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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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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