resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
Singing Out Stress: A Massage Therapist's View of Singing
By Stephanie Heidemann, LMT, BA
In a nutshell, being authentic is about being entirely relaxed in the seat of who you are. Much of the world is in a constant state of frenzy, and this affects us. The amount of stimulation is overwhelming to try and filter through and keep a grasp on your sanity. Amidst all the noise, how can you unwind and uncover your authentic self?
What is Authentic Voicework?
It starts off with a calling...a longing to be heard or acknowledge a part of you that has remained hidden. Voicework is a series of tools that embraces and gently lifts a person from stress, tension, fear, grief and inhibition. Some of these tools can be but are not limited to breath work, stretching, sighing, toning, harmonizing and vocal improvisation. The intention is to peel away any anxiety or stress around the "authentic" self. As we metaphorically "open up and sing ah," singing takes us out of the mind and centers us in the heart. And, if there is any work to be done there, singing gently and lovingly massages the heart open.
Nowadays, our society suffers from an epidemic of stress. It is our job as healers to keep inspiring new ways of releasing stress, easing tension, soothing anxiety and fear. We are the mothers of this world. Unwinding fascia with myofascial release or trigger point therapy are miraculous treatments. But the knots (aka, "stress") just keep coming, don't they? We are providing a great service to the world by helping others to cope with and ease the burdens of stress on the body. I believe that we can find more ways of preventing it.
As a singer and performer for 15 years, I have something new to offer in terms of stress relief and prevention. My mentor was New York Metropolitan Opera Mezzo, Brenda Boozer, who began each of our lessons with checking the position of the feet to support the proper alignment of the body and breath, a unique practice among voice teachers. Due to this integration of voice and body, this notion of the voice as an extension of the body as one became my motto. Obviously, there is something to be said about considering the voice, as an extension of body-mind-spirit, in assessing the condition of a client. Acupuncturists look into properties of the voice in assessment of their patient's condition. If bodyworkers can treat the body, than why not include the voice in the client's healing process?
As I have massaged client after client with neck and jaw tension, I have noticed an epidemic of clients managing a storm of internal pressure. The head, neck and jaw seem to "cork" this bottled-up pressure. As neuromuscular law poses, tension rises. To me, singing would be an obvious choice as a means of popping the lid off of this rising internal pressure, and allow the steam of tension to be released from the body.
While breathing through tension is crucial to an effective release, vocalizing only takes it further. As a suggestion to LMTs, next time you are doing some neck or TMJ work, ask your client to sigh with a sound "in front of the sigh." It helps to bring the mind and body together and is a way of "dropping" the tension. Like you would ask a client to "drop their arm" while applying range of motion, sighing is a way of dropping tension around the whole upper chest and sinking breath down into the belly.
How it Works
When the voice has been shut down for very long periods of time (sometimes decades), and is finally struck (as in, a chord) or soothed with humming and sighing sounds, the client may feel an immediate rush of emotion. The process of opening the voice takes you back to the time when you last felt that freedom in the voice, when it became obstructed or inhibited and why. Clients may initially feel the grief which initially caused the blockage. Creative catharsis cleans out the cobwebs, opens the energy flow in the throat area/voice, bringing more of a sense of freedom to the individual. Voicework can bring one to an open state of awareness, acknowledging that an energetic blockage of sorts exists, and attends to it.
What Happens in a Session
Sessions begin with simple stretching and breathing exercises, grounding the connection into the body. Simple vocal warm-ups follow, drawing from classical voice techniques. Face and jaw stretches open the lining of the vocal tract, opens the breath, and draws awareness to the body as instrument. Singing games foster a place for fun exploration, bringing out the child-like essence. Improvisation is used for cutting new ground, building self trust, without harmful criticism and judgment. Much like how a massage client must learn how to relax on the table, it is a learning process to explore without self-judgment. As we vocalize, we willingly bring our selves closer to the borders of our inhibitions. When we begin to sing authentically, the heart immediately responds by melting its stiff body armor and setting it free.
Like massage, the benefits of voicework are endless, depending largely on the client's willingness to surrender and open. Among the benefits are stress release, energy revitalization, quieting the body and mind, emotional release, awareness building, deep inner listening, thinking "outside the box," intuition building, and soothing pain or trauma. A Voicework session can feel like you have just spent hours in a meditative state. Voicework helps to reset and center your life in a more authentic place, bringing you up to speed with your most cutting-edge self. It is about becoming centered, grounded in the seat of authenticity and letting the voice be a medium to this state of being. Unraveling your true nature reveals a higher perception, and ability to respond without feeling threatened. Once some of these inhibitions are worked out, they won't come back. Consider it a permanent shift.
As the quality of your inner state of being becomes centered and grounded, your voice mirrors your internal sphere to the external world. Beautiful things can happen. Your state of awareness becomes more transparent. The tone of your voice carries and transmits your energy. Gathering people together to sing from authentic vocal expression is an oasis of pure grace, which can bring others to that inner authentic place of peace and healing, too.
Stephanie Heidemann, LMT, BA, Expressive Arts Therapy, is a seasoned massage therapist, was an IMG-Artist (NY), and is a singer/voice coach. She teaches Authentic Voicework nationally and has spoken at conferences internationally. She brings her expertise as a healing and bodywork therapist to the realm of voicework; and now offers continuing education to massage therapists nationwide. For more information, visit www.authenticvoicework.com.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.