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Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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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