It's Time to Reward Yourself
An interesting study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) confirms what we all learned when we were children – and serves as food for thought as to how you can improve your practice and your personal life.
X-Ray: To Be or Not to Be - That Is the Question
For the past year, I have been asked by many practicing chiropractors, college presidents, faculty and others what my opinion is on the "Choosing Wisely" guidelines the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently adopted for its members.
Lead Patients to the Fountain (and Foundation) of Youth
We're all seeking the fountain of youth and marketers are capitalizing on it. (Global demand for anti-aging products, treatments and services was valued at 140.3 billion in 2015, according to Zion Market Research.)
Depression & The Secondary Vessels
As an acupuncturist I see many people suffering from depression. I often think depression is the major imbalance of our culture. I have a patient I've been working with for several years. Her major challenge is chronic stubborn depression.
Neck Pain: Activation Exercises
In observing patients and studying rehab, I have learned that tight muscles are weak muscles and that stretching is sometimes less effective than muscular activation. There is a delicate balance between joints that move too little and joints that are hypermobile.
The Science Behind the Efficacy of Cosmetic Acupuncture
The beauty industry continues to boom and grow constantly, from topical creams, lotions and potions all the way to cutting edge cosmetic surgeries.
More Access to Chiropractic Instead of Opioids: H.R. 5722
With the opioid epidemic both an ongoing public health crisis and a hot topic extending well beyond the health care industry, Congress continues stepping up to the plate.
Vaccine Injury? The Autism Debate (Part 2)
As suggested in my first article on this topic [August 2018],1 my impression is that the vaccine authoritarians and radicals have not helped to mold a proper social / political environment for addressing the issue of vaccine injury.
Working for Someone Else: Know the Rules of the Game
Many of us decide to become acupuncturists because we are healers at heart and want to focus on treating patients, not because we want to own and operate a business. So we work for someone else, which can have great advantages, especially as a new graduate.
An Update From the Acupuncture Now Foundation
Since launching the Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF), our volunteer leadership has continued to work to achieve our vision of "Creating a World Where the Benefits of Acupuncture are Known and Available to All.
Bringing Acupuncture to Ohio
The jolt of seeing a woman conscious and talking during surgery left a lasting impression in 1971 when acupuncture was on the national news.
Multichannel Access: Software for a Better Customer Experience
It is no secret that today's consumer has high expectations when it comes to how and when they can contact a business. In fact, one of the reasons clinic management software has become so popular with acupuncture practitioners is they allows customers to book appointments and make payments online day or night.
The Importance of the Scapulohumeral Rhythm
The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. What is often overlooked in shoulder mechanics is that motion in the shoulder is not purely at the glenohumeral joint.
"Don't Crack My Neck": What Do You Do Next?
It's Monday morning and your first new patient of the day, a 35-year-old female, presents with chronic headaches and neck pain. The patient was referred by her primary care provider for evaluation and management without the use of cervical manipulation.
A New NCCIH Director ... One That Backs Acupuncture
The third time is a charm—the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced it's newest director, Dr. Helene Langevin.
The Origin of Blood
The Roman doctor, Galen, (2nd century AD) did pivotal work to prove that blood, which he thought was produced by the liver, and the cardio vascular system existed. He conceived that the arteries and veins were two separate networks.
Possession: Blocks to Healing
Before we can approach treatment of a patient's primary elemental imbalance (AKA "Causative Factor" or "CF"), a number of specific energetic blocks must be considered and, if present, removed in order for treatment to be effective. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Your First Impression Always Deserves a Second Chance
Doctor, have you ever had a patient you just couldn't "warm up to"? You know, the kind of patient who "irks" you, who has a hidden agenda to get something you haven't anticipated, perhaps causing you to want to hide in a closet when they come in for treatment.
Support Patients With Multi-Channel Customer Service
It's no secret that today's consumers have high expectations when it comes to how and when they can contact a business. In fact, one of the reasons clinic management software has become so popular is that they allow patients to book appointments and make payments online day or night.
A Historic First for Chiropractic Assistants
The New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners will begin issuing licenses as early as Nov. 1, 2018 to chiropractic assistants who have undergone a 500-hour training course and passed a competency exam.
That's a Wrap: Compression Bands for Contemporary DCs
Over the past decade, compression bands have been increasingly utilized in trainer and manual therapy offices. I was first introduced to the compression band by Kelley Starrett, author of Becoming a Supple Leopard, and have since been using it as a teaching tool.
Time-Saving Tips for Your Practice & Life
Of all the finite resources we possess, perhaps the most valuable one is time. There never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything that must be done, and all too often we sacrifice things in our personal life to meet the demands of our practice.
Easy, Inexpensive Tools for a Successful Practice (I Promise)
Successful practitioners are the ones who know how to run a business, first and foremost. I became a licensed acupuncturist in 2006. After having worked in chiropractor's offices for nine years, I opened my own office in 2015: four treatment rooms, a back office and a waiting room.
Food for Thought: An Examination of Diet & Digestion
Even an acute poison can become an excellent drug if it is properly administered. On the other hand even a drug, if not properly administered, becomes an acute poison. — Charaka Samhita
The Benefits of Going Paperless
The benefits of going paperless in your practice are profound. If you haven't done it yet, here's why you should.
Chiropractic Management of Patellofemoral Arthralgia
Patient reports with pain in the front part of her right knee, especially during and after her weekly Zumba class. She states there has been no injury of which she is aware. No outward sign of injury is observed.
