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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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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