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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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
Massage Therapy Offers Rest and Respite
By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS
A while ago, on a single day, I worked with several clients who were in cancer treatment, or recently completed treatment. As I updated their health histories, each client told me stories of loss, strength, terror, uncertainty, and exhaustion.There was a relentless quality to what they described. As I moved my hands across them, and as I was still and held each one quietly, two words kept coming into my head: rest and warrior.
These words continued to echo as I worked. On that day, I came to understand, more deeply than ever, the role of massage in helping people truly let down. Skilled touch says: Let down the fight, drop the battle dress, and give up the endless drive. Let down appearances. Stop, now, and catch your breath. Rest.
In Swedish massage, the simple removal of clothing, designed for smoother strokes and more meaningful engagement of the muscles and skin, is a gesture of letting go, in and of itself. I know when I have received massage, removing my own clothing means that for an hour I give up clothing figuratively as well as literally. This gesture has great significance: I also stop trying to hold everything together, to appear intact, or to act as though I'm on my way somewhere else. For a brief, nourishing time, I do not plan, or scheme, or fight; I simply rest. I let someone else care for me; I let myself fall, be caught, and be carried. Through this act of trust, I am recharged. Rest, warrior.
While the warrior image seems accurate, it is not the whole picture. I know many people who claim that cancer is much more than a fight; that in reality, the fight is the simplest part, and sometimes the least of it. Instead, as a colleague pointed out, cancer can be even harder to ignore, abide, and transcend than it is to fight. My clients tell me that they don't just fight cancer: they endure, yield, pray, grieve and persevere. Cancer requires people to spend time in confusion, terror, and mystery.
And during illness, an added burden can come from others' expectations that the fight will be heroic. Moreover, there is pressure to feel cancer as a gift, to emerge from the experience with a prize, and that one has failed at it if he or she has no greater meaning to show for their experience.
As a massage therapist, my own response to these pressures is uncomplicated: to welcome my clients, regardless of their experiences. Some people tell me that the gifts that came to them along their cancer journey were immeasurable, that blessings came to them in strange disguises and new depths of experience, and that they feel gratitude. I believe and honor their stories without question. Others say that they find no gift and no gratitude, only pain, and that the pressure to be optimistic, cheerful, and blessed can be an enormous load, adding pain to what they already face. I believe and honor their stories, too, without question. Rest, warrior.
It is my job to be present to each client, and each client's story. It is my job to respect the range of human experience. With my hands on people, I have learned much about the various ways we humans go through life. There is no one way. We live differently, and get sick and well differently. We cope with medical treatment differently, and manage pain and suffering differently. We die differently. And when we seek massage therapy, giving ourselves over to someone's full attention, one of the most healing things we can receive is respect for our uniqueness: the uniqueness of each path, each burden, each loss, and each choice. It's been said before, but it's worth repeating: Being welcomed, right where we are, is healing.
And no matter what our differences are, we all need our rest. The care of massage therapy, offered without judgment or expectation, can offer some of the deepest rest of all. Rest, warrior; rest.
Click here for more information about Tracy Walton, LMT, MS.
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