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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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?
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.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Do Your Clients Know How You Can Help Them?
By Ann Brown, LMT
When I meet someone, my self-introduction takes several steps. First, I'm a resort spa director. And I'm a licensed massage therapist, a nail technician and a cosmetologist. I put my credentials in order as to how I see my day-to-day duties and my business priorities.I want people – especially our spa clients – to see my business priorities and expertise. The list shows my history of moving through the spa industry and building my career but, more importantly, it shows our clients they can trust I know what I am talking about.
When clients have an issue they need help with, they often don't know what they need or why they are in pain. As an LMT, you know what presents itself is rarely a surface issue. Put yourself in your client's shoes. They may not know what questions to ask or who has the answers they need. Or they may not even know that some of their habits and patterns might lead to problems now or in the future.
In April 2013, I dislocated my jaw from a piece of candy that got stuck on the left side of my upper and lower teeth. Immediately, I knew I had either fractured or dislocated my jaw from the fireworks that went off in my left ear.
I spent the next three weeks on a 100 percent liquid diet and in complete silence, and my recovery has really been quite a process to say the least. For any of you massage therapists that do TMJ/jaw work, you know this is a very unique area and must be handled with care. I have seen two dentists, two chiropractors and tried unsuccessfully to find a therapist in my area that had some jaw specialty.
It wasn't until a recent trip to Florida to visit my 84-year-old mom that I finally found some real help. An industry friend referred me to an LMT that understood the jaw area and was trained in multiple modalities that might be able to help me with keeping the jaw tracking right and give me some insight to what the future might hold and if it might ever be back to normal.
The two 90-minute sessions were really fantastic, not just from the actual therapy performed, but also because of how much I learned from him. The sessions helped me to really uncover some patterns in myself. This LMT was able to connect the dots in a way that made me feel confident he would not hurt me and believe I could do something to improve the situation. I felt my clenching had done the most damage prior to the dislocation but, until these two sessions, I had no idea so many other structural issues were challenging to my recovery.
I think so many of us hold on to fear and physical and even emotional pain that, until the right therapist, referral, education or dialogue comes along, we tend to stay in a bit of paralysis. I almost don't like admitting it, being in the spa/wellness/massage industry, but even I was hesitant and a bit fearful going into the session with the LMT in Florida. I heard so many different opinions over the last seven months and I was confused myself as to the proper treatment that I was really unsure about a good outcome. I think I was able to trust this therapist based on the referral, his credentials, the terminology he used, the way he explained things to me about me, and his professional touch and ability to sense my pain and know my areas of concern by touch.
In our profession, we need to communicate with clients and build their trust. It is a tough field to find the right balance between relaxation/pampering and therapeutic work and a realistic guest expectation and outcome. To truly achieve results, it is imperative you clearly define who you are so the client can trust who you are. Share your bio, your mission, vision, education and specialization so a client in need can find you and put their fears at bay as you work together to reach a positive outcome. And then take it from you to them, ask the right questions, find out their goals and what might be holding them back from reaching them. I find a good communicator can almost do anything they put their mind too and this may take some practice or just asking everyone the same three to ten questions and starting to understand what the answers mean to them.
Most of us walking around in our 40s and up have some "things" going on that a therapist can really access and help us with remedies to achieve pain reduction, alignment and slow deterioration and help us realize poor patterns we almost don't even know we have. I am not suggesting that anyone go beyond the scope of massage, but even I am guilty of having body patterns that contributed to my jaw dislocation. I needed someone to point this out to me. My problem didn't stem from a piece of candy. It was some clenching and a left foot problem and a few other things I am aware of now and am working on to make sure my body stays as balanced as I can allow.
The experience has reinforced for me how we as massage therapists have a duty to give feedback and to help clients with their concerns. Communication is paramount. Asking the client their concerns and overall goals for any session is critical in a positive outcome.
Does your client know who you are and what you specialize in? How, when and where are you telling them? Do you walk your talk? Do you give homework? Do you know the goal of each of your clients? Can you help inform them about their body? I was lucky to find a therapist I was able to trust by his reputation, referrals and his credentials and his hands-on presence. I have learned so much about me from a jaw problem. I feel blessed, after my liquid diet, that I can chew and speak and now have a plan that addresses so much more than my jaw. I almost feel it is a gift to chew slowly and take my time at my meals, silly to think a dislocation of my jaw could provide some much good feedback of ways I need to improve. Our massage industry can help clients with wellness and prevention and slowing or turning around some ailments. I know I want to help, don't you?
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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