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A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
The Psychotherapy of Massage: What Makes Us Human?
By Gerry Pyves
For fifteen years, I have been trying to keep my two disciplines of psychotherapy and massage completely separate, out of respect for the reasons why clients came to see me. Clients who come for psychotherapy want to explore the psychological roots of their dysfunction, while clients who come for massage want to sort out their physical problems. I have a confession to make: I have failed miserably.
Appallingly, I have been affecting the bodies of my clients in my psychotherapy practice, and I now confess to affecting the minds of my massage clients. The psychotherapy regulators would have me NOT TOUCH my clients or "get physical" with them for fear of creating "transference issues." The massage regulators would not have me go beyond my scope of practice and start "messing with the minds" of my clients. So shoot me.
Try explaining these "regulations" to massage clients that release psychological and emotional traumas in the presence of powerful healing touch. Try explaining these regulations to those psychotherapy clients who find their body's energy and physical structure transformed by their psychotherapy.
Fear of Touch
Alarmingly, I meet more and more massage therapists who seem to think massage is just about fixing a structural problem. Others simply relegate such touch to the category of "relaxation massage." For which read the unspoken, ineffectual and superficial.
What Does Massage Touch?
What we actually touch of course, is human skin. We may influence the muscles and tendons and bones, but we do not touch them. What we actually touch is skin. The skin of a living and evolving person, who carries their full life history in every inch of their body.
I do not have the space here to go into all the detail regarding the skin but recommend a reading (or re-reading) of Ashley Montague's classic, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin and Deane Juhan's brilliant, Job's Body. Both writers refer to the overwhelming scientific evidence that, when we touch the skin, we are making direct contact with a part of our organism that is hard wired directly to the brain and with all that makes us human. So just what is it then, that makes us human?
I use my own acronym to understand what a human being is composed of. It is a model that has served me well for 28 years of clinical practice. It stands for:
P - Physical
When we touch a person's skin, it is impossible to only touch their physical body. In giving more than 20,000 massage treatments as a therapist, I have found it impossible to massage another human being without having a powerful impact on their energy system, their emotions, their mental outlook or their spiritual state.
So why then, our profession's current obsession with only the person's physical structure? Is someone out there afraid of how touch affects our emotions, our thoughts or our spirit? So many bodyworkers I meet seem to just want to prod and poke and frantically "fix" the body; as if it is an enemy to be controlled. Do we really have to subjugate and control the body? Must we still follow these apparently touch phobic leaders of the massage profession (whether male or female) who seem so very frightened of simple nurturing touch? Do we really have to follow blindly as they insist on our touch becoming so medical? If I wanted to be so medical, I would have trained in medicine.
I chose massage because the body is the most magical self-healing organism on the planet, and guess what triggers that self healing? Simple healing touch. Every massage practitioner who has spent any time at all in the treatment room observing our clients knows the muscles in the body have only one "origin" and one "insertion" - the mind. Experienced massage therapists KNOW nurturing touch enables clients to release all their tight muscles in just one breath. Because they are letting go in their minds.
So please stop trying to tell me which bits of my body are wrong and trying to put me right. Just give me touch that respects the journey of my life and properly values the history that twisted my spine and compressed my tissues. Then I will release what I am ready to release. In my own time. In my own way.
Please don't just sit there with your SOAP notes and address one fifth of what makes me human. See all of me. Listen to all of me. I come for touch that connects me with my very soul. Do my muscles release when I get this? Of course, they do.
Gerry Pyves lives in West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. He holds an MA from Oxford University and qualified as a massage therapist in 1984. He became a UKCP registered Transactional Analysis psychotherapist in 1999. He is the founder and creator of NO HANDS® Massage. He is currently looking for instructors to teach NO HANDS® in the U.S. For more information, visit www.nohandsmassage.com.
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