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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
The Gentle and Healing Power of Reiki
By Lisanne Elkins
Kerry climbs onto my massage table fully clothed and makes herself comfortable. The table is warm from a fleece-lined heating pad; the room is dimly lit by a Moroccan-style lamp and the air is fragrant with essential oils. Calming Japanese flute plays in the background. She has chosen to come for these sessions weekly, as part of her decision to improve general self-care and relieve stress from a rather challenging job situation.
Kerry subsides more deeply into a state of relaxation as the session begins. I ground myself and lay my hands gently on the top of her head. I linger there for perhaps five minutes today, (each time is different) until I feel it is the right time to move to her shoulders. It is in this way that Kerry and I connect in a healing energy session and we help Kerry's healing process wherever she may need it on that day.
Sixty-minutes later, the session ends and Kerry arises from the table looking radiant and feeling relaxed and grounded. The chronic pain in her knee has ceased and she softly comments on the heat and vibration she feels throughout her body. "First, it is a tingling sensation, then the energy feels like it moves through me and opens up the flow in my entire body," she says. Days later, Kerry recalls a sense of well being that permeates the experiences in her daily life.
This abbreviated story illustrates the gentle yet powerful abilities of the Japanese art of Reiki, an energetic healing method that can be used by anyone, anytime. With further study and strengthening of one's own awareness, combined with specific symbols to "amp up" the work, Reiki can be used for self-healing and the healing of others and, more comprehensively, the world in which we live.
Reiki is also an exceptionally effective tool for bodyworkers, massage therapists and other types of therapists and it can also be administered to one's own person. In fact, an intrinsic part of Reiki is healing the self through guided meditations, allowing the flow of universal energy, learning mindfulness and following five simple, non-religious but infinitely wise precepts.
I could discuss the many ways in which Reiki has benefited me personally and those around me over time and how, when I experienced a healing crisis two years ago, it was Reiki that I turned to, administered by my teacher and Reiki Master. As a result, my journey back to health took less time and was infinitely more profound. I would add that at that time, I was not a Reiki Master; I had studied the first two levels of Reiki and saw how effective it was for my clients and for myself. My original intention was to strengthen my intuition and energetic boundaries for my clients, but it ended up being so much more than that.
Let's return to the definition of Reiki. It is perhaps more constructive to begin by saying what it is "not." It is not magic by a conventional definition, it is not supernatural, nor religious. It has its origins in Japan, discovered and founded by Sensei Mikao Usui, a Japanese man of possible Buddhist origins. It has been said that he climbed Japan's Mount Kurama and meditated until he felt the healing power of Reiki within him. He then went on to teach others what he had identified and created a lifestyle for his students to follow. Reiki has since changed in its travels from East to West. There are some who claim to have expanded on Usui's teachings and reinvented them for their own purposes. It is important to realize the true origin of Reiki and be aware of ways in which it has been modified for marketing or ego-centered purposes.
Overall, it is a simple technique that doesn't require all the bells and whistles of our Western consumer culture. In fact, I believe that the academic subjects of spirituality and physics are converging, as we learn more about our mysterious universe and as we use the term, "energy" more in the context of our daily conversations. The word, "Reiki" literally means, "Life Energy." Rei as in life force, and Ki for energy, known also as "Chi" or "Qi" in Chinese medicine and "Prana" in India.
There are many other words for this life force energy: source, divine source or energy from the universal energy field, which surrounds every living thing and interacts with the physical body as well as all living things collectively. This is the holistic aspect of Reiki — the idea that it is part of a greater whole.
Simply put, using Reiki in one's daily life or on others for healing purposes involves being a conduit of sorts to draw energy from the source inward through one's body. The best technique for doing Reiki is visualizing being rooted in the earth, while drawing light or heat in from the top of the head, or the Crown Chakra. Administering Reiki essentially helps increase the flow of energy, addressing energetic blockages that may exist, which are of emotional, spiritual or karmic and physical origins.
Those who come for a Reiki treatment have their own personal needs or reasons for doing so, but the end result of a Reiki treatment has almost always been unanimous: people feel more centered, less uncomfortable and have a greater sense of well being. The choice to receive Reiki or to study it and integrate it into one's daily life is certainly individual. Either way, it has its benefits.
Eastern Vs. Western Reiki
Original Japanese Usui Reiki differs greatly from the way it is used in the West. "In Usui's time [at the turn of the century,] the emphasis was very much on personal responsibility and commitment," says Reiki Master and beloved Teacher, Ginny Mackles, who has practiced Reiki for almost 30 years and has a direct lineage to its original teachers. "Students were expected to work hard to develop their abilities, and they were given practical tools for using it. For us, [as practitioners] Reiki is first and foremost a self-healing and spiritual development method, though it is something that you can also use to help others. The course is thus rooted in personal energy work, though we cover the treatment of others in depth too."
Kerry and many of my clients continue to come weekly or bi-weekly for Reiki. Their issues vary from serious, life-threatening illnesses to emotional struggles, to daily challenges. I am struck by the way almost all of them marvel at how much better they feel after a session. I continue to be amazed and humbled by the power of Reiki. Whether you are a healing practitioner or client of the healing arts, Reiki is a powerful gift for everyone's healing journey.
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