resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Releasing the Pain of an Old Story
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
I love a touching story. As a business coach for CranioSacral therapists, I'm blessed to hear plenty about the transformations that take place on the treatment table. And once in awhile, I run across one that stirs something deep inside of me.
That's what happened when I received the following essay by Jeannine Wiest, a CranioSacral therapist in Southern California. It's a poignant example of the freedom that comes when we release the old, outworn stories that take up residence in the tissues. Enjoy!
"Sparkle Hip" by Jeannine Wiest, LMT, CST
An ache is getting my attention. I need fresh eyes for the nagging feeling that's been surfacing as a catch-click pain in my right hip. I decide to see Abigail, a CranioSacral therapist I've heard good things about. She works out of her townhouse by the beach.
I find her place easily. I'm early so I drive around and see a Big Lots store. I wonder what leftover retail items I need. I find mugs that say "Official Society of Sarcasm: Like We Care What You Drink." In an existential mood, I buy two.
My stomach flutters as I drive back to Abigail's house and park. With 10 minutes to kill, I turn on the radio. "You know that I could use somebody..." Kings of Leon. Love them.
That's three minutes gone. Maybe I can just sit here for a little while longer. A gardener starts his blower two houses up. A man shuffles by with a poodle that reminds me of my childhood pet. Okay, let's ring the bell.
I enter a small brick courtyard with one cactus, wind chimes and three sets of shoes. Abigail appears wearing an Esalen T-shirt and drawstring trousers. We walk downstairs to her treatment room.
She leaves me to settle in, face up on her table. The blue room has shelves of crystals and books. The lights are low. I clear my mind of Big Lots, childhood pets and expectations.
Abigail comes in. I feel the heat of her hands as she connects with the dorsa of my feet and my cranial rhythm. It feels like sonic electricity humming. She palpates her way up my body, asking me about surgeries as her hands move to my ASIS hip bones. I tell her I've had two laparotomies.
"How long ago," she asks.
"Long ago," I answer. Her hands sandwich my abdomen.
All of a sudden I'm in 6th grade. A memory floods my awareness as I shift into a SomatoEmotional state. I see my 10-year-old self in a New York City school bathroom with Pam Maher. We're both looking in the mirror.
Pam has strawberry blond hair she wears long and straight with a center part, like Joni Mitchell. Her features are angular. She's painting her small mouth with Yardley Pot O' Gloss. A child model, she wears things I've never seen at the Long Island Green Acres Mall.
Today she's wearing a suede two-piece outfit, the exact russet shade as her hair. The front and back are attached with tortoise-shell rings, so there's a 2-inch separation on both sides. It's not X-rated because of the brown-ribbed unitard underneath. This picture has been hiding in my right hip.
"Where are you, Jeannine?" Abigail asks.
I tell her I'm in the bathroom with Pam. Tears form. My spine shudders from neck to hips.
"What are you aware of?" she asks quietly.
"She's putting makeup on," I say. "I'm pretending I left my makeup at home, but I don't really have any."
A wave of nausea comes over me as I watch little Jeannine feeling less than Pam. A tear slides down the side of my eye and pools in my ear.
"Tell me more," Abigail says neutrally.
"She's a model. She was just in the New York Times magazine section. I ask her how it feels to be in a full-page ad by herself."
My hip screams a raw arthritic pain, but I don't have arthritis. Now Abigail is sandwiching my hip.
"You're asking her a question." she continues.
"I ask questions. I want to imagine what it's like to be in the center of a magazine. I feel so stupid, like she knows things I'll never know."
I fall silent. My fascia shifts to accommodate this focused attention. Abigail stays where she is. Tears fill my face.
The observer part of me is pleased and curious about what's transpiring. Being neutral on the table allows me to be present to witness trauma unraveling. It's the coolest way to explore.
I'm still in the bathroom with Pam. She tousles her hair, which is weird because it just falls straight again. It would never occur to me to tousle my hair.
"How does it feel to have them choose you?" I venture.
"I don't know," Pam replies.
Answering me is obviously a pain. I ignore it. After all, she's my friend, and I want to know.
"How come you don't know, Pam?"
"Because I don't ask stupid questions," she says.
All at once I think, "Did I hear that correctly? What does that mean?"
Then it dawns on me. Oh. Oh no. Grown-up Jeannine, watching from a therapy table 40 years away, sees what 6th-grade Jeannine does in that instant: She leaves her body to protect herself. She makes decisions about herself that day that are stuck in my 50-year-old hip.
Abigail notices. "Huge heat release just now," she says. "Feel that?"
"I'm invisible," my 6th-grader cries.
At that moment I confirmed something for myself. I am stupid. Pam wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. I walk into one of the bathroom stalls and close the door.
Abigail murmurs, but I can't hear her. Louder she says, "Tell me more about invisible." Her voice pierces the stall where I'm frozen in 6th-grade discovery.
"My heart," I say.
"Your heart," Abigail repeats gently. "What about your heart?"
"She stabbed me with words in my heart."
"Yeah. Pam, my perfect friend." I sniff.
"What about your heart?"
"My heart is huge and sloppy and not cool."
"Huge, sloppy and not cool," Abigail mirrors. "Is that right?"
"Mmmhmm," I whisper. "I have to hide it."
"Hide it. Why is that?" Abigail says.
"I have to hide it to make it fit into this body."
I fall silent as a lighter feeling begins to flow into my hip. Minutes pass. My body shifts to take in the awareness.
I've told that story over the years to shrinks and to lovers, pointing in an analytical way to the moment I decided I must be stupid. None of them gave my body relief from Pam's words, which had been stuck in my hip for 40 years. Now that trapped energy has moved.
Abigail asks me if I want to reframe the scene. She has one hand on my hip, the other near my heart.
"I'd like to play hooky, take my 6th-grader to the park and get her out of that bathroom before she has to hide in a stall and pretend it's okay," I say.
"Do you need help with that?" Abigail asks.
"No. I'm going to dance out of the building and up to Central Park and 59th."
And I do that in my head. I feel viscerally how freeing it is to change that story and run to the green trees with my big sloppy heart.
"What are you aware of in your hip now?" Abigail asks.
"It feels empty," I say, "like a vast art gallery in the Village waiting to be filled with art."
It's not any analogy I ever imagined, but that's what bubbles up.
"What would you like to fill it with?" she asks.
"Sparkles," I say. "Lots of sparkly art."
My left brain kicks in. Jeez, what kind of Village gallery has sparkles? Then I laugh, because it's my sparkle art. My hip needs sparkles. The hip has spoken. I don't know what my inner wisdom will show me next, but I'll meet it with a sparkly hip.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.