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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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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