resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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 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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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?
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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.
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
Achieving Heart-Centered Healing
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
As massage therapists, we have dedicated our lives to positively effecting people through touch. Some clients come to us for relief from medical conditions, others are athletes recovering from muscle fatigue and the majority are regular folks trying manage stressful lives.We understand the power of "heart-centered" healing, and believe that practicing it in our work results in a better healing for our clients. I, personally, feel honored that people entrust us to help them "feel better" for one hour of their day. But, did you know that science has now proven that what we think and feel in our hearts has an actual impact on ourselves, and those around us? We do not even have to be physically touching another person in order for the electromagnetic field of our heart to impact another person's body. I came across some fascinating research that made me approach the work we do in a whole new light.
The Institute of HeartMath - founded in 1991 - is an educational and research based nonprofit dedicated to helping people become less stressed in order to lead more fulfilling and productive lives. Much of their research is focused on the heart, specifically, how it communicates with the brain and the body. The research behind the evolution of HeartMath came from the idea that the body's emotional response to events do not always occur from "top-down" processing (i.e., the brain sends signals to the heart and other organs, and the body responds accordingly). Rather, it has now proven that often times our emotional state triggers our heart to send out its own signals to the brain and other organs, and the body then responds accordingly. For instance, while two-way communication between the cognitive and emotional systems is hard-wired into the brain, the actual number of neural connections going from the emotional centers to the cognitive centers is greater than the number going the other way. Have you ever: Made a "rash" decision? Done something dangerous on impulse? Taken a risk because you believed in it? This research helps explain the influence emotions have on our ability to think and act.
In fact, researchers at HeartMath have determined that the physiology and nerve centers of the heart are so complex and active, that they constitute a "brain" all on their own, termed a "mini-brain." We now know that the heart contains cells that produce and release norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters once thought to be produced only by the brain and ganglia outside the heart. Even more remarkable is the discovery that the heart produces oxytocin -the "love hormone" - in concentrations that are as high as those in the brain.
In addition, it has been determined that the heart is the most powerful generator of electromagnetic energy in the human body, producing the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field of any of the body's organs. The heart's electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain. This field, measured in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG), can be detected anywhere on the surface of the body. Furthermore, the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 5,000 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain, and can be detected a number of feet away from the body, in all directions, using SQUID-based magnetometers. Our results provide intriguing evidence that an exchange of electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs when people touch or are in proximity. While this signal is strongest when people are in contact, it is still detectable when subjects are in proximity without contact.
So, you may ask yourself, why is all of this important? It means that when we lay hands on people, we have a much more profound effect on their state of health then we originally thought. If we are distracted, scattered, angry, anxious or sad, we are unknowingly transmitting those feelings to our patients when they are on the table. It also means that no matter how hard we try, we cannot perform at our best when our body is not in a relaxed, happy or positive state. One of the main functions of HeartMath is to teach people how to focus their mind and detach from stress, so their heart patterns become more "coherent" with the rest of the body. Learning how to do this allows us to function at our optimal level, and emit energy that has a positive impact on those within close proximity to us.
Most of us have a form of pre-client "routine" we perform to help us prepare for a massage, that may include deep breathing, inhaling certain scents, stretching, praying, etc. Clearly, those who came before us in the field were on to something when they taught us this technique. In order for your work to be successful, I believe it is crucial to get into a positive, clear frame of mind before working on clients. If you do not have a daily method by which you relax your thoughts, I encourage you to look into this, and find something that works for you. There are a multitude of print and online resources for meditation, relaxation and mood changing techniques that offer many quick and practical ways to center your heart and mind. It seems like the more we learn, the more evidence there is to prove a mind-body connection. As someone who started in this business in the 1980's, when that concept was rarely talked about in the U.S., it is validating to see how far we have come in accepting it. Even more exciting is to consider what we will know about the mind-body connection as research continues on this subject in the years ahead!
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.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.