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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
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?
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, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 04
The Mind Is the Source of Our Stress
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD and Lansing Barrett Gresham
As articulated in our previous article ("Move Your Mind and Engage Your Brain," Massage Today, February 2006), your mind is not your brain, nor your soul, spirit or psyche.It's only a sliver of your consciousness. It's that portion of human consciousness that assigns meaning to sensory information. These meaning assignments emerge from both what we were taught by our caretakers and from what we decided within ourselves.
We postulate that the mind awakens into neocortical dominance somewhere between 28 months and four years of age. Its pre-eminence derives from the increasing ability to combine the newly developed awareness of sequencing (time) with the apparent results (causality) of intention experimentally acted out in the world. This is what is happening during the period our culture labeled the "terrible two's."
From conception until the above age range, learning is principally associative, not sequential. During this initial period of development, highly charged emotional events are deeply grooved into the nervous system, but without assignment of cause - external or internal. The language of "always" or "never" is a clue that our clients have dipped into an experience that is very young indeed.
Once the child has acquired some mastery of the developmental sequences required to navigate gravity within the three dimension of space, and has gained a sense of time, it becomes driven to predict cause and effect sequences in the behaviors of others, external events and within themselves. Once in control, especially with the aid of the later-developing prefrontal cortices, the mind functions to retroactively assign predictive causality to all of the elements which were part of any highly charged events the infant/toddler experienced before the mind was in charge.
The biological implication of this tendency has an obvious tendril to our evolution as a species from predator/prey relationships. The tawny flash of the tiger as it circles you in the forest carries with it grave consequences if ignored. Once survival-enhancing, now it degrades our capacity to experience "choice" in the present moment. Instead, we react to a flicker of a stimulus that vaguely reminds us of a past hurt, but without recognizing the differences of context, people involved and the range of our expanded adult options for behavior.
What hurt before, will hurt again, is the mind's chief refrain. Pain is bad. Pain is wrong. Thus, the mind actively seeks out information to confirm its predictions of what will hurt and how. It filters information, preferring the negative. It replays recordings of past sensory experience, superimposing what was upon what is happening in the present moment. All of this arouses the nervous system. This persistent state of arousal is what we commonly experience as "stress."
We are all perfectly adapted to circumstances in which we no longer live. This is the dilemma of human development: that the models of life and rules for conduct the mind has created are based on the options a toddler can perceive. Lacking the ability to clearly distinguish or even experience the separation of self from other, a "separation" which every loving parent does their best to diminish, these building blocks grow largely from the infant's energetic and emotional experiences of its caretakers. This biologically aids our capacity for bonding and survival, yet emotionally and energetically, we often are left with a tangle in our perceptions of where we end and others begin.
The mind takes in no sensory data. It predicts. It anticipates. It concludes what is going to happen before present-time, or simply more recent, sensory experience can validate the predicted outcome. Thus, whenever our minds are in charge, we experience loops of familiar behaviors and emotions, because we are dependant upon these very same mental body models and rules about the world and about what it has concluded is possible (or not). Because the mind assigns meaning to behaviors, feelings and events, it also makes the rules about what is good and bad, right and wrong, regardless of the actual present-time reality one senses and feels. Because the mind cannot process the streaming of moment-to-moment sensory data, it is rooted in the past and can only flower in the future. Current exploration, experimentation and discovery are all of necessity stunted in favor of what is deemed predictable - and thus, safe, by the mind.
The mind commandeers the sympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system, as well as longer-acting neurotransmitters such as cortisol, dopamine and epinephrine, to keep us in alert mode, seeking out cues and clues that will support its models about what is going to happen. This is a functional definition of stress, often referred to as hypervigilance in psychological circles. No wonder we hear our clients so often speak of feeling trapped by their life circumstances and feeling as though they have so few real choices.
In our previous article, we endeavored to set a foundation for comprehending the essential truth that the historical belief that the mind reflects either the whole or the pinnacle of human consciousness is far from accurate. Instead, we assert that the mind is a guard dog, indiscriminate in its barkings, and preventing us from reaching our vast potential to perceive the possibilities that might enhance our lives. We affirm what they already have experienced; namely that touch might stimulate profound shifts in the quality of your clients lives.
In the next installment of this series of articles, we will be emphasizing how touch can directly help by conveying "The Present Meaning of Life."
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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