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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12
Rockin' to the CranioSacral Rhythm
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
If someone had told me two decades ago that my career would revolve around CranioSacral Therapy, I would have laughed and recommended another glass of wine. It was the mid-'80s when I first heard about cranial work.I was visiting my sister-in-law, a physical therapist, in Florida. She had just returned from learning this "wild new technique" from some guy name Dr. John and she wanted to try it on me. So I lay down on her living room floor, and she went to work.
Now, I'd experienced massage and bodywork before. So as far as I could tell, my sister-in-law's touch was far too light to accomplish anything. However, I decided to humor her and let her continue.
Out of nowhere, she looked at me and asked, "Were you ever a diver?"
"No," I replied. So she kept working.
A few minutes later, she looked at me again with a quizzical expression. "Are you sure?" she asked.
I was pretty sure about one thing - being a diver is not the kind of thing you would forget.
Again I said, "No."
She continued to work, shifting my position every now and again. Suddenly she stood over me, looped her hands under my back, and lifted me until I was arched. And the memory came flooding back.
A few years earlier, goofing around with friends, I leaped out of a tree that was about three stories tall into a swimming pool. As I was plummeting toward the water, I hyper-extended my back to such an extreme that I ended up in a crazy swan dive. When I hit the water, I felt a cold dread enter my body as I thought, "That's how people break their backs."
Years of Pain Gone in Minutes
Now there I was on my sister-in-law's floor reliving a memory I didn't know I had. Thirty minutes later, the back pain that had been nagging me for three years was gone. And I was fascinated by this wild new technique.
How did such a feather-light touch give my sister-in-law access to information I wasn't even aware of? What was it about bringing my body back to that same swan-dive position that caused the memory to come surging back? What exactly did she do that finally made my pain go away?
Those are questions I wouldn't fully understand until I began working with Dr. John Upledger at his teaching institute. I spent the next 15 years delving into the dynamics of this remarkable therapy. Did I ever become a therapist myself? No. My specialty was helping therapists who practice and teach CranioSacral Therapy to communicate about it in such a compelling way that they naturally attracted new clients.
Over time, I developed a deep understanding of the dynamics of the work. I authored and coauthored hundreds of articles and chapters on CranioSacral Therapy with Dr. John. In the process, I fell in love with the people who practice it. CranioSacral Therapists are big-hearted, compassionate caregivers who are deeply tuned into their clients on every level - body, mind and spirit.
After an intensely relaxing session one day, I stretched and remarked, "I hope I die getting a session." With eyes big and round, my therapist looked at me and said, "I hope I die giving a session."
In that humbling moment, I thought, "That's it. That's why I happily devote my career to helping light-touch therapists become successful, satisfied practitioners. The more people they touch with their gentle care, the better for everyone."
Mixing It Up
Now as I pick up this column where Dr. John left off, I admit I'll be shaking things up. Over the last eight years, this space has been about Upledger's model of CranioSacral Therapy, largely regarded the granddaddy of them all. But there are other voices out there talking about Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy, Visionary CranioSacral Therapy and other cranial-based techniques.
I'll be bringing in their viewpoints, as well. Because we're all part of a distinguished heritage of hands-on practitioners who lighten their touch to deepen their client outcomes. We all have something to learn from each other.
We're also going to talk about issues like using CranioSacral Therapy for transitions, both into and out of life. How to open up your perceptual channels in session. And what the heck is all the fuss about being called a healer anyway? (That one's sure to ruffle some feathers.) Of course, I'll be sharing tons of tips along the way about how to grow a more prosperous practice.
Do you have an insight or a story angle you would like to throw into the mix? Send me an e-mail at . I'm always delighted to hear fresh notes on a classic theme. In the meantime, I think I'll have a nice glass of wine and enjoy the journey. Here's to you!
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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