resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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."
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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.
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
October, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 10
The Present Meaning of Life
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD and Lansing Barrett Gresham
In our previous article, "The Mind is the Source of Our Stress" (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2006/04/02.html), we described how the mind superimposes its predictive models of "what is going to happen" upon one's present time experience.We have all reacted to a flicker of stimulus that vaguely reminds us of a past hurt, but that doesn't recognize the difference in context, people involved and the range of our expanded options for adult behavior. We simply react, instead of consciously "choosing." Our mind dutifully functions as our guard dog, but operates from a point anchored in the past. This is the pendulum swing of the mind, from the past to the future, rarely pausing to experience the present moment.
Touch slides in under the radar of the mind.1 Touch accesses the matrix of meaning assignments. Touch creates a crucible for gestating new experience, and thus new conclusions within ourselves and about the world. "Touch conveys the meaning of life," most specifically, that our sense of individual worth and our sense of belonging can change.2 These shifts occur because touch allows the human nervous system to update itself, bypassing the models and rules set down by the mind, and to develop new reference points from which to make present time choices. This is how one transforms the rigidity of the mind, from the "inside-out."
Touch does not change what has happened in a client's life, yet it invites them to expand into all levels of human consciousness: spiritual, energetic, emotional, physical and mental. With the full depth and breadth of this expanded perspective, that which seemed so large, poignant and endless, finally can be assimilated, digested, reconciled and accepted. Like a pinprick on a giant.
Last year, the analog of a framed mirror emerged in my awareness following a day of particularly intense sessions. It consisted of an appreciation for how various clients had moved traumatic experiences and profound confusions from the mirrored glass to the wood frame that held the mirror. No longer a "reflection of themselves," their gauntlet of difficulties now had the capacity to support a more complete and integrated reflection of their wholeness.
In ancient Hebrew, "reconciliation" means "to change through the gut."3 In The Body's Map of Consciousness, Lansing details many astounding emotional and energetic correlations with our gastrointestinal tract and other body sites. Among these are aspects of "hiding from self and from others" associated with the ascending and descending portions of the colon; "confusion" associated with the great length of our small intestine; "unfairness, blame and resentment" associated with the gall bladder and spleen; and "shame" associated with the pancreas and duodenum, to name but a few.4
As I write these emotions: hiding/shame, confusion, unfairness, resentment and blame, I can feel their resonance within myself. Who among us has not experienced these emotions? Certainly, too, do our clients. We all have the desire for our intentions and behavior to match, to be congruent, but this is not possible when our minds are driving the bus, because its models and rules are set in a previous reality that no longer exists.
Touch acts as a bridge, a pole vault, a dissolver of rigidity, and as an energetic transformer to the creation of our present meaning of life. As babies, our parents' quality of touch defined our world. The energetics of their emotions combined to help create the soup in which we swam. Babies don't have the ability to perceptually separate "self from other." What our parents felt, we felt, and we experienced ourselves as the very source of their feelings.
It appears that this "feeling others so deeply and experiencing ourselves as the source of those feelings" is so universal as to be considered part of the game board of life. In the normal progression of personal maturity, we are innately oriented to develop the ability to distinguish where we end and another begins. Carl Jung referred to this process as individuation.5
This represents a partial description of our personality development as humans, but it also suggests a reflection of our spiritual unity and our origin in consciousness: coming from unity to experience a life that will inherently involve separation, randomness and the crowning opportunity for "choice." This appears to be how we grow as souls, through our choices, in the context of a world where we will feel alone, and where we are unable to control what the consequences of our choices will be. Uncertainty is real, and it's the wellspring of free-choice.
Separation is the most poignant feeling for us as humans, and we all experience some degree of its stab. Aside from the mind's function to assist us in "fitting in" so that we might physically survive, its belief systems, the sergeant-at-arms, function to come up with a reason(s) for feeling so separate. We call these our issue(s).6
Touch, like water, can find the cracks in the seams of our belief systems. Just because something was so before does not mean that it is now. This is the "shift in perception of possibility" that is a marker for real change, real transformation, the re-assertion of our depth of creativity which is our birthright as human beings. For those of us who touch with the intention of assisting the healing process, these perspectives encourage us to embody our touch with those qualities which promote the full range of our human consciousness! It encourages us to recognize the sacredness of entering onto the field in which clients may expand their capacity to perceive the possibilities both within and for themselves, and for the world. We sense this is why most who read this have chosen the "path of touch" as central to their life purpose.
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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