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An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
Working Toward Good Health: Energy Systems and Practices
By Marie-Christine Lochot, LMT
For thousands of years our ancestors have developed systems explaining how subtle energies are organized, how they function and how to work with them for good health. What is subtle energy? It is an energy that cannot be measured.This is our life force. The Chinese call it Qi, the Japanese Ki, the Hindu Prana. Energy has power and intelligence; it connects all things in all dimensions. Its movement nourishes and sustains life. When energy stagnates, it promotes diseases, emotional imbalances and various ailments.
Modern science is starting to bring proof that those subtle energies do exist, confirming the intuition of our ancestors. The physicist Albert Einstein with his famous equation E=mc2 introduced the concept that matter and energy are interchangeable as they are two forms of the same thing. If matter and energy are different forms of the same thing then we can say that ultimately everything is energy. "Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter." Albert Einstein
There is a lot of literature regarding human energy systems. Opinions vary about how many systems there are. Three main systems though are mentioned by the wide majority of texts: the Meridians, the Chakras and the Aura. So, for the purpose of clarity and simplicity, we will focus on them.
The meridians are energy pathways which run throughout the body, invisible to most eyes, connecting to each other and to every structure of the body – atom, cell, organ, bone, tendon, skin. There are twelve major meridians that run on each side of the body, on the chest, back, arms or legs. Ten meridians correspond to an internal organ: stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, liver, gall bladder, lung and large intestine. The last two, Triple Warmer and Pericardium are somewhat different. Triple Warmer distributes Qi to various body parts. Pericardium works closely with the Heart Meridian and helps protect the heart.
The meridians carry energy, blood and information. It is the meridians that send signals for body functions, the regulation of emotions and the maintenance of homeostasis. Energy in the meridians is accessed through acupuncture points. All meridians are grouped in pair of yin and yang partners. Each pair is associated with a specific elemental force. The meridian system is one of the major foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine and its healing practices, acupuncture, acupressure, Tuina and Qigong. Good health is attained by ensuring that Qi is flowing freely through the meridians and that organs work in harmony.
According to most researchers, the chakra system started in India some 4000 thousand years ago. The Sanskrit translation of the word chakra is wheel of light. They are usually shown as vortices of energy coming out from the front and back of the body. Many traditions across the world use chakra systems: Hindu, Tibetan, Kundalini, Tantric, Chinese, Maya, Inca, Cherokee and Sufi to name a few. The differences between systems are usually number and locations of the chakras. Most systems, including the modern western derivative system, acknowledge seven major ones, placed at the same locations and with the same color coupled with them. The seven chakras are associated with a nerve plexus, an area of the body and an endocrine system. They are located in ascending order from the pubic bone up to the head:
Donna Eden, energy healer, reports seeing different colors in chakras for different people. The chakras are like power stations which at the same time transmit information into the universe and are attuned to larger energies from the universe. The chakras are also affiliated with the various aspects of being human: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life. Energy practices that work with chakras for better health "clear them" by using hands, magnets, crystals, sounds and other means. They include Reiki, Healing Touch, Pranic healing, Brennan Healing Science and Energy Medicine.
The Aura is a field of light that surrounds not only people and animals but also plants and objects. It acts as a protective atmosphere around one's body but also connects the physical, emotional and spiritual being to the outer world. The aura is magnetic in nature, but also has some electro-magnetic component to it. As with chakras many traditions have known the aura, and science has been studying it since the 1800s. Many cultures and authors describe the auric field as having seven layers, with the first layer close to the body and the seventh the furthest away. Colors are associated with each layer, but depending on aura readers there are variations. The auric layers are:
The aura changes size, shape, color and density depending on one's health, state of emotions and activity. The seven bands of the aura attach to the seven chakras. When the aura filters out or attracts energy, it does so through the chakras.
Clearing the aura is good for our physical health but also supports emotional and spiritual identity. A variety of energy practices offer techniques to do so. Even if Meridians, Chakras and Aura are separate energy systems, they interact with each other in a dance as subtle as energy itself. Energy vibrations are received and filtered by the aura, then fed into the chakras. The chakras in turn distribute that energy/information into the meridian system which passes it along to all the elements of our bodies from organs to cells. That transmission of energy and information goes both ways. Chakras collect information from the meridians and send it outward through the aura transmitting the imprint of our being to the outer world.
As massage therapists and bodyworkers, energy is part of our work whether it is ours or the client's or the entwinement of those two. Being aware of it is a key component to a deeper understanding of what we do.
Marie-Christine Lochot is a licensed massage therapist, energy bodyworker and educator. Owner of Massage Montclair in New Jersey, she has been a member of the AMTA since 1994 and is nationally certified by NCBTMB. With specialties in Swedish massage, massage for people affected by cancer and energy healing, Marie-Christine coaches and teaches energy healing to laypeople, massage professionals and in the corporate environment. With a diverse background in management and accounting, Marie-Christine also teaches small business and private practice organization. She can be reached at www.massagemontclair.com.
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