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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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 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.
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.
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?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Truth: The Golden Thread, Part Two
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's Note: Part One of "Truth: The Golden Thread" appeared in the June 2006 issue of Massage Today. Visit www.massagetoday.com/archives/2006/07.html.
My primary goal in every therapeutic session is to be a clear facilitator for the patient's self-discovery.As I wrote in my column in the last issue of Massage Today, truthful self-discovery is the Golden Thread that runs through all therapies designed to help patients achieve permanent recovery as well as spiritual growth.
My own therapeutic style involves using physical touch to establish a connection with my patient's nonconscious mind. Other types of therapists might facilitate this connection by other means, but for me it's the act of physically contacting my patient that allows me to establish this connection.
As I blend with a patient through touch, I make every effort to remain open to any perceptions, sensations or insights that might penetrate my conscious awareness. I believe every organ, tissue and cell has its own consciousness, yet their "voices" are usually not within the scope of the patient's conscious awareness. When I remain open as the facilitator, I often receive information from these parts. Their messages might enter my conscious mind as pain in my own body, as visual images, as verbal messages, or sometimes just as a sense of knowing that seems to circumvent usual channels of communication.
For example, our patient with the liver problem from alcohol abuse in part one of this column might cause me to experience discomfort in my own liver. Or, I might see a visual image of a damaged liver, or hear his nonconscious voice telling me his liver is damaged. Then again, I just might inexplicably "know" this patient is a problem drinker due to parent-instilled guilt.
In whatever way I receive the information, my goal is to help the patient through the process of self-discovery. Because what's important here is that he knows what originated the symptoms, why they came about and why these symptoms continue to exist.
However, I don't feel it's in the best interest of the therapeutic process to simply disclose the information as I receive it. If I disclose it prematurely, the patient probably will become defensive, which can impair and even halt the therapeutic process. The possibility also exists that I'm coloring the information with my own biases, prejudices, experiences and projections. On the other hand, if I wait for the process to unfold from the patient, error usually can be avoided. After all, the goal is for the patient to paint his own truthful self-portrait.
So again, I stimulate this process of therapist-patient communication by the act of touching with the sole intent to assist in the healing process. This communication, initially on a nonconscious level, usually emerges into my conscious awareness. Then it's my job to help the patient develop his own awareness of the information received. When the patient is consciously informed, then he can do something about the source problem.
That's why in my own practice, I work hard to reflect a true picture and to be an honest, yet sensitive mirror. Instead of blurting out something like, "I'm getting a message from your liver," I would simply follow the bodily cues that lead me to that area with my hands. Then I might say something like, "Hmm, I feel drawn to this area. I wonder why." If the patient doesn't respond, I might even take it a step further and say, "What do you think this is about?" or "Do you have any thoughts about what might be going on in this part of your body?"
Wherever our dialogue takes us, I never want to lead the conversation or make the patient feel compelled to please me by giving the answers he thinks I want. And he doesn't have to see the truth all at once. But I also don't help perpetuate the illusion, unless it's a rare case in which it seems vital that the patient maintain the illusion. Even then, I only do it for the time necessary for adaptation and growth to occur.
Now, here is another critical point to keep in mind. Even when self-discovery has resulted in genuine self-healing, it may or may not produce a cure or complete elimination of symptoms. True healing goes deeper than symptoms; it involves getting clear about your real identity and your purpose in life.
For this reason, healing sometimes might mean spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair if that is how you can best perform your life task. The important thing is for the patient to recognize this is how it's supposed to be, so he can learn whatever he needs to learn about himself in the process. Similarly, healing might mean recognizing that it's okay to die. It might mean the conflicts and problems posed to the patient have been resolved so he is now free to leave this environment.
Thus, the successful therapeutic process does not necessarily produce comfort, ease, muscular strength, prolonged life, or any of the other things our Western medical tradition holds as evidence of healing. Effective therapy does, however, give the individual patient a clear vision of what it is he or she needs to do, as well as the strength of mind, body and spirit to do it.
Eliminating delusion and self-pity and helping patients prioritize and refocus their lives so they can grow are the ultimate goals of CranioSacral therapy. That's why your most important role in the therapeutic process is your ability to reflect the Golden Thread of truth to your patients. For it truly is the truth that sets us free.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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