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When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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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