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News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
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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