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Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
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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