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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
August, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 08
How the CranioSacral Therapy Paradigm Applies to Other Modalities … and Life
By Roy Desjarlais, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's note: Dr. John Upledger has asked Roy Desjarlais, LMT, CST-D, to share his insights in this month's column.
I took my first CranioSacral Therapy (CST) seminar in 1997, as a disillusioned art director.I lit up with a profound knowledge that there was an exciting world for me to explore through this human experience of CST. I began understanding the mechanics of CST; that is, feeling the craniosacral rhythm, sensing fascial restriction patterns, learning to differentiate suture from membrane structures and more. However, I soon realized that CST is more than just mechanics and its greater understanding came at a much deeper level. Once I learned that this approach was symbolic and it represented a powerful way of addressing all modalities and life issues, my search for a fulfilling career was over.
The following concepts are at the core of CST. Over the years, I've heard many other therapists share how this paradigm translated to other modalities and areas of their lives as well.
It's difficult to do much of anything without an intention being involved. To me, intention is like a boat pulling a water skier, creating a smoother wake for easier travel. The more consciously I use my intention, the better the results. This translates in sessions, with my children and in all of my relationships. Each situation can have its own intention that frames the event to create a smoother wake. To quote my mentor, Dr. Upledger, "The shortest distance between two points is an intention." When you consciously use intention, you make a choice to switch off autopilot and be present with what is happening around you.
Sometimes the most you can do for a person is to simply be present. Words and actions often aren't even necessary. Being present is a practice much like meditation or yoga - some days are easier than others. You enjoy the easy times and persevere during the challenging times, relying on your intention to get you through. With repetition, you can become more comfortable being present in varied situations.
As I've seen throughout my life, presence can be used in degrees as well. You can be too present for someone's process. Have you ever experienced people so intense that you felt uncomfortable talking with them? Have you ever had someone make too much eye contact? Just like heavy hand pressure can be uncomfortable for a client, so can too much presence. They might not be ready for or want that much attention with their process.
By starting with a lighter touch, the person you're addressing is more likely to respond in a positive way. The possibility of eliciting a guarding response diminishes to near zero. If you apply aggressive pressure to tissue or situations, you're likely to learn how well people protect themselves. As a therapist, this is counterproductive since your overall intent is to help people let down, open up, rebalance and heal.
Presence is a useful skill if you inadvertently use too much pressure because you quickly can become aware if there's a negative or resisting response and make adjustments accordingly. Many people are reluctant to speak up for fear of offending you. Being present allows you to make a change with your pressure and intent. The result often is a client who feels more appreciative and trusting since you were paying attention without needing to be told.
Blending or melding is a form of connecting that helps you tune in on many levels. It requires presence, intention and attention to sensory input. Therapeutically, I blend with my clients in general. I also blend with their desire to rebalance their inner wisdom, their structural and energetic restriction patterns and their emotions - all with the intention of facilitating their process to a healthier state. In a non-therapeutic setting, blending helps us understand situations, dynamics, dangerous settings, traffic issues, relationship challenges and more. We all blend to some degree on a daily basis. How consciously we do it is an individual choice.
Just sit in a busy mall and observe people sometime. What can you pick up from blending with them at a distance? Are they happy, distracted, frustrated or content? What about their health? Are they struggling with part of their body? Do they have pain and if so, how intense? All these answers can come from blending through intention and trusting the feedback you receive. Now imagine how much more information you could get by blending hands-on in a session.
Integrating Grounding, Boundaries and Neutrality
Grounding: There are many philosophies about how to be grounded - whatever works for you is great. For me, being grounded means being present without a non-therapeutic agenda. Am I thinking about a disagreement I had earlier before the session? Or, am I willing to let my personal stuff go so I can be fully present and fulfill my role as the therapist?
Boundaries: Standard definitions talk about lines of demarcation. My personal take brings it back to intention. Am I in the most therapeutic space to facilitate someone's process?
Neutrality: Another great intention for grounding is to be neutral. I define this as being nonjudgmental, nonreactionary, present and compassionate. In this framework, the antithesis of neutral is being analytical, enmeshed, "taking on," "feeling bad for," or any other emotional reaction.
Being neutral as a therapist, friend, parent or significant other allows the person you're blending with to have a clear space to communicate and just be. There's no agenda other than supporting how they wish to proceed. There's a popular concept in therapeutic circles about holding the space for clients. In my 20 years as a therapist and instructor, I have found that being neutral with intention is one of the most powerful ways of "doing" that I've ever experienced.
The Bottom Line
CranioSacral Therapy can be a subtle art. That's why it's vital to align with your inner self as much as your hands. If this resonates with you, try working with these concepts. Commit to practicing them for awhile and monitor your thoughts as you observe the results. Your clients and everyone else in your life will love the results.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Roy Desjarlais is vice president of clinical services for The Upledger Institute and a certified CranioSacral Therapy instructor and staff clinician since 1994. He manages all aspects of operations for The Upledger Clinic.
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