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Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Creating Sacred Moments Through Compassionate Touch
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
"When we touch another with a compassionate heart, it creates a sacred moment." These are the words that filled my awareness several years ago as I was leaving the care facility after having had a particularly poignant Compassionate Touch session with an elder gentleman suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease. I noticed that in that moment, my heart was wide open and I felt deeply moved and changed in some profound way. The truth embedded in those words has been with me ever since. They guide my way, teaching me about what it really means to touch those we serve. Here is what I've learned so far.
The Nature of Compassion
Compassion is not something we learn how to do, nor is it something we call forth when we think we should. It flows naturally from our humanness and is something we all share. We each may define compassion using different words or phrases: love, empathy, being open to the suffering of others. Although the definitions vary, I believe the experience of compassion is universal. For me, it's when my own healing presence emerges and my heart cracks wide open. I especially like the words of Judith Lief: "Cultivating compassion does not mean injecting some new, improved element into ourselves so we can work more effectively. Instead, we simply uncover the compassion that is already there."1
Helping Is Different Than Serving
I've asked many people, "Why did you become a massage therapist?" Many answer with, "Because I want to help people." Perhaps what is really calling us to this profession is a desire to serve. There is a core difference between helping and serving the elders we touch. Helping implies inequality. When we help, we are doing something to or for the person which places us in a position of power over them. We subtly convey that they are needier than we are, helping perpetuate "separateness" in our relationships. Helping is about doing, and we may cling to or hide behind our techniques or our roles, which actually distances us from the one we think we are helping. I've noticed that when I approach someone with an attitude of helping, the intention and energy flows only one way - from me to the one I am helping. Helping can leave me feeling depleted and burned out.
To serve is to become a part of the experience of the person we are serving. It is a relationship of equality and a dynamic interaction that flows both ways. When we serve, we give and receive. The benefits are mutual and our hearts and souls are expanded in the process. Serving is not about doing; it's about being. It's about being authentic and allowing our innate healing presence to shine forth. In service, we offer our support in whatever way is called for in the moment, allowing our client to receive whatever is needed at the time for healing and well-being. To serve is an opportunity to explore the meaning of the self and what it means to be human. Rachel Naomi Remen reminds us that: "We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected to that which we are willing to touch."2
Relating to the Individual
For more than 25 years, I have worked with elders who require care because of the debilitating effects of aging or illness. Caregiving is certainly complex and there are many things that must be done. Personal care needs, mobility assistance, medical treatment, social activities and safety are all important. However, I've seen that so much emphasis is placed on what must be done that the caregivers often relate more to the condition rather than the individual inside that aging body.
The individual is the core essence of each person. It never changes, regardless of age or the condition of the body or mind. When my attention is focused on the individual, my hands naturally follow to touch with compassion. I've witnessed hundreds of times what happens when I, the caregiver, stop doing to simply be present and touch the individual. In these moments, I truly serve and a space for healing opens. Not healing in terms of a cure, but a sense of wholeness, acceptance and well-being. These are the sacred moments when pain and suffering are eased and we are both uplifted.
A Sacred Moment
For two years, I provided Compassionate Touchsessions for a gentleman I'll call Mr. Edwards. He resided in a skilled nursing facility and his condition included dementia and the residual effects of a stroke, which left him unable to walk. The facility's staff struggled with him because he would become combative when he felt overwhelmed or confused. He only left his room for meals, refusing to attend other activities. He asked to have massage because of back pain, but it became clear during our first visit that he yearned to be touched and to be accepted. He told me about how his mother would soothe him as a child by rubbing his back.
During our sessions, he loved to tell me about his career as the president of a large loan company, while I massaged his back or feet. He often would fall into a peaceful sleep. Although, his physical and mental condition gradually diminished, he consistently seemed to find comfort from massage. One day the facility was having a party. After giving Mr. Edwards his massage, I was preparing to leave when he sat up as straight as he could in his wheelchair, held out his hand and said to me, "May I have the honor of your company at the party?" That was a sacred moment I will never forget. And, by the way, yes, I went to the party and we had a lovely time!
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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