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Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
August, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 08
The Lomilomi Experience
By Gloria Coppola, LMBT
Have you ever transcended time and space during a massage and felt your cells being blessed?
Lomilomi, the Hawaiian healing art form of massage, has been described by Aunt Margaret Machado (the first Hawaiian to get licensed in massage) and others as "loving touch." However, lomi is more than technique.It is a life style and a journey to know one's self on a deeper level.
Every lomi session begins with pule (Prayer) and intention. There are different styles depending on the lineage and what was offered in their 'Ohana (family). One of my original mentors, Penny Prior, who lives on the island of Kauai states, "Lomi begins when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. I ask myself, how can I contribute?"
To truly understand lomilomi one must experience it by a skilled practitioner who lives lomi in their life on all levels. In this article, I have chosen to ask lomi students and practitioners about their personal experience to give you a greater understanding of the possibilities and depth of this Hawaiian healing modality.
How Does Lomi Differ From Regular Massage?
Angie from Missouri says, "I am consciously working with my client on all levels. I create a sacred space which is safe for the healing to occur. Lomi to me is to contemplate in nature and nurtures the soul, spirit and body in a much deeper way than a traditional massage."
Becca from North Carolina states, "It's not about manipulating tissue. It's about listening and following the individual's inner compass of wisdom and providing them a safe and loving space to assist them while they balance their spirit and physical temple."
Naomi, who is a new massage therapist, was excited to share her recent experience. "To study lomi under a wise instructor who allows the student the freedom to 'disengage' from their mind and follow their natural instincts to blossom, was the gift I received. I chose to enhance my gifts by focusing my intention, my energy and my heart. I feel lomi is an opportunity to honor God in my practice."
Kumu Michael Locey shared with me in a recent interview why lomi is so special. "All things are sacred in Hawaii. To us, that means feeling it, from your head to toe, above and below, realizing the air we breathe is alive and a conductor of the source of the life force. The words we use have recognition of our connection to the source of life as we chant our genealogy, and our intentions. Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) literally means "real man." Our genealogy links us to our ancestors and teachers (kumu). We become extensions of them in the divine breath of life, no? One must connect to the fullest extent possible; breathe the air in Hawaii, share the breath of the Hawaiian elders to say I have the aloha spirit in me"
What Was Your Experience In Receiving Lomilomi?
I couldn't agree more with all of these statements above as I recall my first lomi experience. The practitioner took the time to create a sacred space and to clear himself so that he was in the best place for me. This took approximately an hour. Upon his first greeting and connection with me, the lomi began with grace and beauty. He chanted over my body and it was in that moment, I knew something was more powerful and more connected. Might I also add this individual was not a massage therapist, but an accountant from Switzerland with a passion and love for this healing work. He had studied lomi for many years and three hours later I was in total bliss!
Several massage practitioners shared with me some of their first experiences, which I feel might help you understand the process and the outcome.
A practitioner from Massachusetts tells me, "Quite honestly, I knew very little and was a bit uncomfortable. I had lots of issues and the feelings ran deep. I experienced a profound personal realization about my life, my heart and how to love others. The student who worked on me in class was so gracious and loving that healing took place to my surprise on all levels and continues to do so. I am continuing my studies and want to learn all I can about Hawaiian spirituality. It is life changing!"
Another lomi student and practitioner shared that she realized even gentle movements can create shifts in a receiver's state of being, also making the deeper work seem less invasive and part of the relaxation. Poetically described, "Lomi, in essence, is like floating on a raft in a peaceful lake. The gentle yet firm pressure while the forearm glides from the top of your shoulder to the sole of your feet mimicked the soft movements of the ocean. I was invited to deeply relax and release stress, to clear my mind and allow myself to simply be in the moment."
In a recent interview with Felicia Brown form Spalutions, I was explaining Lomilomi. It surprised her to hear the depth of this work and at one moment she realized that a session she received at a spa many years ago was not the traditional lomilomi we are speaking about today. She felt disappointed that she did not have the experience we are sharing today. She shared with me that after hearing more about Lomilomi it felt to her that it was a "Full Body Prayer." Lomi is truly a Full Body Prayer and I could not have put it in any better words.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Lomilomi?
Often students of lomi who are "called" to this ancient healing method will study for many years and perhaps with a variety of kumu's. Traditionally, a member of the 'Ohana was chosen by the Kahuna lomilomi to study for approximately 20 years. They had to learn about the 'aina (land), medicinal herbs and so much more before they even touched a body.
Today, in modern society we do things quicker. However, I encourage you to immerse yourself in this beautiful Hawaiian restorative healing method. A weekend class will not provide you with the depth of the work. It is truly an Introduction. I reach out to you to realize you will not and should not offer Lomilomi after a short introduction. As Kumu Brenda Ignacio, from Oahu asks "Lomi is not to be exploited."
There are trainings offered everywhere. There are different styles from a variety of lineages. When you are called, you will know where you must study. Listen to your heart and be guided by the ancient ones as Lomilomi whispers in your ear and says "Aloha."
I am still learning and growing. Each time I have the opportunity to learn from another kumu, my heart jumps for joy and sings Aloha. Aloha is more than a greeting. It is the breath and essence of spirit. It is humility and compassion. It is a life force that runs deep within our veins and our spirit. Lomi is not mere fluff. It is powerful beyond words.
Gloria Coppola has been in the healing arts for 25 years. The former owner of a massage school and curriculum writer for several massage schools across the nation, she is now a continuing education provider. Gloria has also contributed articles to several massage publications over the course of her career. Thanks to Ryan's encour-agement you can also enjoy some video clips on massage at massagenetworknews.com. Contact her at MassageProCE.com or email her at
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