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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.
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.
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 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?
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05
Using Transactional Analysis to Speak "Client"
By Gerry Pyves
One of the most valuable things I learned when I trained as a Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist was to learn the difference between my "self" and the "other." This is particularly important in a therapy like massage which offers so many opportunities to "merge" with our clients.
By "merge" what I mean is to confuse what I am experiencing and thinking with what the client actually experiences. This sounds a bit obvious, doesn't it? However, one of the most common mistakes I witness in my training of massage therapists is precisely this problem. Many therapists pride themselves on their "sensitivity" and their "psychic" abilities, even. They simply love to prove their abilities by telling clients exactly what they notice about them and what their "energy" is doing.
Most of this is simply projection. We feel uplifted so we say to the client, "I notice how uplifted you are." In the power relationship of massage, the client is bound to agree. Occasionally, a client with a strong ego will simply walk out and not return as a result of such insulting and manipulative behaviour.
We must ensure it is the client's own experience they are describing in their own words. To do this, I invite the client to spend a few minutes lying on the table at the end of the treatment. This is so they have time to integrate the effect of the massage. Sometimes this is the most powerful therapeutic time of the treatment. Clients often report that they "let go" even more than during the bodywork itself. I leave the room so they really are in their own space for this phase.
The second part of this "integration phase" is when the client is dressed. Here, I still avoid chit chat and deflect the inevitable, "what did you notice?" game by simply asking the client to: "Walk around the table and notice how your body wants to walk after this treatment. Tell me anything you notice that feels different from this before you got on the table - if anything."
What is remarkable is that clients never say "Wow, I feel so myofascia-ed!" or "I feel like my iliopsoas is now so much longer!" Only massage therapists and professional bodyworkers talk such language. If clients really do speak this way, then they have been educated. What clients actually come out with, without such professional brain washing is, well, absolutely anything!
Learning From Our Clients
That is what makes it so exciting to actually listen to clients - I never know what will actually come out of their mouths. One client may walk like a zombie carrying lead weights on his feet and say, "I feel so light and free." They could not look less free or light if they tried. But who am I to say what my client actually feels or experiences internally? What is certain is this: everything I learned about the power of touch and massage came from the mouths of my clients. None of it can be found in the massage text books which, of necessity, only speak "bodywork." Yet, to really understand the immense power of massage, we really need to turn each client we massage into our teacher, by truly listening to their words.
Many therapists I know actually give a non-stop verbal commentary on what muscle is being released as they work. Now this is beyond the scope of practice, because it is hypnotherapy. Telling another human being what is happening in their body while they are in a semi-relaxed state and giving them suggestions is hypnotherapy. It is not ethical, in my opinion.
Only one person truly knows what the client is feeling in the treatment room, and it isn't the massage therapist. If you want to be a psychic, go get a velvet tent and a crystal ball. Otherwise let your clients have the space to find their own words for what they are feeling. When my clients "walk" after the treatment and are integrating their new body structure through the walk, I must bite my tongue and let them explore this new state of being.
What if they say, "nope, don't feel any different?" If there is not a convenient 8th floor window to throw yourself out of, you might just stay around and learn something. These "failures" are sometimes the most powerful teachings of them all.
You will not learn about massage from training courses. You will only learn about it from actual clients. if you bother to really listen to them and really want to know about them. All about them, not just their "physical" state. Know about them as human beings. You are not a bodyworker. The only place to find bodies without energy, emotion, mind and spirit is in the morgue or in bodywork text books. What you are, is a "human being worker."
The Best Marketing Tool
One of the great advantages of giving the client the chance to define their own reality in their own words, is how your clients walk out of your treatment room extremely clear about the value of coming for treatments with you. When they meet their friend for coffee after the treatment and they ask, "what have you been doing?" Your client replies, "I have just had a massage treatment and I feel six inches taller, so much lighter and ready to take on the world."
What just happened here? You just got yourself a new referral is what happened. Just from learning how to speak "client."
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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