resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
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 more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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