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House Calls With Dad
My father was a chiropractor and he did house calls. On Wednesday nights, while my mother attended the weekly women's meeting at the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs hall in our small town, dad loaded up the portable adjusting table, fired up the Pontiac and drove off to treat a few patients in their homes. I went with him.
Near-Infrared Therapy for Diabetic Neuropathy
The pain experienced by people with diabetes is a symptom of diabetic neuropathy. The impact on quality of life is significant. Pain makes walking difficult, sleep troublesome, and eventually contributes to a decrease in social interaction.
Correcting Rib Dysfunction: Improve Patients' Pain, Posture and Breathing
As chiropractors, we tend to focus on the spine, and rightly so. Many problems our patients face can be corrected by manipulating the correct spinal level.
Paperwork Done Wrong, Done Right
I was visiting a doctor's office recently and a member of his staff brought a stack of forms to his private office and laid them on the doctor's desk. She informed him he needed to complete the forms for patients and a few third parties.
TCM & the Caregiving Population: Treatment Considerations & Our Vital Role
Informal caregiving is increasingly a reality for many Americans who find themselves providing unpaid care for a loved one or a family member with a long-term, terminal, or chronic illness.
4 Things Every DC Should Know About Levels of Care & Prevention
As health practitioners, we help people with their health problems and assist them with health promotion and disease prevention.
Helping Patients With Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD), a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects motor function, has a slow onset over time.
Chiropractic in Texas Is Under Attack
The profession of chiropractic faces an unprecedented challenge in Texas, an attack that is more aggressive, sustained and dangerous than anything previously seen. The medical lobby has launched a coordinated, multi-front assault.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter
New estimates suggest more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. The medical significance of this statistic is astounding.
Advancing the "Whole Organ" Spine Model
Historically, the human spine has been organized by body region utilizing specific anatomical landmarks and transition zones.
Getting Unstuck: Healing From Trauma With TCM, Qigong & Movement
We all come into this world vulnerable, with seeds to grow into our strength. Some of us — through a combination of good fortune (i.e., family and culture we are born into, constitutional inheritance, or ability to learn) grow with minimal interruption from traumatic injuries and experiences.
Spiritual Initiation: Opening Your Higher Healing Abilities
People drawn to the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine tend to be those who march to the beat of a different drummer.
The Large Intestine Official
The large intestine (AKA colon) is the great eliminator, or as J.R. Worsley called it, "The Drainer of the Dregs." Dregs are defined as the remnants of liquid with its sediment left in a container, or the basest, least valuable portion of anything.
Gather & Grow
I recently attended a faculty seminar held by one of the acupuncture schools. There was a facilitator who led us through some very interesting experiences. The attendees were a diverse group with varying opinions.
VF Works / DMX Works Epilogue: Almost Two Decades Later, the Lawsuits Continue
An article in the March 8, 1999 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic examined whether then-VF Works / Nu-Best Franchising was selling its franchises illegally to doctors of chiropractic.
Reader Beware: Consider the Source
The aftermath of last year's presidential elections brought a running conversation on the role played by "fake news" that was largely presented via social media.
Treating the Lower Pelvis (Pt. 2): Midline Structures and Fascia
My previous article [October 2016 issue] outlined evaluation and treatment of pelvic issues involving the sacrotuberous ligament and the pubic symphysis. Now let's discuss two case studies that illustrate how to address additional problematic areas of the pelvis.
ICA Goes on the Vaccine Offensive
Have you watched the vaccination documentary, "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," by Andrew Wakefield MD, director, and Del Bigtree, producer? This is the documentary Robert DeNiro was pressured to remove from his Tribeca Film Festival.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 2)
The primary channels (main channels) are introduced in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, these channels are referenced in many chapters throughout the Su Wen and the Ling Shu. The primary channels have become the main channel system used in TCM.
A Brief History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctoral Programs
A doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been a goal of the profession since its beginnings in the late 1970s. At that time, however, the maturity of the educational institutions and the regulatory environment made it a goal with only a distant completion date.
AOM Residency at NUNM
Imagine you're a recent acupuncture graduate, worried about making enough income as you forge your new career and seek more in-depth training in a particular treatment style.
Latest Cassidy Study on Stroke Risk Published
The latest study to investigate whether a unique association between chiropractic manipulation and risk of cervical artery dissection / stroke exists has yielded similar encouraging findings, with the authors noting "no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care" and no significant risk difference between patients receiving care from a DC or a primary care medical provider.
Enhance Healing With Therapeutic Endings
To support your clients' healing process from chronic somatic difficulties, you may want to consider therapeutic endings, which can assist the human nervous system in updating and recalibrating itself across its vast lattice of neurovascular relationships. I consider it to be similar to a musical symphonic resolution, encouraging a more expansive state of neurological balancing. Let's discuss three suggested protocols which can be exceptionally helpful in increasing the effectiveness of your work.
The essential condition of any client presenting with chronic somatic dysfunction is that their nervous system has adapted to their ongoing troubles. Even though they desperately want their pain to go away and desire a return to normal function and range of motion, their autonomic, sensory, and motor systems have adjusted to their dysfunction in order to provide stability, and to minimize their pain – so much so that even the anticipation of movement can provoke a limitation in its range and the onset of the sensation of pain.
