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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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
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.
November, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 11
CranioSacral Therapy and the High Performance Athlete
By John Matthew Upledger
The life of a high-performance athlete has always amazed me. The grueling training schedules. The intense focus. The sheer athleticism. There is a commitment level to this kind of competitor that I can't begin to fathom.I was reminded of this as I watched the 2012 summer Olympic games from the air-conditioned comfort of my living room couch.
Of course, with that drive to excel can come a sacrifice of health as the body is continually pushed to the limits of its potential. This got me thinking about athletes in general and how they can benefit from CranioSacral Therapy. I found a prime example in a competitive athlete named Rick*.
CST keeps cyclist centered
At 49, Rick is in peak physical condition. A professional cyclist and adventure racer for much of his adult life, he maintains an extremely active lifestyle. Along with cycling, he is an avid runner, skate skier and back country skier.
Rick's training regimen is intense, to say the least. There is mountain biking and trail running, which subjects his body to severe elevation gains and losses. There are marathon sessions on a rowing machine. And there are rigorous plyometric exercises he undergoes to boost his performance. The idea of plyometric movements is to push the muscles to exert maximum force in a small amount of time in order to develop muscular power and improve overall speed. By any definition Rick is a high-performance athlete.
For six years Rick has been the client of Dominique Tardif, MT, in Boise, Idaho. He first came to Dominique looking for sports massage to keep his body "tuned up" and operating at peak performance. Then one day, Rick came in commenting that he didn't feel "centered" on his road bicycle. Chalking it up to a problem with his bike, he said he was going to take it to a mechanic for an assessment. Suspecting that Rick's bike was not the problem, Dominique suggested a new approach. She had recently taken her first CranioSacral Therapy class and thought the techniques would be beneficial given the symptoms he described.
Rick initially had a hard time wrapping his mind around the value of what Dominique described: a technique that used only about five grams of touch. How could something that gentle help him? By the end of the session, Rick was a believer. Using the CST 10-step protocol, Dominique said, "I found restrictions at every listening station! He experienced significant releases throughout his system that day, predominately at his sacrum, thoracic outlet, parietals, temporals and sphenoid." Later that week, Rick sent Dominique an e-mail saying that he was perfectly centered once again on his bike, without the help of a mechanic. "I dare say that caught his attention!" she said.
Since that time, CST has become a regular addition to Rick's sessions. During a recent appointment, Dominique began her assessment, taking Rick's heels in her hands. "I felt a strong pull cephalad on his left side," she said. "At his left ASIS I felt an anterior medial pull. I asked him if he was feeling any pulls or strains in his body." Rick mentioned that he felt a left side/off-center pull. Dominique continued through the listening stations, arcing and assessing for fascial restrictions and facilitated segments. "I used a variation on the 10-step protocol," she said. "I added in CST-based, light-touch deeper fascial work with direction of energy and nonverbal dialoguing with the tissue. The biggest releases were at his sacrum/SI joint/ hips/legs. The final polish was added with the cranial vault holds."
Immediately after the session Rick reported that he felt fully centered and evenly planted through both feet. Nine days later he went on what he called his "first hard run in a long time" — a seven-plus mile run in hilly terrain. He wrote Dominique to say, "I felt totally centered — like a metronome or a set of pistons—balanced and relentless."
Tips for working with athletes
As Dominique discovered with Rick, the application of a light-touch technique such as CranioSacral Therapy often requires a new understanding of how the body responds to gentle, directed touch — or at least a willingness to give it a try. That goes for both the client and therapist! Dominique says, "CST taught me how to have a different conversation with tissue. I find that I can get deeper releases with a lighter touch. I work with a lot of athletes, and I find them generally to have a higher awareness of their bodies than the average person. If there is a challenge it is to convince them that one does not necessarily have to dig deeply into their tissue for them to benefit from the session." Rick says, "Dominique has made me aware that a CranioSacral Therapy session can be a key part of overall maintenance and healing in addition to deep-tissue sports massage."
Appointments with Dominique now almost always include CST — even if it's simply doing a still-point induction to start the session, she says. In Rick's case, sessions average 90 minutes and are scheduled to coincide with rest days in his training. "I always encourage athletes to schedule their sessions with me on a planned rest day in their training regimen and only to do a light workout or just yoga/stretching the following day," she says. "When Rick is feeling a need for a thorough combination, I will split the session between CST and massage. At times we have gone two hours if he wants a full CST session and a full massage."
Working with other clients within a standard hour-long massage session, Dominique is still able to maximize CST's potential. She will quietly arc and assess their Craniosacral rhythm at the beginning of the session and then bring in whatever aspects of CST the body guides her to do. "CST has been invaluable in my practice," Dominique says. "It has given me another modality to expand my practice and client base. It has deepened my conversation with the body and tissue, teaching me that often less is more. And it has encouraged me to ‘get out of the way' and let the client be the guide."
This approach to bodywork can benefit people in all walks and seasons of life—whether they're an elite athlete, a weekend golfer, or a guy cheering on his favorite Olympians from the comfort of his living-room couch.
John Matthew Upledger is the CEO of Upledger Institute International. For 25 years, he has been actively engaged in all aspects of the organization — from education to clinical services. For more information about CranioSacral Therapy and other modalities offered for study through Upledger Institute International go to www.iahe.com.
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