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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
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.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
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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