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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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?
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Challenges in the Treatment Room Can Bring Self Awareness
By Ann Brown, LMT
When I put on my writing hat for Massage Today, I usually feel I should speak about the spa industry, spa management, climbing up the corporate ladder or trying to bridge the gap between massage and spa (a relationship that is good, but could always be better).But beyond any executive or management level tasks that are on my mind, I still find myself back at the massage table and it is in this grounding that I find myself challenged. In my day-to-day role as spa director, I do at times step up to our spa's needs and provide hands-on therapy myself to our clients, standing at that massage table, in the same place as you. It is in that place that I sometimes find myself confronted with challenges I wasn't expecting.
I am very engaged in my work in the spa industry as it relates to massage, and I know you are, too. As engaging as the work is, I get stuck with my own responses with clients. Whether it is appointments cancelled minutes before the massage starts, clients in bad moods, clients that just aren't getting better or when I might, per chance, not be in the best of moods. We don't work in a vacuum and we are affected by the distances between ourselves, our clients and what we would like to have happen.
Recently, I found myself taken by an email I received from Wayne Dyer's organization about his daughter Serena's book, Don't Die with Your Music Still in You. The book's message hit a chord (no pun intended) with me and what I realize are my challenges with massage clients.
In her book, Serena says, "I'm always interested when I see acquaintances posting positive quotes and inspirational messages on Facebook and Twitter, yet I know that they're incredibly judgmental in their day-to-day lives. I hear them talk poorly about their friends and see them treat some people better than others. It's as if they don't believe the waitress is of the same caliber as the priest or lawyer, and therefore she does not deserve the same kind treatment."
To be honest, when I read that, I had to question myself. Do I do that on some level? While I strive to treat everyone with kindness, how much do I subconsciously judge others? Do I judge my clients when they don't meet my expectations or cause me a bit of challenge?
I filter everything that happens in my daily life, minute-to-minute. Part of this filter allows me to scan my environment and/or person and put them in a category. I think I've done this since I was a young child and I am sure it first came about to provide safety for me. I would scan people to check facial expressions and make sure they were friendly and not going to harm me. We all have basic survival mechanisms we use to protect ourselves from harm and maybe it is a primal part of our brain that helped the cavemen and cave ladies watch for danger including cliffs, animals, predators, storms, etc.
Even Serena admits that she has been guilty of these same judgmental behaviors. "We're all evolving. But I am becoming ever more aware of the judgment that creeps into my life. I observe it, even embrace it, and then let it go. I'm trying to live more positively, knowing that who I used to be, or what I used to do, does not shape who I am or what I do today."
As I have grown up, my adult filter has a tendency to judge and make assessments before I really know a person's whole story. Whether welcoming regular massage clients or first timers, we typically tend to assume things that we really don't know for hard facts. Do some of these sentences ever apply to you and your thoughts? "This client doesn't want to get better and will not do the work." "This client really doesn't have the financial resources to see me regularly." "This client is needy and stuck and I cannot really help."
I trust that all massage therapists want to help clients with wellness/prevention and rehabilitation and relaxation. I know this intention to help get them better can sometimes cause frustration when the desired results are not achieved. A positive attitude can do all kinds of things to help achieve results and that positivity must start with me and I must share it with my client.
Serena Dyer's words have helped me just try and embrace the good and keep things positive. "We can talk about positivity until the cows come home. But if we have constant thoughts of negativity, we will only find more negativity showing up in our lives. In order to see things change, we have to change the way we think about things. As the Abraham-Hicks teachings say, stop telling it like it is and start telling it like you want it to be. Life isn't happening to you, it is responding to you."
Once I get negative about another person, I have infected myself. That is not what I want for myself and that is not what I want for you. Wayne Dyer puts it best, "An eye for an eye keeps the whole world blind. Don't forget that."
Standing at the massage table, I look back over my career and I think about Serena's words. I see how the spa is not a job, but part of who I am, and I am grateful. I am grateful for the zigs and zags that I didn't plan on in my life, but that sparked my interest in the spa industry and kept me here. I have learned so much and know that it would take many lifetimes to even scrape the surface of all the spa history and understand the theories and fundamentals that originated thousands of years ago.
We are in a profession that dips deep into the past and connects deep with clients – and often times helps us connect deep within ourselves. As Serena puts forth in the title of her book, don't die with your music still in you. We all have music within ourselves, and we all work to find the rhythms and learn our life lessons that let our music loose. Cultivating a spirit of openness with our clients and forgiveness for ourselves when we falter helps let our music sing.
Ann Brown, a licensed massage therapist, is a member of the International Spa Association's board of directors and serves as spa director at Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo. She also provides management consulting services through Spa Insight Consulting.
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