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The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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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