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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
March, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 03
Sampling Self-Care Southern California Style
By Mia Miller, LMT
I am often in awe of how both built and natural environments stretch our sense of what's enjoyable, desirable and possible. Whether you're suiting up for a winter run in below freezing temperatures, packing up swim gear to hit the gym after a long day of work or perhaps you're disciplined enough to do some restorative yoga at home alone in the wee hours of morning before the day kicks off, we are incredibly adaptable creatures when we allow the places around us to suggest and shape our routines of self-care.I have found two different distinct, new ways to be take care of myself since my move West: long hikes and regular trips to the Korean day spa.
I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast, having spent 11 years in Brooklyn prior to my move to Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. The predictable 70 degree temps were a direct invitation to get outside and stay there. My new home was in the foothills against a wall of mountains known as the San Gabriel range, unique to the area as it runs East to West and enjoys various climatic influences. Los Angeles County hosts high dessert, coastal, moutainous and inland valley topography providing great odds for outdoor wandering, as nine times out of ten you'll be in dry conditions with pleasing, moderate temperatures. Southern California really is a unique place to explore hills, valleys, beaches and desserts on foot most days of the year.
Past my initial anxiety, I eventually got my bags packed and headed out to find a trail about 15 mins from my house and began my first hike. Right at the start, I saw a sign that announced "rattlesnakes are a vital part of the ecosystem, don't disturb" and I knew for sure I was on freshh ground and off for a different kind of walk than I was used to. My hike in the San Gabriels was distinct from former walks on busy city streets, where everyone and everything can mingle. In this setting, I was able to sense and commune with non-human existence and open space, possibly discover new life in the dirt and brush.
In case the effects of a slightly challenging hike are easy to overlook, let's review a few physical benefits here. When walking, we nourish our tissues with fresh oxygen and improve the flow of synovial fluids for joint health and lymphatic fluid for smoother, more effecient "plumbing." While hiking here, you hit inclines, some steady, some extreme, thus building stamina, increasing pulmonary and circulatory functions and building bone mass with each step. Back and forth along switchbacks at a nice clip, we have the opportunity to witness a literal widening perspective which always seems fresh when we look. We relax the nervous system promoting a nice calm, even while we are exerting ourselves, a very stabilizing combination of effects, I think.
Its been a few years since this intial sojourn and I have since ventured deeper into the Angeles National Forest for longer hikes, as well as places that required a little more planning and gas in the tank. While driving can be aumtomated and disembodied, once you hit that trail, the contrast is quite acute and the body gains in appreciation with each dusty push off. It's the promise of adventure, new terrain and intimacy with it, that really eases the mind and settles the misfires and chatter inside.
A second ritual of self-care I have discovered for mind/body restoration takes me indoors in Los Angeles. A contrast from trails at 5,000 feet, day spa's are environments in which to unwind and commune with the elements in a more passive fashion, often in a basement of a big office building. Searching Yelp, you'll find more than 6,000 hits for day spa's in Los Angeles. I am eager to share my impressions of Korean Day Spa's in Koreatown, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Some are small and for women only, while others are very spacious and filled with families. Others have co-ed saunas with heated jade floors and a communal nap zone with separate gender specific spaces in which to enjoy contrast bathing and unrobing to steam. The locations I've visited are all peaceful, clean, centered on client comfort and incredibly affordable, many with a fee of only $15 for use of the facilities.
Many folks expereince a spa environment for the first time when they are on vacation and decide to splurge on a body wrap or a high priced package deal. Logistically, what I appreciate most about these bi-monthly Korean day spa excursions is you are able to design the day for yourself, but not from that organized sort of place. It's much more casual and free form. You can pack your own supplies, such as a dry brush, home made body scrub and your own clay mask, possibly a bag of goodies you rarely make time to use at home and settle in for a few hours to experience the elements in a less controlled manner. At the spa, you peruse more, feeling how long to stay in each place. While there is no exact protocol you have to follow, there are suggestions for how to use the facilities and your safety in extreme temperatures is obviously important to pay attention to, so know limitations and listen to your body, the point of the day anyway! Drink lots of water throughout as well.
Choice activites and effects:
Heading out, again often paying $15 for my time, I hit the warm air and smile. My drive home is so relaxed and peaceful and whatever comes next is laced with pure joy and contentment.
There are no lack of spas in many towns and the big, bad U.S.A. has tons of trails and places to wander around outside. I am thrilled to incorporate these activities into my life as I call the West Coast home. I often encourage clients and friends to explore these options and they are always happy they did. As we care for others in a very tactile, physical way through bodywork, we too can learn to dial it back and take in the built and natural atmosphere and it's affordable little gems. I invite you to check out what's around you and be well. The world is waiting for you to check it out!
Mia Miller is a specialist in oncology massage and runs her private practice, Somatic Space, in Los Angeles, Calif. She is a passionate proponent of integrative medicine and a therapist at City of Hope and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Visit her website: www.somaticspace.com.
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