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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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
Discovering Mastery in the Art of Connective Tissue Massage, Part II
By John Latz
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the March 2004 issue of Massage Today at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/03/02.html.
Principles of CTM Body Mechanics
Fascia is finicky about how it changes.Connective tissue needs a significant amount of energy to facilitate the biochemical process of fascial hydration. The optimal way to add this energy is to let your own relaxed body weight lean into your hands or forearm as you work; pushing or exerting effort with extrinsic musculature will not work. This slower, more deliberate and intentional power comes through you only when your core is connected to your movement. It is a sensation of openness and expansion - an effortless flow of energy from practitioner to client.
The practitioner's core energy evokes deep intrinsic openness from the core of the client, without using invasive intention. Fascia must be approached and touched at an oblique angle (less than 45 degrees). This angle minimizes downward compression. Pressing straight down into the connective tissue compresses and closes the core space of the receiver's body. It feels invasive and evokes a natural response to engage the sleeve and self-protect.
Connective tissue massage also uses balanced extrinsic/intrinsic movement while working on a client. Balanced movement is best achieved when the practitioner is maintaining a body alignment that naturally allows slow, intrinsic lengthening to happen, while at the same time minimizing use of the faster, grosser extrinsic muscles of the body. The slower rate of intrinsically powered movements matches the rate of change acceptable to the connective tissue, and it responds by softening, stretching and lengthening. This balanced core/sleeve body movement is the ideal method of working, according to Ida Rolf.
When working with this core, intrinsically powered intention and focus, one could argue that CTM practitioners become the "Fred Astaires" of bodywork. This evokes images of massage therapists working effortlessly and dancing around their tables. We see great form in professional athletes and performers; we admire their movements because they make it look easy. Why wouldn't form be just as important when performing bodywork? Often, we become achievement-oriented, rather than form-oriented, only to misguide our bodies away from balanced movement patterns.
Dr. Rolf spoke about this: "As a child or young person, if you want to learn a skill, you study form. You study with a teacher who insists you must use your fingers this way or hold your elbow this way, to learn the skill. You may not realize that the teacher is trying to instill into you a reverence for form. In any art, if you can once get to a high degree of form and work with it, being conscious while you're working at what you are trying to do, you've got it made. This then becomes the method of choice to you, because it's easy. It's easy because, in this position, the body can work with an expenditure of less energy. This is what form is about."4 As bodywork practitioners, we need to assess our forms while we work, if for no other reason than career longevity.
Using a Line Of Intention
When I work on clients, my body feels like a "line of intention." I can elongate by intention along that energetic line; I have a sense of my self as elastic. I grow bigger, three-dimensionally, and tap into a greater power that exists within my core whenever I need to transfer additional power into my client. Ida Rolf spoke of a vertical line, which is evoked during the 10 sessions of structural integration. The line is continuous, passing from the top of the head through the bottoms of the feet; it represents a relationship of physical structure with the gravity field of the earth.
My CTM students learn how to utilize this axis of intention so they can access more power. The movement that occurs is initiated intrinsically, giving us a sense of vertical lift as we simultaneously lean forward. This integrated movement realigns our structure while we are working, giving us a greater sense of well-being. In other words, we don't have to be tired, drained of energy, or worn out when we work. It's like practicing yoga while we are doing bodywork.
Yoga elongates the connective tissue and transforms human structure through precise balancing postures. These postures create intrinsic/extrinsic balance in the body and allow the practitioner's core-space to emerge. The result is physical and emotional growth, and spiritual evolution. From practicing yoga, I realized I could accomplish a similar lengthening while practicing CTM. I took elements of yoga and applied them to body mechanics.
We borrow a term from physics to further explain "line of intention." "Vector" is a term used to describe a line of force having direction and magnitude. CTM body mechanics rely on a concept of changing vectors to maximize our physical and energetic contact with the client's body. Our alignment is like a relational posture to our client. That posture becomes a vector that can be shifted readily to improve the power transfer. Herein lies the artistry of the CTM body mechanics. Mastery of the CTM system demands an inner awareness of one's own body and core.
Unlike yoga, which can take many years of practice to achieve a core connection, the CTM approach allows us to grow into that core connection at an accelerated rate. Every time I elongate along that line of intention, and every time I point my line, I get that tangible sensory feedback from the client's tissue of deep and significant fascial response.
By learning to point my line of intention, my old ideas have become restructured, and I now have a new line of intention for my life. That's an idea that Ida Rolf strove to convey to her students: "Some people will tell you a man is a something built around a stomach. Some people will tell you a man is a something built around a skeleton. Well, I'm here to tell you a man is a something built around a line."5
This is the paradigm I've now integrated into my life and work. That is the spiritual truth that will lead you to your core connection. Where are you pointing your line?
We Want to Live Here
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