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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
The Therapeutic Value of Listening
By Sheryl McGavin, MBA, OTR/L, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
One of the most critical concepts we learn in CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is the importance of supporting the body's ability to self-correct. Dr. John Upledger teaches us about something he calls the "Inner Physician." This innate body intelligence knows precisely what it needs at any given moment to heal.But to follow the guidance from that intelligence and support the body's self-corrective mechanisms, we must first learn to listen.
Indeed, over many years of practicing and teaching CST, I have come to believe that listening is the single most important skill you can develop to improve your therapy skills, your ability to palpate subtle movements of the craniosacral system, and your ability to help more clients relieve their pain and dysfunction.
When I talk about listening in the therapeutic sense, however, I don't just mean with your ears. I also mean listening with your hands and all of your other senses. It's true that the common definition of listening focuses on the sense of hearing. But think about what happens when we apply that same concept to the sense of touch.
Consider the following definition of listen, taken from Dictionary.com. Then see what happens when you substitute phrases and ideas that show you how the same concept applies to your tactile senses.
Notice the common word in all three of these definitions? It's "attention." Teachers and professionals in a wide variety of areas (i.e. leadership, management, conflict-resolution, etc.) often describe techniques like "focusing attention on" or "attending to the speaker fully" to be able to absorb the information being shared. They also describe specific tactics to improve listening, such as waiting for the speaker to finish, and listening without thinking about other things, formulating your response, or judging what the speaker is saying.
When you listen effectively and give your full attention to the speaker, you're not talking. You're receiving information. And in this information you'll discover what you need to know to respond appropriately. It is in this listening phase of communication that you can truly learn about the other person.
In the same way, when you touch a client's body, it wants to share information with you about its structure, function and health. Use your hands, and abide by the same guidelines you follow when you're listening effectively with your ears. By giving the body your full attention without doing other things, judging the information or formulating a response, you're able to more effectively hear what the body is saying to you. Then you can follow the body's lead and fully support your client's self-corrective healing process.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Sheryl McGavin is a certified instructor, international speaker and examiner for The Upledger Institute. She runs a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where she integrates occupational therapy with CranioSacral Therapy for clients of all ages. You can reach her at
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