resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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."
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.
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06
Reflections on the Two-Person Biology
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
Daniel Goleman was only a toddler when a momentary encounter in a grocery store mirrored a neurological concept that's subtly advancing the nature of CranioSacral Therapy today.
As Daniel wandered down the aisle with his mom, a woman passing by gave him a warm smile. Instantly, he felt his own mouth involuntarily curving up to match it. "It felt as though somehow my face had become puppet-like, drawn by mysterious strings that widened the muscles around my mouth and puffed out my cheeks," he says in his latest book, Social Intelligence. "I distinctly felt that my smile had come unbidden – directed not from within but from outside of myself."
That inexplicable mirroring of smiles is now recognized in scientific circles as the reflection of "mirror neurons" in two brains synchronizing, a development that has promising implications in the light-touch treatment room.
According to Michael Shea, author of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, this synchronization between two people reflects the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. "When two brains come together like they do between an infant and caregiver, their neurons synchronize to create a two-person biology that enables the child to begin processing emotions effectively."
Remarkably, those same neurological dynamics take place when two adults come together in a therapeutic relationship, creating a brain-to-brain bridge in the treatment room. This phenomenon emphasizes the need for clear and healthy boundaries between practitioner and patient. And, in Michael's eyes, that's the therapist's primary responsibility. "You have to spend more time paying attention to your own body in session, because a self-regulating therapist literally creates the neuronal pathways for a self-regulating client."
The new science on the subject also stresses the need to balance focused attention – what you're doing when you're tuning into a client's body hands-on – with unfocused attention, because that's the way the autonomic nervous system of the client develops, Michael says. "There are periods of approach behavior, like the contact and attachment that occur when your hands meet a client's body, which is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. And then there are periods of withdrawal, when attention is moved away from the client, which is mediated by the parasympathetic nervous system. So, what we're doing as therapists by balancing focused with unfocused attention is mimicking the way the nervous system develops, which increases empathy and compassion."
Three Focal Points
How can CranioSacral Therapists make good use of these scientific developments in practice? Michael recommends incorporating three focal points in every hands-on session:
Focal Point 1: The Slow Tempo
In Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy, the therapist attunes to a very slow body tempo called the "long tide." Michael believes you should start each session by synchronizing your attention with this slow tempo. "Tuning into yourself to activate the circuits of a two-person biology cannot be done quickly," he says. "It's a function of tuning in to the rhythmic balance interchange between the slow tempo and the natural quiescence that inherently exists in and around the body. Embryologists now recognize this natural stillness for its organic ability to bring order and integration to the human body as a whole." In a cranial session, he suggests you start by looking at the whole and synchronizing your attention with this natural stillness, because "that's how the whole gets organized. Then there's a dynamic later in the session when you can focus on parts that are holding a restriction."
Focal Point 2: Your Heartbeat
Next, Michael recommends tuning into your own heart. "As you sit by your client's side, take a moment to orient to your body three-dimensionally, like sensing the total surface of the skin. Then gradually shift your attention to the center of your chest and the movement of your heart and blood, a process called 'interoceptive awareness.'"
There's no need to take your pulse manually, he adds. "It's more important to sit still and feel the motion of the heart and blood as it moves through and around the heart and fluid body three dimensionally from head to toe." If your mind begins to wander (and it will), simply bring yourself back to your heart. "That alone changes brain structure and gives you the ability to differentiate yourself and your own internal processes from that of the client, and again, it deepens empathy and compassion."
Focal Point 3: Nature
Another natural way to balance focused and unfocused attention is by intentionally connecting with nature during each session. As you're working hands on, "move your attention out the window to the sky or to a tree for a minute," Michael says, "then bring your attention slowly back to your hands and your own body." When you're able to do this rhythmically, it helps reset your autonomic nervous system, which in turn resets your client's.
If you don't have a window in your treatment room? Bring in a potted plant or hang nature pictures on the wall. Michael says images of the horizon, like a sunrise or a sunset, are especially powerful. "It triggers the neurological head-righting reflex, which supports the vestibular system." And when you support your vestibular system, you naturally support that of your client's.
As new advances in interpersonal neurobiology appear on the horizon, science likely will continue to confirm that hands-on therapists have a deep and enduring impact on clients, in and out of the treatment room.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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