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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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 02
Move Your Mind and Engage Your Brain
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD and Lansing Barrett Gresham
This article describes a distinction between the mind and the brain. The unique proposal made here unravels the cobbled linguistic milestone of history which Rene Descarte postulated hundreds of years of ago, with his inference that the "mind" was the seat of rationality and intelligence.His construct was useful to the evolution of civilization within his context and the timing of history. This article offers a bridge specifically relevant to our collective humanity in its struggle to heal itself now.
To live fully in the present moment, you need to learn to move your mind into the past. Your brain has the ability to select for satisfaction and enjoyment. Your mind does not. It's limited to avoiding negatives by seeking them out!
The mind is a sliver of our human consciousness, only a piece of the pie. Your brain, your psyche, your physical body, your emotional, energetic and spiritual selves each contribute far more to the experience of your life, as they all directly process sensory information. The mind does not.
It's similar to a junior curator in a world-class art museum, spending his time silently criticizing the creativity all around, rearranging the pieces, switching some for others, storing and then losing many altogether, according not to their intrinsic value or meaning, but to manipulate the apparent importance between the creative examples.
Our collective human dilemma is that physical survival is no longer our sole objective. The mind did, and does, serve this end in the short term by assisting us to "fit in" as children. A baby not cared for dies.
The mind must live in the future in order to create predictive models and rules related to a broad range of stimuli to which the meaning of possible threat has been assigned. Inevitably, this morphs into an axis of black and white, assigning "right" and "wrong" values to all our feelings and behaviors. Under the guise of protecting you, the mind prompts you to avoid all that it has labeled as bad or wrong by inhibiting your movements and feelings.
The mind's orientation to prediction and avoidance is what displaces it in time and space. This splinters our capacity for present-time, adult congruence between intention and behavior. Intentions always are oriented toward the future. Behavior always is a present-time reality. No wonder we so often feel a lack of connection with one another and within ourselves!
The mind's inability to directly access sensory input also prevents it from distinguishing between what is symbolic and what is real. You can't have a relationship with a photograph. Minds do!
The mind's models exaggerate and distort the significance of stimuli such that codes of behavior are intensified to a point where noncompliance with them is interpreted as life-threatening. The mind's models produce rules which we subconsciously live by. Thus, a scolding by a parent for adventurous behavior might echo into one's adult life as an aversion to risk-taking in all venues of life.
The mind is organized to filter data by recognition of both sensations and images/symbols. Its models, translated as "beliefs about reality," eventually become substituted for reality. They are based on a past that no longer exists, yet which the mind insists is re-occurring. As a result, all of us in varying degrees, struggle with repeating negative patterns of attitude, behavior and relationships.
The mind designs its models both from information it has gathered and in response to what has been required by our caretakers. All rules inhibit spontaneity and thus creativity. When we hear, "children are to be seen and not heard," we are less likely to sing; when repeatedly admonished to be physically still, we are less likely to dance.
The models and rules become a self-stimulating, self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling labyrinth of prophecies. The mind shifts easily between compartments of ideas about the very experience from which its nature requires it to remain always aloof.
The mind's inherent limitation is that it distorts present-time information that would allow one to update its models, because it lives in its prediction of what's going to happen rather than in the unfolding of moment-to-moment direct experience. Remember, its primary function in our childhood was to assist us to conform, so that we would be included.
As just described, the mind is the source of our anticipatory anxiety and our disabling inhibitions, which escalates the degenerating effects of stress or trauma upon human physiology and the quality of our lives.
Now, the good news. The mind can be trained. When shown how, the mind does tend to prefer to notice what has just happened! Thus, it becomes consistently right in the moment and far more accurate in its predictions about the future. Such an orientation allows it to review its models in view of real-time data without conflict internal to itself or with the other levels of human consciousness. When dominance by the incessant predictions of the mind diminishes, it becomes possible for you to experience surprise, discovery and vulnerability without threat. That which seemed impossible or unattainable becomes tantalizing, interesting, and an open question. Your capacity for creativity and self-trust naturally is stimulated.
Creativity engages your brain! It's the single greatest preserver of intelligence and our guardian against dementia. Trusting your capacity to create what you actually desire for your life engages your brain! Allowing yourself to explore what you truly want and inviting success engages your brain! This includes developing an adult sensory and attitudinal preference for satisfaction and contentment in the present moment. The phrase "good enough for now" is particularly helpful to this cultivation.
You know you have engaged your brain when you find yourself behaving in novel ways and enjoying it. Curiosity becomes your attitude, replacing judgment and criticism. Appreciation and gratitude are felt more often. Your body moves with more positive anticipation toward others and a feeling of belonging within yourself.
The junior art curator is transformed into an individual who now begins to relate to art as an active expression of human awareness, trusting his sense of what will amuse, delight and inspire those who come to the museum. He now can deepen an experience of relationship within himself and with others as he seeks for ways to contribute to the world.
This article is the first of many which will introduce you to the concepts and principals of Integrated Awareness®. I am honored to be co-authoring these with the founder of the approach, Lansing Barrett Gresham. I will continue to write articles pertaining to the Inside-Out Paradigm as they flow from my heart. In this New Year, it feels as though my best contribution to our profession is to get the word out to you of this amazing and effective healing approach - one which I have been studying for 17 years, and which has added so much to the transformation and healing within my clients.
Integrated Awareness® recruits all the levels of consciousness. It's an expanding set of learning processes that directly engages your nervous system through movement, touch and higher perceptual states of consciousness. From these experiences, permission to explore and experiment might begin to flower. New sets of reference points can be created that transform your ability to make conscious choices to include more of who you are, resolve personal conflicts, and participate in the creation of a life and a world you prefer. To learn more about Integrated Awareness®, visit www.inawareness.com.
Click here for more information about Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD.
Lansing Barrett Gresham, founder of Integrated Awareness®, has more than 30 years of touch and movement work utilizing enhanced perception. He has co-authored two books, Ask Anything and Your Body Will Answer and The Body's Map of Consciousness®. For more information please visit www.inawareness.com.
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