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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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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!
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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.
February, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 02
Quiet the Fear and Then Open Your Heart
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I've had the privilege of teaching hundreds of massage therapists about serving frail elders and people in hospice care. I've learned from these therapists that, no matter what, we all have a few things in common.We are compassionate, heart-centered people. We want to make a difference in other's lives. And we have a desire to serve people in nursing homes, hospice or home care. But, even massage therapists who feel drawn to this work, struggle with fears and lack confidence in their ability to successfully reach out to this special population. "I don't feel I know enough." "I don't know the proper techniques." "I've never worked in this kind of health care system so how do I get started?" "I'm afraid of the emotional toll it might take on me." I want to challenge you to admit, then let go, of some of your own fears about working with this special population.
There are two themes of concerns that therapists seem to share. (Did you notice I've substituted the word "fear" with "concern"? Feels better already, doesn't it?) One theme centers on questions about how to market your services and how to create clinical programs in long term care or hospice. The second theme has to do with working with these special clients and how to handle situations that arise in say, the nursing home environment. These concerns going to be the focus here.
Your concerns create obstacles. There are obstacles that affect our confidence but, more importantly, obstacles that become barriers to getting in touch with your ability to be a compassionate and therapeutic presence and fully serve your clients. So, how do you go about identifying your own concerns? Try this brief activity as a start. Get a piece of paper. Now, imagine this scenario. Let's suppose you are just getting started with a new position in a large eldercare facility. You have several new clients with a range of conditions and abilities. Three have dementia. One has had a severe stroke. One has advanced Parkinson's disease. Two are non-verbal and spend most of their time in bed. And two are in the facility short term recovering from hip surgery and will be returning home soon. As you get started with your day, the director of nursing asks you to join a staff meeting to introduce yourself and tell them about your work. Okay, now ask yourself, "Is there anything I feel nervous about? Is there anything I don't know if I'm prepared for? If I imagine such and such happening, do I feel a twinge of anxiety or a tightening in my body?" Quickly jot down whatever comes to mind. These reactions represent your personal concerns.
There are four areas of concern that emerge over and over when I do this exercise in my workshops. I will share the most common ones with you here in hopes that you will feel some relief knowing that you aren't alone. The truth is we all have concerns and it doesn't matter how much experience we have. What follows is each of the four areas of concerns and the top three situations that therapists commonly share.
We all could add our own things to these lists. I want you to hear that just because you have these thoughts, it doesn't mean that something is wrong with you or that you aren't cut out for this work. It means you're normal and willing to take an honest look at yourself. There is a great little book by Susan Jeffers called, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. She tells us to, "accept fear as simply a fact of life rather than a barrier to success. Whenever we take a chance and enter unfamiliar territory or put ourselves into the world in a new way, we experience fear." I like to think of it as finding my edge and then, expanding it.
If you give yourself a break and soften your fears just a little, then you can operate from a heart-centered place rather than being caught up in your thoughts. If we are able to be in the moment rather anticipating what comes next, we are guided in our actions. And if we accept the situation as it is we are able to be fully present to the individual we are serving at the time. After all, at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about?
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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