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Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
July, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 07
Dialoging With the Nonconscious Mind
By Ken Piercy, MTI, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Recently, I conducted a CranioSacral session that took an unusual turn. "Serena" (name changed to protect privacy), a woman about 50 years old, was in for the second time. As she got on my table and began to relax, she became quiet and still.I was instantly drawn to the left side of her abdomen, where I placed my hands. I sank in a little deeper, focusing on the energy cyst I was feeling. An energy cyst is a highly compressed ball of disorganized energy that originally entered the body in the course of an injury or trauma. Essentially, it's the "energetic imprint" of trauma, and it can contain emotional as well as physical energy.
Within minutes, Serena spontaneously began telling me that she could see a little girl, but she could only see her head. She said the girl was in a yellow light, and that her hair was matted and unkempt. The little girl also had no eyes.
My training taught me that it's essential to get permission from the client's Inner Physician before proceeding. This ensures that it's always the client who sets the agenda. It's not up to the therapist to decide to go into a client issue. It's up to the client, and that includes her conscious and nonconscious mind.
After getting the green light from Serena's Inner Physician, I moved gently into using therapeutic imagery and dialogue. I asked Serena what the little girl was doing. She told me the girl didn't have any spark, that her brother had taken it away. Suddenly, Serena said, "He shouldn't do that to me, a 6-year-old girl."
After 10 years of practicing CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, I've come to learn that a shift like this - from third person to first - is usually significant. So I asked Serena, "Do what?" She said, "He was behind me. He snuck up and squashed me." She went on to describe the scene in the woods, the pain, the violation of trust. Then she said her brother told her, "If you tell mom, I'll kill you."
The Ego Takes a Back Seat
This was obviously a traumatic experience for a little girl. I could feel the tension build in Serena's body. With my saying nothing more than "Tell me about it," she was able to discuss the scene in enough detail to gain some clarity around it. As she did, I could feel her tension begin to dissipate.
That's when I asked Serena what she wanted to do with this experience. It was her experience, after all; it wasn't my place to tell her what to do. Surprisingly she said, "Don't go to the forest. You'll leave me there!" Of course I hadn't mentioned the forest, and my own ego immediately began thinking that I would never leave her there anyway. But this session belonged to Serena, not to me. It was no place to defend what I thought I would do.
Indeed, the therapist's ego has no place in the treatment room. Whether I understood what was going on for Serena or not is irrelevant; I was just looking for signs in the tissue that my client was in some way releasing the energy of emotion that's embedded there. The therapist must adapt to the client's pace, never the other way around.
So instead I simply asked, "Is there a place that's safe for you to take this?" Serena thought for a moment, then said, "There's a place for the pain in the ocean. Look! There are ocean people." I'm not sure who the ocean people were or what they looked like, but it wasn't important at the time. She brought them up and they could take the pain. That was good enough for me.
Feeling the shift in her body, I asked Serena what she was experiencing. She said, "One of them took the pain and put it inside of him. Then they all went back into the ocean with the pain and now they're fine."
After sensing the relaxation come into Serena's body, I inquired, "So, where are we now?" She talked about a young girl who went to a gorgeous garden and was happy to stay there. She didn't want to leave, so I suggested that we could come visit whenever we want.
The Conscious Mind Returns
Throughout all this, I had spent the entire session on the left side of Serena's abdomen, never moving. It felt like the right thing to do. After a few minutes of allowing the peaceful feeling to permeate, I felt Serena move her arm. She said, "Wow, I must have drifted off." I was surprised by her comment, but it indicated to me that her nonconscious mind had not connected fully with her conscious mind.
A few weeks later, Serena came in for another session. She told me that after the previous session, she had woken up in the middle of the night and suddenly remembered it all quite clearly. She shared her surprise that she had spent years in "talk therapy" about that very issue, and yet it still came up through her body. Note: Even when something may seem unresolved from a session, it's important to remember that the therapeutic process continues long after the client leaves your table.
I was grateful to Serena's Inner Physician for allowing the imagery and dialogue to play out at her speed and her understanding. And I was happy to have learned from Dr. John Upledger and Stan Gerome, LMT, who both facilitated my understanding of using therapeutic imagery and dialogue in a CranioSacral session. To learn more about SomatoEmotional Release (SER), read Dr. John Upledger's article "Releasing Emotions Trapped in the Tissues" (June 2008 issue).
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Ken Piercy, MTI, CST-D is a diplomate-certified CranioSacral therapist with a thriving private practice in Dallas. To learn more visit www.kenpiercy.com.
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