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It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
By Dave Pratt, LMT
"No, it's b-r-e-e-m-a."
"Oh. What is it?"
I'm not surprised when people look puzzled at the mention of Breema Bodywork and Self-Bodywork.Perhaps maybe you've never heard about it, either. When I discovered Breema, I was as much intrigued by what it wasn't as by what it was. Let me explain.
About six years ago, while I was still in massage school, I was studying physiology in the lounge when I decided to take a well-deserved break. Hoping for some lighter reading than on the function of the kidneys, I picked up a copy of Massage and Bodywork Magazine.1 Boy, was I relieved!
Inside, I saw pictures of people gracefully participating in what looked like a playful dance. One fully clothed woman lay face-up on a Persian rug, hips flexed and knees draped over the left thigh of her half-kneeling female partner. The second woman was leaning slightly forward with one palm nestled in the soft area just below the other woman's right collarbone. Her other hand was scooped under the left shoulder, blending with the natural curve of the scapula. The position appeared effortless, and there was such balance between the two of them.
These pictures conveyed a sense of mutual support and ease that interested me. Both women looked content, as if they were exactly where they needed to be. Perhaps some of these details come to me in hindsight, but I was definitely aware that there was something very different to this technique. The photographs brought to mind other floor-based modalities with one exception: the visible tension (like tight arms pushing a client toward a deep stretch) that usually accompanies such techniques. I had been studying martial arts for years, so the idea of moving with the whole body to minimize strain and force resonated with me. In my massage studies, I would see the value of using minimal force - especially with the number of massage therapists that burn out physically and mentally after only a few years. So many therapists work too hard without properly caring for their own bodies.
As I read the article, I actually felt more relaxed. In school, I had absorbed enormous amounts of information about anatomy and physiology, and countless techniques for achieving results, as varied as reflexive effects on each internal organ, and methods to resolve different types of headaches. Each has a specific rate and prescribed duration to reach a particular end. While these are all useful, Breema was liberating.
The author, Dr. Jon Schreiber, director of the Breema Health and Wellness Center, explained that the foremost concern of the Breema practitioner is his or her own comfort. Wait - did I read that right? Isn't bodywork about giving your best to the client, eliminating the pain, and calming him or her down? Aren't we supposed to be making people better? I read on.
Breema, the article said, "uses the natural mechanics, rhythm, and relaxed weight of the practitioner's body to create a precise and dynamic balance that is profoundly comfortable, enjoyable, and beneficial for both recipient and practitioner." It sounded wonderful. He further described treatment sequences that weren't intended to be any particular rate or depth, but only called for what was most natural and comfortable for the practitioner. He explained how each sequence was "composed of a harmonious choreography of movements: gentle, yet penetrating stretches; gradual leaning; rhythmic brushing and percussive tapping."
"Body Comfortable," the first of nine guiding principles, seemed to be key to Breema being called "The Art of Being Present." When a practitioner continually returned to his or her own body's comfort and the registration of his or her own weight and breathing, several things happened:
Well, four years after I read that article, I got my first taste of Breema at a two-day workshop. I was happy to find that giving and receiving bodywork could be equally nourishing. Lying comfortably on a padded floor, I discovered what fun Breema was. At one point, I recall thinking, "I feel like water."
There was such fluidity to the treatment that it didn't feel like anything was being "done" to me, but that I was discovering I had a body for the first time! Afterward, I felt peacefully light and more fully aware of my body's movements. Leaning back as I held a friends arms, I received a stretch through my whole body. Then, leaning in with my palms on his shoulders, I was perfectly supported by his body. The greatest part was that we both enjoyed and benefited from each treatment.
Since that introduction, I have happily found that it is simple to use the principles of Breema with massage and other types of bodywork, and - really - in any activity in life.
Breema's nine principles of harmony are:
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