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Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
September, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 09
Understanding the “E” Word in Bodywork
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Even in nontraditional healthcare circles, it's interesting to note how uncomfortable some therapists get around the "E" word - energy. They might be intrigued by your philosophy and impressed by your protocols, but mention energy and you can almost feel half of them check out of the conversation.(Ironic, isn't it?)
That's why it's helpful to be reminded of the physics of energy to better grasp why it plays such a central role in bodywork. I have a good friend who is a talented CranioSacral Therapy practitioner and instructor. He also happens to have a doctorate in theoretical physics. Indeed, before Tim Hutton, PhD, LMP, CST-D, became a massage practitioner in 1994, he worked in experimental physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tim spoke at length on the subject of energy at Beyond the Dura 2005, an international health care conference held every two or three years in south Florida. As he pointed out, energy means different things to different people. So, it's worth looking carefully at the term to help therapists find common ground in understanding the concept of energy in manual medicine.
Following is a highly abbreviated version of what Tim shared with more than 300 therapists at the 2005 conference. It serves well to highlight the science behind a concept that might, at first glance, appear unconventional in a therapeutic framework. As you'll see, it is anything but.
As therapists, we define energy as a physical sensation, like the vibration or heat we experience when we work. While we may not all feel the same thing, we can generally agree on when energy is being put into something and when it's being taken out. Energy in bodywork is sense-oriented.
In physics, energy has a precise definition: The ability to do work or to make something change. Energy is conserved - it can never be created or destroyed, just transformed or moved around. This concept of "conservation of energy" unifies every experience in life, from throwing a baseball to boiling water, and it allows you to see the connection.
Along with another concept ("conservation of momentum"), the conservation of energy forms the foundation of modern science and technology. So, to physicists, energy is neither elusive nor sense-oriented, but the fundamental principle from which all of science arises. Everything around us is a result of this dance of energy being transformed. Energy is encountered in several forms: kinetic, potential and heat. Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, like that of a baseball when you throw it. Potential energy is stored energy that has the potential to be used. Heat is the kinetic energy associated with the motion of all the atoms inside an object.
Imagine a roller coaster going over two hills. If the car starts at the top of the first hill and rolls down, it gradually picks up speed until it reaches the bottom. It takes the potential energy it has by being a certain distance from the earth (gravity) and converts it to kinetic energy to accelerate to the bottom of the hill. Then it slows down and continues up the next hill, converting kinetic energy back into potential energy. Because the car started at a higher point on the first hill, it still has enough energy to go over the second one. But energy was not lost or gained in the process, just transformed. So, what if the car starts halfway down the first hill? It accelerates but doesn't have enough energy to get over the second hill, and ends up oscillating back and forth between the two. To get the car over the second hill, energy would have to be added from outside the system to help push it over.
Energy is stored, moved or manipulated by one of three forces: nuclear, electromagnetic or gravitational. Nuclear force holds the nucleus together inside an atom. Electromagnetic forces provide the interaction between atoms. Gravitational force is the mutual attraction between masses. Since humans don't have much direct connection with nuclear force, what we experience in daily life are electromagnetic interactions in the field of gravity.
Physics dictates that anything conducting electricity has an electromagnetic field, including the human body. When you bring your electromagnetic field close to another person, the two fields interact. With training, you can learn to perceive your own field, and through this interaction, the field of another. This forms the basis of energy work.
To better understand this, let's add the concept of entropy - the degree of disorder or chaos in a system. Imagine a game of pool. You take the balls, place them into a triangular rack and set them neatly on the table. Then you strike the rack with the cue ball, scattering the balls across the table. The entropy of the table has increased - there is more disorder.
Globally, the universe tends toward increased entropy, toward chaos. Locally, however, a system that's strongly interacting with its surroundings tends toward equilibrium.
Thus, by putting energy into a system, it is possible to decrease entropy. Consider the pool table. How did you get an ordered state to begin with? By placing the balls exactly where you wanted them. You put energy into the system to increase order on the table.
The human body tends toward order, toward healing. If we cut ourselves, the body tries to knit itself back together. Life is a system for decreasing entropy. So what is energy in bodywork? It's one person adding energy to another through the interaction of electromagnetic fields, helping to decrease entropy in the body and return it to a more ordered state.
Consider that roller coaster with the car stuck at the bottom. You'd have to put energy into the car to move it past the barrier of the hill. In the same way, you connect to help your clients move past barriers toward better health. It's a concept supported by science.
- Tim Hutton, PhD, LMP, CST-D
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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