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Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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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