resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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