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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
October, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 10
The Iterative Process: A CranioSacral Approach to Health and the Human Body
By Eric Moya, MS/MFCT, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Have you ever had a client ask, "How many sessions will it take for my pain to go away?" or "Why am I feeling pain in this part of my body when the problem is somewhere else?" At some point, you probably have had your clients ask these questions.With these issues in mind, I'd like to illustrate a couple of important factors about health and the human body from a CranioSacral Therapy (CST) perspective.
To better understand CST, consider the seemingly simple process of tuning a guitar. Whenever you put on a new set of strings, you have to tune the guitar many times over days before the strings hold their tune. Why? Because when you tune one string up to pitch, it stretches out and goes flat, so you have to retune it. Eventually, the string will stretch out completely and be able to hold its pitch. But then, with tension on the strings, the guitar itself actually changes. The neck may be stiff, but when you load it with asymmetrical tension in the form of strings, it bows a bit and throws the strings out of tune. That means you need to go back and tune the whole thing all over again.
As you can tell, it's impossible to tune a guitar perfectly the first time around. Instead you have to retune it over and over again, continually moving closer to the end goal of having a perfectly tuned instrument. It's simply a process of making minute changes until you reach your desired solution. This kind of problem - one in which it's impossible to find the solution through direct or linear means - is called an "iterative" problem. Iterate means to repeat. It's also the root for the word reiterate, which also means to repeat. (Isn't it strange that we have two words that both mean "to repeat"?)
In mathematics, an iterative problem is one in which you can't arrive at the solution using linear means. Instead, you must continually adjust the data, getting closer and closer to the solution until it's finally revealed. Structural health is also an iterative problem. With our vast interconnections of anatomy from the perspective of muscles, bones, fascia, lymphatic system and more, it becomes increasingly difficult to look at the body as a collection of parts. It's actually an integrated ecosystem in which any minuscule change affects the entire system.
Looking at fascial anatomy alone, there are innumerable ways in which a pull on one part of the fascia can affect other parts of the body. Practically, this means your client can have right-shoulder pain while the source of the problem is far removed from the shoulder. Although it would be important to work the shoulder girdle in your session, if you don't locate the original source of the shoulder pain, it's bound to recur.
Initially, this situation becomes a defeating conundrum for many manual therapists. Trying to intellectually figure out such problems is a staggering task. Fortunately there's an easier way, and it comes from the lineage of Andrew Taylor Still (the "Father of Osteopathy"), William Garner Sutherland (the "Father of Cranial Osteopathy") and John E. Upledger (the "Father of CranioSacral Therapy"). Their philosophies deviated from the standard allopathic approach of looking at the body in terms of problem and solution. Instead, they each viewed the body as an interconnected web that is continually trying to heal itself.
In CranioSacral Therapy, we cultivate techniques based on following the body. Because the body is continually trying to self-correct, even hidden problems become accessible when you know how to follow the body's cues and let them show you where to work. In CST, we align ourselves with the body's attempt to heal itself naturally. This involves working the entire body using a range of techniques based on tissue, energy, emotion and cognition.
Back to iterative processes. Let's say a client comes to see me with right-shoulder pain. I don't need to know whether the shoulder pain is a result of one or two restrictions or a whole lifetime of accumulated tensions. As a CranioSacral therapist, my job is simple. I follow the tissues into their restrictions and help them release using whatever techniques are at my disposal. With each release, the whole ecosystem of the body adjusts slightly. And with each change we get closer to a pain-free shoulder until we finally reach the solution - just like tuning a guitar.
So whenever clients ask me how many sessions it will take to "fix" their problems, or if they wonder why I'm working on areas that don't seem to hurt, I help them appreciate how complex and interconnected their bodies are. Then I help them recognize the shifts that have already taken place.
Once they realize they're getting better, even in ways they didn't realize were connected with their problems, they usually become intrigued and excited about their process. And why not? Feeling better is a magnificent thing.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Eric Moya is a licensed mental health counselor, an Upledger-certified CranioSacral Therapy instructor and president/founder of The Ripple Effect: Center for Mind and Body Therapy in Albuquerque, N.M. Currently he is acting dean of integral education at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif.
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