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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Learning to Pay Attention to the Quality of Touch
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I once received a massage that stands out in my memory. The space was beautiful and inviting. The therapist was attentive as we visited prior to the session. It had been a while since I'd gotten a massage so I was really looking forward to this time to let go and renew.I was happy to relax on the warm table for a few minutes waiting for the session to begin. The therapist quietly entered the room. Then, I felt some quick touches on my back as she moved toward my feet where she abruptly started a vigorous foot massage. It was jolting. I wish I could say this was an isolated occurrence, but actually I've had this kind of experience several times. It reinforces the importance of the quality of our attention and touch at the very start of any session.
On the first day of my workshops, we do a focused attention exercise as we begin to explore gentle holding techniques. Partners sit facing one another and one person is the "receiver" and the other is the "giver" of the attention. The giver silently places their attention on their partner, mindful of acknowledging the individual within. They are instructed if the mind becomes distracted, to gently bring it back to focusing on their partner. After about three minutes, they silently switch roles and repeat the exercise. Then the group is asked to reflect on the experience. The feedback is always the same: the room feels warmer, the energy "softer," they feel calmer and centered and connected to one another. Occasionally, there are tears and always there are hugs as we close the exercise. It's remarkable to witness the shift that occurs in about six minutes. Now, we are ready to begin touching in a more intentional way.
Enhance the Quality of Your Touch
Whatever the context, all touch has quality and intention. The quality of your touch is the physical attributes of the touch itself. For example, touch may be warm or cold, firm or light, fast or slow, rhythmic or sporadic. The intention is what you communicate or convey through the touch. For example, you may use touch to communicate caring, to guide someone, or to greet a friend. Focused touch is touch that's offered gently and mindfully, with awareness of your intention. Beginning any session with a focused touch sets the tone for the entire massage, regardless of the techniques that follow in order to meet the needs of your client. The following are some simple steps that will enhance the quality of your touch as you initiate the touch session.
Centering before you make physical contact with your client affects the quality of your presence and makes the connection with your client more authentic.
Some examples of common centering methods include:
It doesn't matter if you begin the massage at the feet, head or other area; take care to make the initial contact soft and slow. Hold the touch for just a moment before beginning any technique. This allows your client to feel your presence and it establishes trust.
Intend to Connect
Meet your client in the moment. Silently acknowledge the individual within the body you are massaging and their ability to receive what is needed for the rest of the session, whether that is relaxation, healing from an injury or pain relief.
Closing The Session
The quality of your touch at the end of a session is important, too. End with a moment of focused touch and gently pull your hands from the body. This allows your client to continue to enjoy the effects of the massage without the jolt of an abrupt change of energy at the end.
Taking these simple steps will go a long way to build a supportive environment for your clients. I've found that when I take care of the quality of my touch at the beginning of a session, I'm more fulfilled by the experience. I hope you are, too.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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