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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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
How a Child's Drawing May Enhance Hands-on Comprehension
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Can a simple picture of a person, a house and a tree help you become a better CranioSacral Therapist for kids? Amy Lewis, LMT, CST, is exploring that concept by using an exercise drawn from the fields of psychology and Waldorf education to gain a better understanding of where her youngest clients may be physically restricted.
Amy frequently works with children who are struggling with a spectrum of conditions, from anxiety and ADHD to school transitions and developmental delays."The cranial work helps them let go of whatever they're holding on to from the inside so they can become calm, focused and grounded," she says. Before she ever puts her hands on a child, she gives them a set of crayons and asks them to draw a picture of a person, a house and a tree.
"I want to get an imaginative imprint of the child's relationship with his body and the space around him," Amy explains. "I start by having him do a clapping exercise that elevates the heart rate just a bit. After the clapping, even if the child is usually good at drawing, you'll get a great snapshot of what the non-conscious mind wants to bring forth about where he's stuck in his body."
Adding to the Therapeutic Picture
According to Amy, everything in the drawing, from the colors to the shapes, has meaning. "The tree trunk and limbs can represent the nervous system, the lungs or breathing. The foliage is the life force and how the child is bringing that in.
"And the person tells me where he's physically blocked. If there's no neck, he may be in compression. If one arm is shorter, longer or smaller, it may not be innervated or something there may be blocked. If there are no arms, hands or feet at all, that tells me something, too. And the house indicates the relationship between the child and his environment."
Amy first learned about the person-house-tree exercise from the Waldorf schools her two daughters attended in Hawaii and California. Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf education relies on a deep understanding of human development to better address the needs of children as they grow. Out of this educational model grew a concept called "The Extra Lesson," which is designed to aid children who may have physical blocks that are compromising their ability to learn.
"In this Waldorf environment, teachers use the person-house-tree drawing to see where the child is developmentally," Amy says. "To me it's a tool, an indicator that's just like tapping into the cranial rhythm. The picture gives me information that comes from the child's non-conscious mind, where the truth resides."
A Young Boy Gets Stuck in His Head
Recently, Amy has been working with a 5-year-old boy. "He colored his whole picture in green," she says. "That tells me he's probably too intellectual, especially at age 5. He drew his body floating in the air like a cloud. His tree wasn't in the ground and its limbs were chaotic, giving me an indication of what might be going on in his nervous system. His house had no door, no windows, and a roof with four dots in it but no chimney."
Amy combined all these indicators with what she was picking up from his cranial rhythm, and she went to work. "After a few sessions, I asked his parents for a new picture so I could get the child's impression of where he was going with all this. In the new drawing he has one foot touching the ground, but his hair is barely attached. In our sessions now, he doesn't want me to touch his head.
"His tree, his nervous system, looks better. And he has a window in his house now, but still no door. The door shows me how he's bringing in and filtering information from his surroundings. So this is telling me he still feels like he has no filter. But he did draw grass, a sky and a rainbow across the top. That tells he's getting some symmetry above and below, and he's bringing in more life force."
A Teenage Girl Finds Balance
Another one of Amy's clients, a 15-year-old girl, drew herself on a swing in her picture. "In real life she was having trouble standing up," Amy says. "Her parents brought her to see me because she was always bumping into things. It was all on her left side.
"It turns out that when she was in utero, the doctor did amniocentesis and she kicked the needle with her foot. She still has tiny white lines on her left foot from the needle. It affected her L4 and L5, and there's a break in her vortex. But she's been working through it. Her balance is starting to come back in."
Amy says she likes to begin a series of six CranioSacral Therapy sessions with the person-house-tree drawing. "It's a nice way to start the therapeutic connection as soon as a child comes into my office."
As an assessment tool, "It's just an indication, an additional source of information," she adds. "I always tell parents, 'It's not set in stone. It's information based on this particular school of thought.'" Yet it's one tool Amy continues to learn from as her CranioSacral skills evolve.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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