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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.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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