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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.
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.
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.)
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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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