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First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
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?
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