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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.
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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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