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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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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