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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.
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.
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 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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Providing a Musical Sanctuary
By George Skaroulis
As a regular recipient of massage and reflexology, and a professional musician, I have the distinct pleasure of combining all of my passions in life. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to share my music with massage therapists, doctors, chiropractors, counselors, teachers and healers all over the world.
Four years ago, I attended my first Florida State Massage Therapy Association convention. I absolutely loved meeting each individual therapist. The sharing and exchanging of such great energy and goodwill was a constant reminder I was exactly where I was meant to be.
My only disappointment was there seemed to be no place for therapists to escape the exhibit hall noise and peacefully enjoy any type of treatment themselves. My creative wheels started turning and by the end of the convention, a concept began to take shape. After collaborating with Angie Patrick of Massage Warehouse, we came up with what is now known as the Sanctuary. It's a comfortable haven in the midst of a busy convention hall: cushy headphones, beautiful music and various treatments including reflexology.
Appropriately, my CD titled "Sanctuary" would be the theme music participants would hear during their sessions. Taking it a step further, Angie turned the idea into a fundraiser for both the Touch Research Institute in Florida and the Massage Therapy Foundation. The Sanctuary first premiered at the AMTA convention in Atlanta in 2006, and its next stop will be in Phoenix for this month's AMTA convention (Sept. 17-20).
Since its inception - and lots of work by Angie, her staff and countless volunteers - this idea has evolved into a benefit and raised thousands of dollars for massage therapy research.
The Sanctuary has been a perfect example of seeing how people respond positively to the combination of touch therapy and music. I encourage you to do your best to create a "sanctuary of sound" in your own workspace: a space without traffic noise, cell phones or barking dogs (more on barking dogs later). I also don't think it's a bad idea to give your clients the option of a quiet session without conversation. I know I personally prefer a session with limited conversation, so do your best to help "tune out" life's background noises with the magic of music. You can concentrate best without external noise distractions, and your client will likely enjoy the peaceful session more.
For those of you, who do any type of chair or on-site massage in noisy office or convention spaces, bring along some quality headphones, a portable CD player or an iPod to offer music for your clients. No client wants to hear outside noise, regardless of whether their session is 10 minutes or two hours. Avoid flat headphones that allow noise to creep in, or any headphones that require insertion into the ear. My preference is for the headphones to fit around the entire ear. They often are made with leather or "pleather" (rubber or plastic that looks like leather). The leather-like covers help secure the headphones and help to block out noise. We use Sennheiser headphones at the Sanctuary; they sound great and are easy to clean. (Sanitary wipes are perfect for cleanings between clients.)
While we are on the subject of music, I know updating your music library might not be at the top of your priority list. However, we all are being forced to think more creatively in ways to both save and earn money.
By offering quality, relaxing and uplifting music to your clients, you are allowing them the opportunity to extend the experience of your session at home, so they can continue to reap the benefits of their sessions with you. By continually adding fresh new music to your library, you can then sell CDs on the spot to your clients, rewarding yourself with the additional income from the sale. In addition, having a few CDs on hand allows you an affordable gift for your very loyal clients on their birthdays or during the holidays.
Adding quality music to your life has several health benefits that extend to your family, friends and even your pets. I have had several listeners tell me that before leaving for work, they turn on my music to keep their pets calm during the day. At first, I thought this was a little over the top, but apparently not. Earlier this year, I received a call from Mailey McLaughlin, MEd, the Atlanta Humane Society's Training and Behavior Coordinator. She was calling to ask permission to use my music in an effort to calm the animals waiting for adoption. Of course, the next day I sent them my entire music library.
McLaughlin began playing the music daily throughout the kennels. I had to admit, I was very curious to see how the animals would respond to their new "soundtrack." After a few weeks, McLaughlin called to let me know I am now "The Official Music of the Atlanta Humane Society." Just like the rest of us, animals can benefit from the healing sounds of soothing music.
Start providing a musical sanctuary for your clients, and watch the positive atmosphere it creates in your practice. If you're attending the AMTA convention in Phoenix, stop by the Sanctuary for a treatment and show your support for the Massage Therapy Foundation.
George Skaroulis is an award winning pianist and composer known for his ethereal and soothing piano style. His peaceful music is used by therapists and spas around the globe. George has dedicated much of his time toward events that have raised thousands of dollars for massage therapy research, benefiting both the Touch Research Institute and the Massage Therapy Foundation. His latest CD, the George Skaorulis Essential Collection and his 16 CDs are available at www.GeorgeSkaroulis.com, iTunes and Amazon.
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