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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
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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