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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
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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