resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
August 13, 2004
Two Give Meaning to Life
By Judith Kohn, MS, LMT, NCTMB
I was a little apprehensive driving to the hospital because I didn't know where in the Bronx it was, and I was sure it wasn't in a great neighborhood. I had read about its wonderful mission on its Web site and knew it would be a very special place.I found it with ease, right off the highway and drove into it's parking lot.
What a luxury in the Bronx! A hospital with a parking lot! I had packed a little shopping bag in hopes of giving Sandy a massage. It had some lotion, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes -- just in case she was up to it.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I had seen her a few weeks back when Deb and I had taken her out for a soda. A life and lady once so vibrant and full was suddenly frail and weak. I had called in advance and knew there were no other visitors expected. I was secretly happy that I would have Sandy to myself to talk and "bond," and to let her know that she was special to me.
In my mind, I had rehearsed what I wanted to tell her; it was very important for me to convey my feelings. I had no intention of staying more than an hour or so, but three hours later, I found myself leaving, emotional and fuzzy in my head. I didn't understand the impact of what had transpired between us until days later, for what I experienced was by far one of the most meaningful days of my life.
We started the visit by talking and catching up. From my studies, to work, to my oh-so-horrible dates. She kept telling me it'll happen; I kept telling her I was losing hope. But somehow, looking at her on the bed so pale and sick gave me a little hope -- like she was willing it to me.
We quickly moved to more serious topics of spirits, of dad, of life after death, of the spirit world and its beauty, and, of course, of dying. We both got choked up as I shared my intimate thoughts and told her how happy I was that she had never tried to be my mother but had just been my friend.
We talked about how she had tried with dad because I didn't like him very much; she said she had tried to soften him and she hated how he treated me. She cried, took my hand and told me she loved me. She had never told me that before. I told her I loved her back, and at that moment, I really understood what she had come to mean to me.
We reminisced about my 30th birthday party, talked about my 40th approaching, and how she had just started dating dad. Then we listed all of the boyfriends she had met since that day and laughed. Of course, I can laugh about it now.
Sandy had been my advocate all along when I decided to go to massage therapy school. I had hoped that dad would approve (even though it wasn't medical school), but somehow I know that Sandy would have made him see it if he didn't on his own.
After about an hour she asked for a massage; she was glad that I brought my "tools." I had learned about massage for specific conditions and knew that cancer was contraindicated in some cases; however, Sandy was terminal. There was nothing I or anyone could do except try to make her feel better.
I worked mostly on her hands and arms, but then we both got more comfortable and I was able to do work on each side of her neck and shoulders with her laying on her side. She wanted her feet worked on, so I asked the doctor for permission to work on her soles. When I got the green light, I worked gently on her feet; she was so relaxed and calm. She was very grateful both for the human contact and for the few minutes of escaping the hell of knowing the end was near. To experience a few minutes of joy, sensation and relaxation from the anxious thoughts was my gift to her. What I didn't expect was the gift I received in return: A feeling of tremendous healing and meaning to know that what I was doing, as little as that was, was being transformed to someone so ill and so happy in that moment. The feeling was indescrible.
This feeling inside me was one of fullness, though bittersweet, in its intensity and sadness, yet combined with awe at what doctors who help cure must feel many times throughout their careers. It brought me out of my head with my own problems. Sandy was even concerned about how long I had worked on her feet; she asked if my hands had grown tired. But I didn't even feel the slightest fatigue. The muscles I had built up in massage school made me feel guilty looking at her thin bones through her skin. I made up my mind in those few hours to visit at least once a week to give her a massage while she is able to receive it.
Sandy passed away on October 27, 2003, two months after entering the hospice. My massages were the highlight of her days, and she looked forward to my evening visits after work one or two times a week. We grew closer during those two months as friends and shared a special connection during the massage experience. I am comforted to know that I helped give her some enjoyment in her remaining days on earth. What she taught me I will always carry in my heart.
My heart is full now. I have both assisted and been taught by the dying; it has given meaning to me, and for that lesson I am grateful. Thank you Sandy. I love you and miss you.
Judith Kohn lives in Westchester County, outside of New York City. She is a full-time human resources director and part-time licensed massage therapist. Judith also holds a master's degree in counseling and bachelor's in psychology. She went to massage therapy school after to embrace wellness and do something holistic and different from office work. She believes massage helps to bring meaning and purpose to her life as she brings healing to others; it also helps keep her grounded and centered.
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