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A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
July, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 07
The Existential Question and Talking the Walk
By Gerry Pyves
You don't need to be a psychotherapist to talk to your clients or find out why they are coming for a treatment. This is perfectly within your legal "scope of practice." By training to become a psychotherapist, I learned to say much, much less to my massage clients.I learned to let the touch really do the work. I also learned to let the client define their own reality.
You can get plenty of "psycho babble" at every coffee shop in the land. However, I do need to know just why my client is here.
Eric Berne, the founder of Transactional Analysis called this, "asking the existential question." He asked himself: "Why is my client here and not having fun doing sex, drugs and rock and roll?" He also asked himself: "Why am I here and not somewhere else, having fun doing sex, drugs and rock and roll?" It was the sixties, after all. But you probably get the point.
If the client has a tight shoulder, what difference will it make to their life if it is alleviated? How important is it to them? What caused that structural problem? They are made of soft tissue that is more affected by energy, emotion and thoughts than any other substance on the planet. Do we just ignore this fact? If they have a knee problem, what was happening when they injured it? Were they under stress? Was life hard?
Is any of this psychotherapy? Of course not - it is simple human interest. It only becomes invasive if it is done invasively. If you cannot tell the difference between a client keen to share their story and one who is uncomfortable talking about themselves, then it is time to take up another profession. The art of all healing therapy is to know when the time is right to invite the client to share more about themselves.
Symptomatic Or Causative?
Asking questions is how we care for another human being. It is also discovering the essential causative factors of their symptomatic pains. To simply accept a tight shoulder as a structural problem is no better than calling poverty "a shame." These things all have causes and history. Like Sherlock Holmes, we must trace each symptom back to its historical cause, if we wish to be more than some kind of "Mr Fixit dullard." That is not healing touch. It is squashing human beings into a tiny "physical only" box.
Every human deserves to be seen and heard and to be touched. Do you really know why they have invested this money and this time in coming to see you? Do you dare to ask the existential question? Likewise, at the end of the session, do you dare ask, "Did you get what you came for?" In my previous article, I talked about asking the client to walk around at the end of the session. To do this well, requires three basic protocols.
Getting Out The Way
The first protocol is to get myself out of the way both physically and psychologically. Some clients are uncomfortable at first with the idea that they should know anything at all about their own bodies. The harder they find it to put words to their experience of walking, the more important it is to both therapist and client that they do this. If they want you to be the expert on their body, you better plan on moving into their house and living with them, and help them get dressed in the morning.
Listen To The Body
The second protocol is to encourage the client to feel how their body wants to walk. Most illness and tissue compression simply arises out of "the head" dominating "the body." If people rested when they were tired and ate when they were hungry and stopped eating when they were full, we would have a much healthier nation. The key here, is to follow the body.
We encourage the client to feel from the inside just how their body wants to walk. Some clients have had such massive structural shifts from the massage, that they actually walk like babies learning for the first time. The cerebellum has not yet caught up with the changes in muscle, tendon and ligament configuration. Some wobble as they walk. Some notice that they are more than mere structure. Some will connect with their energy or their emotions. Others will feel their spirit or discover a new clarity of thought.
The Rest Of The Day
The third protocol is to ask, "How will this walk affect the rest of your day, compared to when you came in?" If our touch does not make a difference to people's lives then we should probably do something else. Touch done well always make a massive difference - if only we let the clients really feel the power of beautiful healing touch.
Soft Magical Tissue
Once clients start to "talk their body's walk," they start to describe how their body is actually feeling. It is very different from some kind of intellectual chiropractic structural analysis. It is a feeling thing. Nothing connects us with the truth of our deepest inner feelings better than massage.
Find out why your clients have really come. Challenge them if they think they are just a mechanical problem waiting to be fixed by experts. We are not cars. We are human beings made of the most incredible and magical soft tissue that will find its own balance if touched with gentleness and respect. So please stop prodding and poking me. I do not need fixing. I need respectful, gentle touch. Then I will release my compressions - if I am ready.
Whose life is it, anyway?
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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