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Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
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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