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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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.).
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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