UHC Up to Its Old Tricks With Latest Headache Policy
A decade ago, UnitedHealthcare announced changes to its chiropractic services policy that declared manipulative therapy for headache unproven and ineligible for reimbursement.
The international standardization conference was held this year in Shanghai, China (June) - this was the ninth plenary session. Meetings for technical committees, or working groups also took place at the conference.
November, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 11
Tai Chi: A Way to Find Balance
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
I have reviewed many aspects of health by researching topics for the self-care articles that I contribute to Massage Today. From the importance of sleep, to how our brains benefit from being active, I feel like I now have a more balanced approach to wellness.Thinking about the concept of balance led me to re-visit what I have learned about tai chi, especially because several clients of mine have been talking about it lately.
I have previously written about the benefits of yoga, and while tai chi is similar, it is more accessible than yoga as it is a little less demanding on the body. While both yoga and tai chi integrate breathing with body postures and focus on aligning the body and mind, there are significant differences between them. Yoga originated in India, includes schools that are very vigorous, and originally included a spiritual component to the practice. Tai chi is a form of martial art that originated in China, focuses on aligning the body and mind, and uses solely low-impact movements. While traveling through China, many times I witnessed people in parks practicing tai chi, as well as men in business suits starting our their work day by practicing tai chi in their office.
Dr. Paul Lam is a world authority in the field of tai chi practice and instruction. He is a physician in Australia and has trained more than 10,000 instructors across the globe through his Tai Chi for Health program. I had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago, and was able to interview him about tai chi. I was amazed by its many benefits, not only for massage therapists, but also for our clients, especially those that suffer from arthritis. Below are some excerpts of my interview with him.
PL: Tai Chi originated in ancient China where it is considered a martial art. There is much more to tai chi than one can see, but basically, tai chi consists of slow, continuous whole-body movements, strung together in a form. Like dance, the movements are learned and follow one after the other. The essential principles of tai chi include integrating the mind with the body, fluid movements, controlled breathing and mental concentration. The central focus is to enable the qi (pronounced chee), or life force, to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Total harmony of the inner and outer self comes from the integration of the mind and body. This can be achieved through regular practice.
SP: We know there are many benefits to practicing Tai Chi. When thinking about massage therapists and the work they do, what do you think are the most beneficial aspects of tai chi for them?
PL: Treating patients can be emotionally and physically draining for massage therapists. Tai chi can strengthen your mental balance and improve your physical energy as well as your internal strength. It is an excellent way to help therapists revitalize themselves. Once a therapist learns tai chi, he/she can then apply the tai chi principle as they treat their patients. These principles enable the therapist to work with better posture, using more internal energy and causing less muscular strain. This increases the therapeutic effect and minimizes the chance of injury. The therapist can use tai chi principles to regenerate their internal energy so they will not feel as tired as they usually do.
SP: Is it more beneficial for massage therapists to practice tai chi before or after giving a massage?
PL: Practicing tai chi is always beneficial at any time, especially before and after a session with a client. Practicing tai chi prior to seeing clients only takes a short period of time and helps to warm up and stretch the body. After a session, it can help one wind down by restoring physical and mental energy.
SP: Are there different routines to do in the morning and in the evening?
PL: There are many forms of tai chi, and one should choose a form based on individual preference. You can learn many different sets of tai chi or focus on one simple set. Whether one practices the same set or different sets in the morning or evening does not matter. The benefit of practicing tai chi and the key to improving in it is to adhere to the essential principles, which remain the same regardless of which style or set one chooses.
SP: If someone wants to begin tai chi for the first time, are there any DVD series or books you would recommend? Do you think it would be more beneficial to start practicing with an instructor in a class?
PL: I believe going to a good teacher, one that is suitable for your needs, is the best way to begin the practice of tai chi. Our instructors for the Tai Chi for Health programs are taught how to teach the program safely and effectively and can be an excellent place to start. A list of instructors can be found in my website. Actually, massage therapists are one of the professional groups qualified to learn to teach in our Tai Chi for Health program within a relatively short period of time, so you might already know a colleague who teaches tai chi, and just didn't realize it! Sometimes that may not be possible and a DVD can substitute for a teacher, as well as compliment a good one. Learning tai chi from a DVD may be easier and more effective than a book if a suitable teacher is not accessible. A good DVD to start with is my two-disk set, Tai Chi for Arthritis: 12 Lessons with Dr. Paul Lam. There are 12 different sessions and viewers feel as though they are having private lessons with me. If one prefers reading, my book Tai Chi for Beginners and the 24 Forms is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate practitioners interested in learning more about the practice.
Dr. Lam recommended I start practicing tai chi, as it is a great way to relax and take a break from the physical rigors of massage. I have been practicing for several years now, and I must say that I do find it is very helpful to me as a massage therapist. I highly recommend learning tai chi, and hope you find it as beneficial as I have.
Author's Note: Dr. Paul Lam, a family physician and lecturer of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia since 1976, is a world leader in the field of tai chi for health improvement. He is recognized as one of the most sought after tai chi teachers since the 80's. Dr Lam has participated in research on the subject of tai chi's effect on health. He has authored and co-authored numerous papers and articles in peer review medical journals and lay magazines, as well as several books and has presented at many international conferences and meetings. For more information, please visit www.drpaullam.com.
Click here for more information about Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT.
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