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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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