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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
August, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 08
Understanding the Beautiful Choreography of Massage
By Caron Lerner
Given the choice, I would pick my own music when giving a massage. Now, I find myself working at a specific location where I don't have a say in the matter. The music that I work with is very calming, pleasant and wonderful.
Through the years I have worked with smooth jazz, head banger hard rock, sound effects such as waterfalls, running water (nowadays not my favorite, running water always makes me run to the bathroom), tribal drums and a host of others.
I have always said that when I give a massage I should get as much benefit out of giving the massage as the client on the table getting the massage. With the proper music there is a certain ebb and flow in the bodies movement making the treatment more of a dance than a clinical event. The smooth flowing long strokes, as well as the intense critical trigger point work all have a place in the surrounding music that accompanies a massage treatment.
As I listen to the music, my body begins to move in conjunction with the rhythm. It has the same effect as standing while holding a baby. There is a natural rocking/swaying movement taking place as the session continues. Even as the music changes from song to song, it's an easy adjustment to follow the rhythmical changes as they occur. To stoically stand from place to place as you work on your client will lead to poor postural habits, fatigue, pain and discomfort.
In my education, included in my curriculum was Tai Chi Chuan. It took me a few years to see the true benefits of using the long flowing movements, lowering my center of gravity and relaxing as I move through the treatment. Not only do I find a true connection with my client's energy, I feel that they can feel my energy as the rhythm flows through my touch.
The movements are slow and yet precise. I can deepen my breathing allowing for relaxation throughout the entire massage. This allows me to focus and regenerate during the massage making the treatment less fatiguing, allowing for greater energy to be dispersed.
After years of working in my own private practice, my husband and I relocated from Long Island to Charlotte, North Carolina. My best option for continuing my passion in massage was to join the ranks of therapists working in store front franchised massage businesses while building up a private clientele. This was quite an education. I used to design my own music and burn my own discs.
I went through a Yanni phase, classical music phase, melodic piano, guitar, folk and classic rock. My clients began to request a certain genre and my library grew. The best technological advancement came with Sirius Satellite Radio. I would go to my clients homes and tune into the meditation station or other stations conducive to massage. I am partial to piano or guitar music. Slow melodies in minor keys give the tempo of the massage a very relaxing, sedative almost tranquilizing effect. As I listen to the rhythm and melody of the music, my massage begins to evolve into a symphony and dance of flowing energy. Combining music with the movements of Tai Chi has allowed me to continue my massage for more than 20 years.
There is a certain meditative feeling allowing me to close my eyes and feel deeply into my client's muscles. I let my hands feel what needs to be felt. I let the music permeate the atmosphere allowing for the quintessential experience to begin. Each and every massage is a new adventure, a new exploration into a healing process. I take the journey with my client and together we work through a maze of stress, tension and medical issues.
In the medical field, there are few practitioners that have the privilege of an actual hands on experience with their clients from beginning to end. As massage therapists, we all but guarantee that the person walking into our room will feel better walking out of our room. Through a blend of ambiance, music, knowledge of our craft and empathy, we have the ability to significantly alter a person's day. This is a very satisfying experience. A challenge I accept every day.
Caron Lerner graduated from New York College of Health Professions 1993 and has been actively practicing massage therapy for more than 24 years. She is a licensed massage therapist in North Carolina and New York. Email her at:
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