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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.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
A CranioSacral Therapist's Story
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
It was nothing more than a clerical error. But it was enough to allow Don Ash to die, an experience that transformed his CranioSacral Therapy practice for life.As a hospice volunteer in the mid-'90s, Don was required to get a physical, which included a test for AIDS. In those days, it was standard protocol for the results to come from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Don quickly got the lab work back from his doctor. Everything checked out fine. There was only one report missing. The one from the CDC.
A week went by, but he didn't think much about it. Two weeks went by and he began to wonder, but he brushed off his concerns. After five weeks with no word, it hit him: "I have AIDS."
Usually an easygoing, open-hearted man, Don quickly became an introvert. "I had heart palpitations," he says. "I lost weight. My cranial work suffered and I pulled away from my wife and kids. I couldn't burden them." After eight weeks he found himself erupting in tears at odd moments. "This overwhelming feeling would come over me. Deep, dark depression, loneliness, isolation, and so much sadness."
Finally, he couldn't bear it. He went into his office, closed his door and placed a phone call to his doctor. Holding his breath, Don informed him he never got the results. "Oh no," his doctor replied. "I thought that went out months ago. The test was clear. I hope you weren't concerned."
Don thanked him, hung up the phone and realized, "This is what it feels like to die."
Completing the Biological Process
That painful experience opened Don up to a new understanding about his therapeutic work. "Dr. John Upledger talked a lot about using CranioSacral Therapy to complete the biological process," he says. "But he was usually talking about a birth that's interrupted. I saw how that same principle could apply to healing a body into death."
Don soon had the opportunity to test that theory with his grandmother at the end of her life. "I was monitoring her cranial rhythm, inducing little still points here and there, when she got quieter and quieter. In the moment of her death, her breathing stopped, then her heartbeat stopped, and then I felt nothing but the cranial rhythm until that slowly, gently trailed away."
In the end, Don says, there's nothing left but a great quiet, a great peace. "It really is an amazing grace. If you can help a person witness their own grace with softness and relaxation and acceptance, it's a beautiful thing."
Healing the Family Dynamic
Don has since worked hands-on with hundreds of dying patients. "It's very different than working with anyone else," he says. "You often don't have many body parts to hold onto. You can't uncover them to hold their feet. You can't get to the head of the bed to hold their head. And you can't turn them on their side to do a diaphragm release. So you may have only three fingers on a forearm. You learn to monitor the cranial rhythm and feel what's happening from there."
Using the cranial rhythm as a "significance detector" also becomes an important tool. In the Upledger model of CranioSacral Therapy, when the cranial rhythm comes to a sudden stop, it indicates that something physiologically significant is happening for the client.
"When I'm monitoring a patient and someone comes into the room and the cranial rhythm stops, that's significant," Don says. "I might ask the patient how they feel about that person. It may be that the patient needs them close or needs them to stay away. This understanding can help the family provide the best environment for the patient."
Don insists that as a therapist, you still don't project or direct in any way. "But you can support the family, if they choose, to do some tremendous healing together. That can help everyone discharge a great deal of apprehension and anxiety, so the patient can take a deep breath and relax into the experience."
Facing Big and Little Deaths Hands-On
Don has been teaching his techniques on facilitating the process of suffering, loss and death in a class he calls "CranioSacral Therapy Around Death and Dying." (You can learn more about it at www.donashpt.com.) "We go deep into the skills it takes to help a person relax into their body and mind so they can get to a place where they can set their soul free, if that's what they need at the time."
Yet these skills are every bit as effective with what Don calls the many "little deaths" we each experience throughout life. "We all have moments of successes and failures, of giving and receiving, of gathering in and letting go. It could be from a divorce, a relocation, a job change, the death of a pet. You can use cranial work to help a patient ease through those little deaths, too. When they do, that's when they can really cherish living."
Ultimately, Don's best advice to CranioSacral Therapists who want to support the death and dying process is to "become a very good listener. And follow Plato's advice. Just before his death his disciples asked him, 'Do you have any last words?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'Practice dying.'"
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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