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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
October, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 10
Everyday Facial Acupressure
By Rita Woods, LMT
Facial massage focuses on muscle properties, while facial acupressure addresses many levels, including toning muscles, energy balance and flow, specific point remedies, general wellness, skin tone and circulation. Many meridians and reflex zones run through the face so when you affect points on the face, you are affecting deeper layers of greater complexity. That's why I combine both points and muscles in all of my face work. Today, I'm sharing a simple acupressure face routine that you can seamlessly incorporate into your regular massage session. It has two parts. One is used to relax and one to tone. Together, they constitute a good basic session for overall wellness.This session is not intended to address specific health conditions even though you will be using specific points. Acupressure results may take five to 10 minutes to take effect. If you end with this session it's nice to save time for some last minute energy work or quiet time before the client jumps up and gets dressed. Sometimes you can just sit a few minutes, lightly touching the client. If you begin with this session, the client will experience the benefits while receiving the rest of their massage.
Your hands will always be your most valuable tools but there are a few utensils that you can use for detailed work. If you have big hands and fingers, you may not be able to reach all the points on the face. Precision on the face is important. Muscles are small and there are crooks and crannies you need to access. If your fingers can't do it, try these. A cocktail drink mixer. These are typically plastic but glass ones can be purchased. You have a larger end that is rounded and one end that is smaller, giving you great versatility. Stones that are is smooth and small enough at one end to get into detailed areas. These can all be cleaned and reused. You could also use a chop stick. This is longer and easier for some people to handle and control. Wooden ones cannot be properly cleaned, so you'll have to discard them after use. Just be sure to have smooth ends on all tools. It's best to first practice on yourself in front of a mirror. This way you can feel and adapt the pressure for each utensil. The face can be sensitive, so if you use a utensil, be sure to practice beforehand.
Acupressure techniques vary according to your desired result. For instance, if you are attempting to get rid of a headache, you might deeply massage a point for one to two minutes. For our purposes, it is suggested that you work the point for 12 to 15 back-and-forth sweeping movements or circular combinations, which should take a few seconds. Use the specific point as your intended center of work but include the local surrounding area as well. More details is noted for each point below. The pressure will vary according to its location on the face, so use enough pressure to activate the point but not so much as to cause pain. This will also vary according to the comfort level of the client. The point locations are from the book Facial Reflexology by Marie-France Muller, MD. I've simplified the numbering system for these specific examples (see Image) but more details are available in her book should you decide to pursue this in greater depth.
Disorders of the nervous system are the origins of all sickness and the cause of tiredness and tension. We begin the session by calming this system. The relaxing phase focuses mainly on the forehead and eyebrows. You probably won't need any tools other than your fingers. Your direction will be to work from top to bottom.
Point #1 calms the nervous system and soothes pain, (use horizontal movements of one-half to one inch in length).
Point #2 the arms and shoulders, relaxes the nervous system and combats insomnia (press along eyebrow medial to lateral).
Point # 3 calms the mind, reduces agitation and promotes mental balance (do not overstimulate this point as that could actually cause agitation). Don't stimulate this point if the client has low blood pressure.
Point #4 corresponds to the solar plexus and is an overall balance point. You will end each phase with point #4, as it also serves as a correction point. This point is located in the hollow in front of the ear and using a vertical movement is recommended. This point is always a good beginning and ending for all face work. It helps to regulate blood pressure and heartbeat. If you think you may have overstimulted an area, follow with this point to restore calm and balance. Working it with downward strokes will create peace, while working with upward stokes will tone and energize.
The toning phase allows for release of blocked energy and boosts energy stores. Liberating the energy will stimulate the life force, which will in turn revitalize the body and organs. Your direction for this phase is on the face is from the bottom toward the top. Working the points like you did in the beginning segment, continue stimulating the points with small sweeping movements.
The point marked as #5 works on the small intestines and Conception vessel. Stimulate this point vertically in a downward movement.
Point #6 increases energy and blood pressure (obviously, do not stimulate if the client has high blood pressure). It also brightens the mind. This point also increases uterine contractions, so don't use it on pregnant clients unless they are giving birth.
Point # 3 is used again as in the relaxing phase.
Point #7 is said to stimulate the chakras, brain and pituitary gland. It improves memory and clears the mind.
Point #8 frees circulation around the brain and soothes many issues related to the head.
Finally, finish with #4 as the overall balance.
The entire session takes only a couple of minutes, and I highly suggest you perform it on yourself everyday and incorporate it into your massage routine. Subtle shifts can be powerful.
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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