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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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