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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09
What is Your Play Personality?
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
When the last time you played? I'm sure there are some people who can quickly give an account of what they did yesterday that constituted play for them. There also will be many who will pause with a furrowed brow and remain silent as they try to remember when they last did something just for the fun of it.
Whether it's cooking a new recipe, going on a hike, watching a movie, fixing up an old car or reading a book, play is a primal and necessary part of our lives. Especially in a competition-based culture such as ours, play is essential to being a productive member of society. As helpers and caregivers, it is crucial that we as massage therapists give ourselves time to play. It is impossible to help others heal and relax when we aren't relaxed ourselves. Playing helps us re-boot our systems and bond with others, which, in turn, makes us better therapists.
Merriam-Webster defines play as, "a recreational activity; especially the spontaneous activity of children." However, the types of play that exist are as varied as the people who engage in them. As adults, we often do not think about, or spend a significant amount of time, playing. Notice that the definition itself refers specifically to children. While play is crucial for the intellectual and social development of our children, it is also important for us in adulthood.
We are learning that it would be beneficial to change the ending of that entry to "children and adults." Current research demonstrates that not only have Americans made work and competition a priority, but that we are sacrificing playfulness and creativity for them. For instance, over the past 30 years, time spent at work has jumped 10 hours a week. Therefore, learning how to play more at work has become a popular subject these days. However, the nature of our work as massage therapists puts a limit on how much play we can integrate into our work. While some clients enjoy playful banter and laughing throughout a massage, others would never return if we did not respect the quiet time they look forward to while in a session. This makes it all the more important that we try to incorporate play into our lives outside of work.
So, if we simply work less, will we spend more time playing? Not necessarily. Play and work are not mutually exclusive; rather, one cannot survive without the other. A life without play is not one filled with work: it is a life filled with depression. For example, the work we find most fulfilling usually reflects the type of play we engaged in as a child. Does this mean I spent a lot of my childhood volunteering massages to my friends? Not necessarily. But it does mean that I was an active, social child who enjoyed problem solving, which Stuart Brown, M.D., the founder of the National Institute for Play, would say meant I have three different types of "play personalities."
After years spent gathering "play histories" from people, Brown noticed several archetypes that play preferences usually fall into. While some people might fit into just one type, others might have several preferences for the type of play they enjoy. An easy way to start putting more play into your life is to identify what type of "personality/personalities" the play you enjoy fits into.
I've listed what I feel are the more common types below. You can find the complete list in his book. These "types" can be used as a guideline to determining the type of play you prefer, and help you remember how to put some fun back into your life.
Someone who enjoys comedy shows, making people laugh and finding the humor in any situation enjoys the Joker type of play. It is the most basic form of play, and is repeatedly found throughout recent history as a species. Think of the saying, "Laughter is the best medicine."
The Kinesthete is the person who taps their foot, twirls their hair or rocks back and forth during an exam. Kinesthetes are happiest when they are moving, whether that be playing basketball, walking, or cleaning the house. I am also inclined to believe that the majority of massage therapists — those that truly enjoy their work — are all or partly Kinisthetes, since our work is very physical.
The unique, the different, the unknown is what drives the Explorer personality. Visiting a new park, reading about a new scientific theory, or trying a new cuisine are all activities someone with a dominant Explorer personality would prefer.
People who have an Artist/Creator play personality find pleasure in creating things: planting a garden, cooking, writing music, or even fixing up an old car. Some might share their creations with others, some may not, but the point is simply to create.
Fun is found in the imagination for people with a dominant Storyteller personality. Some examples include people who like to write, perform, play Dungeons & Dragons, watch movies or read books.
No matter what type of play you enjoy, the point is simply to make sure you spend time having fun. It doesn't have to be all fun all the time, but one needs to find a balance between focused work and playfulness. Remember: the opposite of play is not work; it's depression. The more ways we find to incorporate play into our lives, the happier and healthier we will be. This in turn will make us better therapists, which is a good example of how work and play complement each other. So start singing, take a road trip, see a play, or get out your postcard collection and just start having fun!
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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