resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09
Caregiving As A Spiritual Gift
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
Each of us, at some point, will become a caregiver to a loved one, parent or friend. Many of us can point to this kind of experience as the catalyst to our massage therapy careers. The benefits that come from being a caregiver are many and I've learned that my work caring for my clients is not separate from my spiritual practice — it is one.
I recently had the privilege of presenting at the National Association of Health Care Assistants Annual Convention and I was struck by the heartfealt dedication these folks have in caring for others. What's the attraction to this career? The pay? Hardly. The median annual salary is about $24,000. Is it the easy work hours? Doubtful. The status? That's not it, either. Still, year after year, they show up each day humbly caring for the needs of others. Each of us will, at some point be a caregiver. A loved one becomes ill. A friend goes through a crisis and we step in to help. A parent grows old and needs help with managing everyday activities.
I've dedicated my life's work to serving people living with effects of aging, disease or disability. People ask me, "Isn't it hard to do that kind of work — don't you get drained?" "It's so sad, how do you handle it?" Others say, "It takes a special person to do what you do — I don't think I could do it." Well, I assure you I'm no more special than anyone else! I can tell you I'm learning gradually to recognize the gifts of being a care companion and seeing that it is as much a part of my spiritual journey as anything else.
Every person we touch is a teacher. I've had the privilege of learning from hundreds of people in rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities and hospice care. Some lessons stand out. I met "James" while interning as an occupational therapy student at a rehabilitation hospital in Chicago back in the late seventies. James was in his twenties, as was I. He had been shot in the back, leaving him with partial quadriplegia resulting from an incomplete spinal cord injury. Part of my job was to teach him how to dress himself again. His condition required him to dress in bed — not an easy task for an able-bodied person much less for somebody with paralysis.
One morning I was watching him struggle to put on his shirt and in the background his radio was playing a song by the Commodores called Still, a song about lost love. The song somehow connected us in that moment. James lay back with tears running down his face. Feeling helpless, I simply stood by his side and listened, feeling profoundly moved.
You see, another part of his story was that his wife was divorcing him. She didn't want a life with a disabled man. James taught me that sometimes there are no words and we simply can't do anything except be there. From that day forward we were not only therapist and patient.
We never spoke of that morning, but we both knew we had shared in something that connected us deeply. I can't hear that song now without thinking of James and giving thanks for that lesson in how to hold space for another person's grief.
Giving And Receiving
There is a paradox to caregiving. When we give even small kindnesses, we become a care-receiver. I can't tell you what you might receive, but I can share some of the gifts and insights that I've accepted.
Never underestimate the power of small acts. What might seem insignificant to you often is just what is needed at the time. Putting a blanket around the shoulders of someone who is cold; moving the box of tissues within reach; opening the curtains to let sunlight into the room. The simplest things make a big difference. One client, a gentleman in a long- term care facility, loved foot massage. He usually had slippers on when I arrived but after our session he asked that his dress shoes be put on. He always sat up a little straighter when those shoes were on. I think he felt seen for the man he was and not just an old man in a nursing home.
Lightening The Mood
Lighten up a little. Who says that caring for someone facing a serious condition has to be serious all the time? Humor is a natural expression and there are things that happen that are ironic or downright funny. It's okay to laugh and enjoy moments together.
Making A Respectful Connection
There's a little royalty in all of us. One of my favorite quotes is a Scandinavian proverb that says, "Address the royalty and the royalty will respond." I've noticed when I treat people with respect and dignity that I get it in return. I need to be around other people who serve as a mirror so I can see my own reflection. None of us live in a vacuum and I'm an introvert by nature and I have to actively remind myself of this one. We are mirrors for each other all the time, but we have to remember to look and pay attention to what we see there.
Those I've cared for have taught me that there are ebbs and flows; beginnings and endings; and, most certainly, change. I have a greater acceptance of the inevitable turns my own life will make even though I might not know what to expect. But whatever happens, I'll be grateful for people who care.
"You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and delicatest ways, improve yourself." — John Ruskin
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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