Adaptation is the evolutionary genius of our species. Survival at all costs, even for just one more day, was the innate drive for our species' biological progression into our human form and its diverse varieties of function. Yet, I propose that this same capacity for adaptation can have a dysfunctional echo into our modern lives.
A current definition of chronic is any condition lasting more than three months. Previous definitions were six months or longer. However, the duration is of little concern to a client who can no longer maintain their daily functions without noticeable disruption, especially while experiencing pain most or all of the time.
Regardless of the therapeutic bodywork strategy you may employ, the actual experience of a client to feel that they made progress as a result of your touch and interaction with them quickly determines whether they continue to make future appointments with you. Their perceived progress influences your prosperity.
Discussion of effective therapeutic session endings has had little attention in our literature or any other. However, my clinical experience suggests that it is a significant variable. I postulate that effective therapeutic endings are intended and designed to consolidate the gains of an individual therapeutic session and to build a momentum toward a more normal state of physiologic homeostasis from one session to the next.
During my first advanced training in 1980 with Bill Williams and Ellen Gregory, the developers of Soma Neuromuscular Integration, I was first introduced to the concept of a parasympathetic ending. This ending sequence consisted of an active connective-tissue stretch on each side of the client's neck; while supine, a stretching of their sacrum caudally; and then while seated, an inferior bilateral fascial stretch of their lower back applied caudally, as the client actively rolled their torso forward.
My comprehension of the autonomic nervous system and the importance of enhancing parasympathetic outflow took a huge leap while studying CranioSacral Therapy with John Upledger, DO, and other physicians during my intensive studies at his institute.
One particular protocol was an exceptionally gentle stretching of the dural tube, which was intended to stimulate the outflow from the vagal nerves exiting the brain and from the pelvic splanchnic nerves within the sacral portion of the spinal cord. The contacts for this technique are organized with the client supine and therapist at the side; cradling the occiput with the palm of one hand, while accessing and cradling the sacrum with the other.
Many variations are possible with this gentle approach: stretching both ends away from the other, holding the upper end and stretching the lower end toward the feet, or reversing the more fixed end toward the sacrum and stretching the occiput superiorly, or gently counter-rotating the opposite ends, like very gently wringing a wash rag.
Considering that the brain and spinal cord float within an internal sea of cerebral spinal fluid, and that circulation of the fluid can be noticeably enhanced in this manner, this technique has an awesome track record as an effective therapeutic ending.
Often, when using this technique I create or invite my clients to create a visualization. Asking them to recall a time when they simply floated comfortably and effortlessly in water can deepen their state of relaxation and increase parasympathetic outflow. With others, I have encouraged them to recall an image of the person they feel has loved them the most consistently in their lives; and then further inviting them to recall additional sensory elements associated with that individual such as their smell, quality of touch, texture of their clothes, the look in their eyes, and the adoring smile of their face.
Ilana Rubenfeld once commented that remembering the loving moments of one's life is as important as clearing the pain often sequestered behind closed or locked doors.
My 36 years of clinical experience strongly supports the concept that enhancing parasympathetic outflow is a key contributor to the re-booting, recalibrating, and rebalancing within all branches of the central nervous system, supporting one's emotional healing as well.
The goal of effective therapy is to create a new, more efficient normal – an updated reference point for the nervous system to reorder itself with additional and enhanced options and choices. It is a form of educating, supporting, and soothing that may transform what has been negatively anticipated toward an open moment of neutrality, and then toward new possibilities for movement and an expanded range of emotional and physical responses. Therapeutic endings function as a bridging structure from what was to what may now be possible.
A third original therapeutic ending that has shown consistent results with many of my clients has been to create an energetic two-way linkage between the heart and the brain. The organization for this connection are palmar contacts with the anterior heart and the forebrain, or sometimes with the parietal portion of the cerebral cortex, while forming a clear intention to energetically reconnect these essential parts of our bodies.
An image of a lava lamp, with its base being the heart and its top being the brain, is a useful analog to most clients. This style of touch and communication between organs reflects decades of training with Lansing Barrett Gresham, founder of Integrated Awareness.
The epiphany of this technique occurred quite spontaneously one day in a moment when I realized that the brain and the heart are the true parents of the human body. All cells are dependent upon the electromagnetic and electrochemical vitalization of the brain/nervous system and upon the nutrition, oxygen, and hormones delivered by the heart/circulatory system.
Many possible implications flow from this analogy. Foremost, given that heart disease is the No. 1 reason for our collective demise and that Alzheimer's is in sixth place, the intuitive question arose in my brain: What if assisting these organs to prioritize each other might be an overlooked therapeutic goal? What characterizes one of the most noble qualities of mammals is their capacity to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole. Maybe this happens within our bodies more often than we imagine and involves the heart and the brain specifically.
Consider that the heart and the brain work so very hard to support and maintain our bodies that they may be actually sacrificing themselves individually. Extending the parenting analogy, many families that descend into dysfunction are characterized by very well- intentioned parents, endeavoring to raise their children with love; yet, they grow out of step with one another. Neglecting to nourish each other or even themselves, the family slides into a downward spiral.
What happens on the outside is so often a reflection of what is going on inside is my obvious premise. Kinesthetically planting this seed of the heart and brain, prioritizing each other to support the function of the whole, has resonated and contributed to positive therapeutic improvements for many, many clients.
Please allow your own creativity to discover and evolve novel therapeutic endings for your clients. Your clients will notice the difference, and as a result they will schedule more often.