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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
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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