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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
March, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 03
Sampling Self-Care Southern California Style
By Mia Miller, LMT
I am often in awe of how both built and natural environments stretch our sense of what's enjoyable, desirable and possible. Whether you're suiting up for a winter run in below freezing temperatures, packing up swim gear to hit the gym after a long day of work or perhaps you're disciplined enough to do some restorative yoga at home alone in the wee hours of morning before the day kicks off, we are incredibly adaptable creatures when we allow the places around us to suggest and shape our routines of self-care.I have found two different distinct, new ways to be take care of myself since my move West: long hikes and regular trips to the Korean day spa.
I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast, having spent 11 years in Brooklyn prior to my move to Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. The predictable 70 degree temps were a direct invitation to get outside and stay there. My new home was in the foothills against a wall of mountains known as the San Gabriel range, unique to the area as it runs East to West and enjoys various climatic influences. Los Angeles County hosts high dessert, coastal, moutainous and inland valley topography providing great odds for outdoor wandering, as nine times out of ten you'll be in dry conditions with pleasing, moderate temperatures. Southern California really is a unique place to explore hills, valleys, beaches and desserts on foot most days of the year.
Past my initial anxiety, I eventually got my bags packed and headed out to find a trail about 15 mins from my house and began my first hike. Right at the start, I saw a sign that announced "rattlesnakes are a vital part of the ecosystem, don't disturb" and I knew for sure I was on freshh ground and off for a different kind of walk than I was used to. My hike in the San Gabriels was distinct from former walks on busy city streets, where everyone and everything can mingle. In this setting, I was able to sense and commune with non-human existence and open space, possibly discover new life in the dirt and brush.
In case the effects of a slightly challenging hike are easy to overlook, let's review a few physical benefits here. When walking, we nourish our tissues with fresh oxygen and improve the flow of synovial fluids for joint health and lymphatic fluid for smoother, more effecient "plumbing." While hiking here, you hit inclines, some steady, some extreme, thus building stamina, increasing pulmonary and circulatory functions and building bone mass with each step. Back and forth along switchbacks at a nice clip, we have the opportunity to witness a literal widening perspective which always seems fresh when we look. We relax the nervous system promoting a nice calm, even while we are exerting ourselves, a very stabilizing combination of effects, I think.
Its been a few years since this intial sojourn and I have since ventured deeper into the Angeles National Forest for longer hikes, as well as places that required a little more planning and gas in the tank. While driving can be aumtomated and disembodied, once you hit that trail, the contrast is quite acute and the body gains in appreciation with each dusty push off. It's the promise of adventure, new terrain and intimacy with it, that really eases the mind and settles the misfires and chatter inside.
A second ritual of self-care I have discovered for mind/body restoration takes me indoors in Los Angeles. A contrast from trails at 5,000 feet, day spa's are environments in which to unwind and commune with the elements in a more passive fashion, often in a basement of a big office building. Searching Yelp, you'll find more than 6,000 hits for day spa's in Los Angeles. I am eager to share my impressions of Korean Day Spa's in Koreatown, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Some are small and for women only, while others are very spacious and filled with families. Others have co-ed saunas with heated jade floors and a communal nap zone with separate gender specific spaces in which to enjoy contrast bathing and unrobing to steam. The locations I've visited are all peaceful, clean, centered on client comfort and incredibly affordable, many with a fee of only $15 for use of the facilities.
Many folks expereince a spa environment for the first time when they are on vacation and decide to splurge on a body wrap or a high priced package deal. Logistically, what I appreciate most about these bi-monthly Korean day spa excursions is you are able to design the day for yourself, but not from that organized sort of place. It's much more casual and free form. You can pack your own supplies, such as a dry brush, home made body scrub and your own clay mask, possibly a bag of goodies you rarely make time to use at home and settle in for a few hours to experience the elements in a less controlled manner. At the spa, you peruse more, feeling how long to stay in each place. While there is no exact protocol you have to follow, there are suggestions for how to use the facilities and your safety in extreme temperatures is obviously important to pay attention to, so know limitations and listen to your body, the point of the day anyway! Drink lots of water throughout as well.
Choice activites and effects:
Heading out, again often paying $15 for my time, I hit the warm air and smile. My drive home is so relaxed and peaceful and whatever comes next is laced with pure joy and contentment.
There are no lack of spas in many towns and the big, bad U.S.A. has tons of trails and places to wander around outside. I am thrilled to incorporate these activities into my life as I call the West Coast home. I often encourage clients and friends to explore these options and they are always happy they did. As we care for others in a very tactile, physical way through bodywork, we too can learn to dial it back and take in the built and natural atmosphere and it's affordable little gems. I invite you to check out what's around you and be well. The world is waiting for you to check it out!
Mia Miller is a specialist in oncology massage and runs her private practice, Somatic Space, in Los Angeles, Calif. She is a passionate proponent of integrative medicine and a therapist at City of Hope and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Visit her website: www.somaticspace.com.
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