resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
February, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 02
It's Music to My Hands
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
"I feel like I was born to do this work." I can't tell you how many craniosacral therapists have told me that over the years. It's as if every experience in their lives led them to that moment when they lightened their touch, melded with another human being, and heard the subtle rhythm of the craniosacral system with their own hands.
Personally, I feel like I was preparing to do this work from the time I was 4 years old. I can remember one specific event in December of 1931. My parents were throwing a holiday party and in walked this guy holding an accordion. The more he played, the more fascinated I became. For days afterward I kept telling my dad, "I want to get a 'stomach squeezer' like that." I didn't know what the instrument was called, but I sure knew that I liked it.
My dad, who was a very good guy, said, "Johnny, I can't afford an accordion right now. But we'll work on it." True to his word, he did a little research and found out that Wurlitzer was a good name for instruments. So one day he took me to the Wurlitzer store in downtown Detroit. They said they would give me accordion lessons, but I had to be at least 5 years old. Well, my birthday was coming up on February 10, 1932. So I had to wait rather impatiently. But sure enough, when the big day came, my dad gave me an accordion he had rented for three months. He started taking me for lessons every week.
The first couple times I went, I played the way the teacher told me to. Then I realized that I didn't like the way it sounded, so I started changing the music. The teacher didn't like that. She would whack me on my fingers with a pencil and say, "Do it the way I told you to." And I'd reply, "But I like it like this." Finally she complained to my father. And my father said to me, "I'll tell you what, Johnny. Downstairs in the basement they sell popular music - three sheets for a dollar. Every time you come down from your music lesson with a gold star, we'll get you three sheets of songs that you like."
At 5 years old, that was about the most exciting news I'd ever heard. And you know what we would do? We would sit by the radio together at night and listen for what was popular at the time. Then we would get that sheet music and I'd pick up my accordion and learn how to play it. Eventually, I became good enough that my dad started taking me to parties and other places to entertain. I'd take my accordion and play for sometimes 100 people at a time. The first time we did it, Dad put a little cup beside me. At the end of the night there was about $40 in there. And I thought, "Wow, here I am just a kid, and already I'm a businessman!"
From then on, until my dad died shortly after my 14th birthday, he took me to entertain at least a few times a year. He knew I loved it. But even more than that, I loved the way he believed in me.
As I look back, I can see how tuning into the melody and vibration of music with my hands as a child was preparing me to intuitively sense the therapeutic effects of the craniosacral rhythm years later. Thanks to my dad's love and support, I also inherited a strong sense of self, which served me well when I was developing CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release (SER) at Michigan State University. There was no real roadmap for this work, especially with SER. My undergrad degree is in psychology and I had always been fascinated with the body/mind complex. But when it came right down to it, when there was emotion trapped in the tissues, I could just hear it with my hands.
Now I tell therapists it's as simple as this: Lighten your touch, listen with an intention to serve, and trust what you feel. If you can do that, then you've got what it takes to be a good craniosacral therapist. Chances are, you've had it all along.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.