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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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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.
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 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.
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03
CranioSacral Therapy for a Multitude of Health Problems
By Nancy Westphal, LMT, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
It was an unseasonably warm day in October when my plane landed in Montana. I had just flown in from South Florida at the request of fellow craniosacral therapist Cindy Kafka. She had a patient whose injuries, she believed, were beyond her level of skill. A farming accident had left "Bill" (name changed to respect privacy) a quadriplegic; his neck, back and arms had been broken, possibly shattered. When paramedics first got to him, his body temperature was so low that they had to pour warm water onto his forearms (veins) just to keep him alive.
When I reached him he was rehabilitating in a nursing home with little hope of recovery. His sole goal with CranioSacral Therapy was simply to gain enough function to operate his computerized wheelchair. Yet it quickly became clear to us that any improvement would be welcome. So at the approval of the nursing home, I led a "multi-hands" CranioSacral Therapy intensive program. I worked with Bill alongside multiple therapists for 2 weeks: 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Kafka had arranged for several practitioners to join us; each one had basic craniosacral training and experience. My intention was not only to support Bill in his process, but also to help Cindy and her colleagues strengthen their skills and feel more confident in their ability to work with him on their own, after my departure.
Simple Techniques in Several Hands
At our initial evaluation, Bill's gray complexion indicated very poor circulation; his cranial vault had the sensation of being fused; and there was no palpable craniosacral rhythm. He had a serious infection in his toes. And he told us that for 6 months, doctors had been unable to control his raging bladder infection. He couldn't pass a normal bowel movement without pharmaceutical help. And as you would expect from dealing with a multitude of health problems, he was depressed.
As a therapeutic team, we blended together to support Bill in what would become a transformational journey. We listened deeply to his body, helped release restrictions in his craniosacral and fascial systems, encouraged the whole-body flow of fluid, and supported him in his process in whatever way he needed. Our job was to trust the work, trust our hands, and trust Bill's body to lead us through his unique healing sequence.
"Cranial pumping," a simple technique taught in entry-level CranioSacral Therapy, quickly proved invaluable. Essentially, the therapist tunes into the craniosacral rhythm while using gentle pressure to nudge the end range of flexion and extension. By day three, this technique had helped Bill's coloring change so dramatically that his night nurse, who had no idea what we were doing during the day, insisted on checking his temperature.
Bill's fluid circulation continued to improve every day. As he slowly gained more vitality, he became stronger, his outlook improved, and he began interacting more positively with everyone around him. On the fifth day of therapy, the infection in Bill's toes was gone, and he also reported that he had finally started relieving his bowel independently.
A New Level of Hope
Week two was full of even more encouraging change. Bill's nursing staff and fellow patients began giving him glowing compliments. His friends told him how great he looked, saying he seemed to be "back to his old self" again. Around town, people were even stopping us (his therapists) to mention how terrific Bill looked and how grateful they felt. This man was obviously loved.
Toward the end of his intensive-therapy program, Bill began to exhibit far more mobility, strength and control in one arm than we had expected. He wasn't able to write yet, but he wasn't far off. He also had finally stopped talking about how miserable he felt and started imagining his future again. For the first time in months, he was making plans for a new life.
I flew home deeply gratified to have been a part of such a profound healing and mentoring experience. In all the years I've been working in multi-hands intensive-therapy programs, I've never lost the significance of being blessed to witness the metamorphosis of another human being.
A week later Cindy told me she had checked on Bill. The bladder infection that had plagued him for 6 months was gone. As she left the room, he was sitting in his computerized wheelchair surrounded by friends...and laughing.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Nancy Westphal, LMT, CST-D is a diplomate-certified craniosacral therapist with two decades of experience. She is a clinician and mentor for therapists who want to improve their skills and help patients move past their plateaus. To contact Nancy or learn more visit her Web site at www.nancywestphal.com.
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