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TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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