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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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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