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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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