resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The Heart of the Matter
By Rita Woods, LMT
February is famous for matters of the heart, and I couldn't think of a more appropriate time to share some interesting information with you. The heart is viewed in a variety of ways; from a muscle that pumps blood, to the seat of the soul and the emotional center of our being.In reality, it probably fills all of those job descriptions, but there are some fascinating facts about the heart that I feel are especially important to us as massage therapists and healers. The premise of this article is that the heart regulates far more activity in the body than previously believed, and there is a continuous two-way dialog between the brain and the heart that allows each to influence the other. The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system); biophysical communication (pulse wave); biochemical communication (hormones); and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields) .
The body always is adjusting to maintain homeostasis. One term used to describe the synchronization and balance within the central nervous system is coherence. Simplified, it means that the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the central nervous systems are working together in a healthy and balanced way.
The Institute of HeartMath (IHM) measures cardiac or heart rhythm coherence by looking at heart rate variability (HRV). This includes shifts and changes that happen between heart beats that help regulate the body. Stress can offset this balance quickly and drastically. When stressed, your body can soon feel like it's driving with one foot on the gas pedal and the other foot on the brake. When this happens, it is no longer coherent. Anger, worry, fear and anxiety are all emotions that contribute to the production of stress chemicals that degrade and break down healthy tissue and interrupt psychological wellness. On the other hand, positive emotions such as gratitude, love, peace and contentment contribute to the production of life-building chemistry and promote a sense of well being.
You heart has the ability to both send and receive information. This is the part that gets really interesting for us as healers. The heart's electromagnetic field, by far the most powerful rhythmic field produced by the human body, not only envelops every cell of the body, but also extends out in all directions into the space around us. The cardiac field actually can be measured several feet away from the body. The brains waves naturally want to synchronize to the heart so various emotional states will affect brain patterns and processing. The brain-heart patterns are more synchronized during states of positive psychological and physiological coherence. As individuals learn to sustain a heart-focused, positive emotional state, their brain can be brought into entrainment with their heart.
As individuals increase their psycho-physiological coherence, they appear to be more sensitive to the subtle energies and electromagnetic fields generated by others. This unseen exchange of information between people occurs every time they interact and is influenced by their emotions. Think of the implications of this information. Not only does your emotional state affect your own brain and all of your bodily functions, it also affects those whom you touch and are in close proximity to. You are a walking, talking beacon of energy that influences all with whom you come in contact. There are many healing modalities that use some form of energy. Understanding that we can and do influence others with our own energy field can be a valuable asset in learning to use new healing techniques.
I encourage you to visit the Institute of HeartMath Web site (www.heartmath.org/research), look at its research and read "Science of the Heart." The Institute has been instrumental in providing clinical data on heart-based living. They published the following report: The electricity of touch: detection and measurement of cardiac energy exchange between people, by McCraty, et al.
This report states, "When people touch or are in proximity, one person's heartbeat signal is registered in the other person's brainwaves. ... The fact that the heart generates the strongest electromagnetic field produced by the body, coupled with our findings that this field becomes measurably more coherent as the individual shifts to a sincerely loving or caring state, prompted us to investigate the possibility that the field generated by the heart may significantly contribute to this energy exchange. Signal averaging techniques were used to show that one person's electrocardiogram (ECG) signal is registered in another's electroencephalogram (EEG) and elsewhere on the other person's body.
"While this signal is strongest when people are in contact, it is still detectable when subjects are in proximity without contact. Evidence that the cardiac field changes as different emotions are experienced, combined with this study's finding that this field is registered physiologically by those around us, provides the foundation of one possible mechanism to describe the impact of our emotions on others at a basic physiological level. One implication is that the effects of therapeutic techniques involving contact or proximity between practitioner and patient could be amplified by practitioners consciously adopting a sincere, caring attitude, and thus increasing coherence in their cardiac field."
I am reminded of a quote I heard years ago: "People don't remember what you say. They remember how you made them feel." And with that perspective on healing, I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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