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The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
More Than Just a Pretty Face
By Rita Woods, LMT
As many of you know by now, I teach a two-day certification class covering a rejuvenating facelift massage technique. I admit that anti-aging and "facelift massage" work is not an area in which I ever thought I would be working.Like many of you out there, I used to think it was a bunch of fluff with no guts. However, I also know that nothing comes to us by accident, so I was well-aware that my life would be changing when I bought the business. My journey into this field has, quite frankly, surprised me in that it has reconnected me with my roots in stress management.
We are all aware of the relaxation response our clients can experience during a massage. This is not a new concept. It was taught to us early in our careers and then reinforced through experience. We also learned that the mental and emotional state of the therapist directly impacts the client and the ultimate outcome of the session. Depending on your massage textbook and instructors in massage school, you may have been introduced to something called entrainment. Entrainment, used in this instance, describes the synchronization between the therapist and the client. As you know, being "in sync" usually produces better results. We also can refer to this as being "on the same wavelength" because from an electromagnetic perspective, you are. This happens between people, with our animals and even between various organ systems within our own body.
Thanks to research, we now know that 15 minutes of compassionate touch can positively affect the physiology of the body for several hours. We also have learned that positive emotions, such as gratitude, have a positive affect on our physiology. This type of research continues at a rapid pace, and new methods of collecting and quantifying the data are being developed and perfected. Tools to measure these shifts and changes within the individual are vital to our profession. They provide the proof needed by the medical community to accept the technique as having true value. We need that acceptance in order to move viable complementary medicine into its rightful place in mainstream health care.
Now that you have a little background, I want to share with you what I first experienced at a spa show in New York City last fall. I went there to volunteer my time and services at the "Sanctuary." You'll find it at massage and some spa trade shows. You get a 10-15 minute session for around $10. All of that money is donated to touch research. (For more information about the Sanctuary, see "For the Good of the Profession" in this issue.) The Sanctuary was the brain child of Angie Patrick, who, after giving birth to a special-needs baby, saw firsthand how important healing touch was in her daughter's early months. If no research had been done, we would not have known to offer compassionate touch to this baby.
During my 15-minute facelift massage mini-sessions, I noticed clients were drifting into a deeply relaxed state in a short period of time. It soon became apparent that whatever I was doing - acupressure points, small deliberate strokes, specific muscle work, who knows what else - was eliciting a dramatic relaxation response from the client. It probably helps that the client doesn't talk while you're working on the face! My interest was piqued. What was happening? Was it possible to get a relaxation response similar to a full-body massage just from working on the face? Anecdotal feedback from the clients supported this theory, so I had some of my own research to do.
I have used specific mind/heart techniques to entrain my heart and brain centers to act as one coherent unit for a couple of years. Part of this work includes using equipment that gauges changes in the autonomic nervous system. It basically tells you when you have everything in sync. When you do, some very important things happen. First, your immune system gets a boost with an increase of IgA antibodies; then your aging process slows with an increase in DHEA production. There are lots of other positive effects, but you get the idea. I hooked my research clients up to the equipment before and after their facelift massage session. There it was - a dramatic increase in coherent synchronization within their body. I realized the work I was doing on the face had much farther-reaching implications than just making the face look better.
Our face usually is the first thing we look at in the mirror, and the image we have of ourselves is based partly on what we see in the mirror. By the same token, the image we leave with others is based partly on what they see. I know it sounds vain, but it's true. When you look good, you feel good. And when you're deeply relaxed and become internally synchronized, you literally change more than 1,200 chemicals in the body that support healthy function, repair and youth.
There are a lot of benefits of a good facelift massage. Some important benefits are:
I guess what I'm really trying to say is this: Sometimes our direction in life changes. To make the most of it, we need to be open-minded. As always, remember there is more to the story than we see at first glance. Next month, we'll talk in more detail about facial massage. So, in the meantime, get out there and get involved in some research! And if you are in Florida for the FSMTA Convention in July, come by the Sanctuary, make a donation and let me work on your face!
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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