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Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
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.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
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.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
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.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
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!
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
Dissolving the Grip of Addiction with CranioSacral Therapy
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
Martha Tassinari was married just a few short years when some unusual transactions in her bank account tipped her off to a major problem in the relationship. "Our money was dwindling," she says."The next thing I know the police called. My husband was arrested for possession." That's the day Martha discovered she was married to an alcoholic and drug addict. At the same time, she began suffering from severe pain in her low back and neck that wouldn't respond to traditional treatment. A physical therapist herself, she tried CranioSacral Therapy at the recommendation of a colleague. "I was amazed at what came up," she says. "My pain was subsiding. And I was able to get back into work and exercise."
What she didn't expect was the emotional release she also got out of it. "I started to see that I didn't deserve what was happening in the relationship. I tried to help the marriage. But when that didn't work, I realized I had to help myself." Martha ended the marriage and started taking classes in CranioSacral Therapy. Now in a healthy new marriage nine years later, she specializes in using CST to help women in pain and stress who have a history of alcoholism or addiction, whether their own or someone else's.
Common Trends and Techniques
What symptoms and conditions are these women presenting with that point to a history of drug or alcohol abuse? Surprisingly, they usually aren't global issues like chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Instead, Martha says they're more localized issues, like low-back pain, headaches and TMJ. "The jaw pain," she adds, "is huge. That's our avenue of expression so we hold a lot of anger there. If our father tells us to be seen and not heard, it feels like we don't have a voice. We have to keep the family secrets. We have to put on a brave face that says, 'Everything's fine. No problems here.' The trouble is, that stress builds in the tissues. And it won't go away without help."
Just as Martha sees trends in the symptoms her clients tend to show up with, she also finds certain hands-on techniques especially helpful. "Every case is unique, of course. But I almost always start a session with diaphragm releases. I also tend to do a lot of dural tube techniques like the Rock and Glide, L5/S1 Decompression and the Cranial Base Release."
Reducing the Emotional Scars
Even more poignant than the physical releases are the emotional releases Martha witnesses. "It's typical for my clients to bury their memories of an addiction for a long time, often since childhood. But if that memory or issue isn't acknowledged, it'll keep lingering in their tissues. So I try to get to the core feeling they're having around those memories." As she has her hands on her clients, if she suddenly feels their cranial rhythm come to an abrupt stop, she knows they've hit on something significant. ''What's happening for you right now?" she'll ask. It may be memory from childhood or from three weeks ago. And that's where she starts the process of therapeutic dialoguing.
As they dialogue back and forth, Martha simply mirrors what her client says, giving her space to voice the next thought. "I might say, 'Tell me more about that,' or 'Can you give me an example?'" she says. "By being neutral and non-judgmental, my clients feel acknowledged and safe. So the walls begin to come down." There's never an agenda, Martha stresses. "I've learned over the years that we may think we know what a client needs or wants. But the body knows more than we can imagine. So I never lead or try to solve anything for my clients. I just give them an avenue to express themselves and be heard."
What's critical, she says, is to resist the urge to rush past the dialogue and just get to the tissue release. "In my experience, the client can't release their memories until they're acknowledged," she says. "A lot of therapists and self-help books talk about releasing the anger and fear. But if you don't give yourself room to acknowledge that you have those feelings, they're only going to be released at the conscious level, not at the non-conscious level or the tissue level. "You have to give them space to step into their power and say, 'I am feeling this. This is real. And this is what it's doing to me.'"
To help give her clients an added level of comfort and security, Martha always starts her sessions with grounding techniques to help them relax deeply and feel what's going on in their bodies. "As they're lying on the table, I have them imagine that their feet are on the ground and they're soaking up healing energy from the earth," she says. "Then we scan their whole body, from the feet to the crown. I ask them to just notice any tension they might find. Not to judge, just to notice. That's the first step."
Once they fully get into the session, that's a different story. "They may have emotional releases like crying or anger or even laughing. As they're doing that, I stay hands on. In the past I wanted to grab a box of tissues for them. But over the years I've learned that once I take my hands off their body, we've lost the process. So now I always stay hands-on and let them go through their process completely." While every case is different, Martha says a typical client needs anywhere from 10 to 20 sessions to make a leap in their healing. "Then I like them to see me every month or so to stay on track." She's also big on urging them to connect to other healthy resources, whether they're AA or Al-Anon meetings or psychological counseling.
The most important point, however, is to give her client the experience of having a safe and sacred place for them to express themselves completely. "My treatment room is like Vegas." Martha smiles. "What happens here stays here."
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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