of rain and the sight of growing plants fail to soothe us. What affects us emotionally ties strongly into our abilities to cope with and recover from the stresses of life.
The importance of the ties between mind and body has been stressed by physician and cardiac specialist Bernard Lown.1 Lown notes a study in which hospital patients that had rooms with a view of a tree recovered more quickly than those with rooms facing only parking lots. What we see and feel matters. More pointedly, Lown underscores the importance of the human connection to the outcomes of medical practice. The loss of many of those connections to the exclusive use of tests and technology has become an expensive detriment to recovery.
As practitioners of touch therapies, Lown's words are as relevant to us as they are to physicians. Our effectiveness as practitioners strongly depends on our choice of words, body language, and willingness to listen to our clients. Lown particularly emphasizes the importance of listening to the client to take a detailed history. The listening process gleans the information to assess the chief complaint, but also uncovers what underlies that complaint in the context of the client's life and coping processes. Many times, the chief complaint is only the entry ticket to the practitioner's office. As with a ticket to a show, to pay attention only to that ticket is to miss the show itself.
Lown also stresses the importance of touch to the practitioner/client relationship, noting that, after touch is involved in the examination process, the client's underlying concerns often flow forth much more freely. The simple act of touch has established a connection of trust that was not there before. Bevis Nathan, a British osteopath, has written a thorough review of touch within the therapeutic relationship of manual practice. Within that context, Nathan has taken the important step of considering the therapeutic effects of the touch connection itself:
Terry Orlick, a sports-performance coach, divides a life of pursuing excellence into "gold" and "green" zones.3 The gold zone is one of absolute focus and striving toward a goal; the green zone contains pursuits of balance, connection, and relaxation. Orlick notes that ongoing stress, particularly in the absence of coping strategies, opens one up to health problems. In contrast, positive, uplifting activities - joyful experiences - strengthen our immune systems and aid healing and recovery. The positive body language, encouraging words, and, perhaps most important, time that a massage practitioner shares with clients are such positive experiences. Relaxation, the focus of pursuits and the quality of our presence guides our techniques when facilitating healing and wellness. We make the greatest contribution to our clients' lives by touching and listening.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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