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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
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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