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Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
Releasing Emotions Trapped in the Tissues
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
It's well-known in the world of CranioSacral Therapy that emotions trapped in body tissues can lead to pain and other ailments. I discovered this several decades ago when I was a professor and clinical researcher at Michigan State University (MSU), yet the concept is far older still.For centuries, people of Asia, the Middle East, the Baltic regions and numerous island nations have recognized the symptoms of trapped emotions and have practiced various forms of release.
In this day and age, it's more critical than ever for hands-on practitioners to understand the options for releasing trapped emotions. Emotions have a powerful effect on our psyches, as well as our bodies. Positive emotions generate a sense of lightness and ease of movement. They can manifest as a desire to run, sing, smile and even dance. Negative emotions also generate body responses. They cause our shoulders to slump, our muscles to contract and our blood pressure to rise.
The negative emotions that become lodged in the tissues are the culprit in many cases of emotion-generated ailments. Emotions are designed to move through the body. When someone tells you a joke, your natural tendency is to laugh. The feeling it generates eventually moves through your body and out via the diaphragm and vocal chords. In the same way, if you stub your toe, you might experience a flash of anger and then curse or pound your fists into a pillow. These are all natural responses that allow emotions to effectively move through and then out of your body.
It gets fascinating when you look at the differences between the life cycles of positive emotions versus their negative counterparts. Emotions such as joy, humor and empowerment move freely through our bodies. We enjoy, even encourage their presence, so they can travel unimpeded through our bodies and efficiently complete their life cycle.
Negative emotions aren't as welcome as positive emotions. When we experience sadness, anger, resentment, loneliness or sorrow, we feel it deeply. And because it hurts, we sometimes suppress those parts of ourselves to keep the pain from intensifying or spreading. Imbalances often occur when we resist an emotion and its natural path through the body. Resistance can cause an emotion to lock into body tissue, eventually leading to physical ailments.
Locating Trapped Emotions
As therapists who work hands-on with clients, we regularly see cases in which traditional medicine has been ineffective in providing relief from common impairments. Trapped emotions often are the underlying cause. We can locate the emotions when we encounter areas of the body so tight that the energy flow, fluid flow and craniosacral motion are all restricted.
These restricted flow patterns indicate an imbalance that the body needs help dealing with. Often, simply placing your hands there begins a natural process that releases the emotion. Other CranioSacral techniques also can cause the emotion to regain movement along its natural trajectory out of the body.
Intellectually, we also might be curious to learn which emotion has created the disharmony. There certainly are times when an emotion will manifest or even declare itself. But what we are seeking is the release of the held emotion, not its identity. We are not psychoanalysts; we are body-based therapists. Our goal is to assist the body in its own natural self-corrective capabilities so it can regain its full health and function.
There are a variety of ways to release trapped emotions: acupuncture, journaling, talk therapy or even exercise. But the most reliable method I know of is SomatoEmotional Release (SER), an approach I developed along with biophysicist Zvi Karni at MSU. SER was designed specifically to release trapped emotions and allow the physical ailments that often accompany them to resolve naturally. The powerful results often include improved body functioning, loss of pain, greater mobility and more enjoyment of life.
Understanding the Full Range of Responses
The release of painful or hurtful emotions can cause clients to react in many different ways. They might burst into tears, curl into a fetal position, curse, shake, laugh uncontrollably or even strike the massage table.
When you're well-versed in SER, you'll understand that these outbursts are merely components of an emotional release. You'll also learn ways to guide your clients through releases without their needing to have these reactions. After all, the purpose of an emotional release is not to get your clients in touch with their feelings. Rather, it's to guide them to a natural state that allows the emotions trapped within them to dissipate on their own.
Frequently, releasing emotions also provides the client with important bursts of insight. You might never learn what the emotions were, but your clients may gain a profound understanding of their affliction, what caused it, and what it means to them personally. This can be invaluable information that serves them well as they continue to progress through their lives.
While releasing emotions is a highly rewarding aspect of hands-on therapy, it's not recommended for beginning therapists or for those who prefer to suspend their own thought processes while working on clients. However, if you are a therapist who wants to grow and gain a better understanding of stubborn afflictions, I highly encourage you to learn more about SomatoEmotional Release.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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