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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
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.
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