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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!
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."
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
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.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
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, etc.
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.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
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.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
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.
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.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
The Gentle and Healing Power of Reiki
By Lisanne Elkins
Kerry climbs onto my massage table fully clothed and makes herself comfortable. The table is warm from a fleece-lined heating pad; the room is dimly lit by a Moroccan-style lamp and the air is fragrant with essential oils. Calming Japanese flute plays in the background. She has chosen to come for these sessions weekly, as part of her decision to improve general self-care and relieve stress from a rather challenging job situation.
Kerry subsides more deeply into a state of relaxation as the session begins. I ground myself and lay my hands gently on the top of her head. I linger there for perhaps five minutes today, (each time is different) until I feel it is the right time to move to her shoulders. It is in this way that Kerry and I connect in a healing energy session and we help Kerry's healing process wherever she may need it on that day.
Sixty-minutes later, the session ends and Kerry arises from the table looking radiant and feeling relaxed and grounded. The chronic pain in her knee has ceased and she softly comments on the heat and vibration she feels throughout her body. "First, it is a tingling sensation, then the energy feels like it moves through me and opens up the flow in my entire body," she says. Days later, Kerry recalls a sense of well being that permeates the experiences in her daily life.
This abbreviated story illustrates the gentle yet powerful abilities of the Japanese art of Reiki, an energetic healing method that can be used by anyone, anytime. With further study and strengthening of one's own awareness, combined with specific symbols to "amp up" the work, Reiki can be used for self-healing and the healing of others and, more comprehensively, the world in which we live.
Reiki is also an exceptionally effective tool for bodyworkers, massage therapists and other types of therapists and it can also be administered to one's own person. In fact, an intrinsic part of Reiki is healing the self through guided meditations, allowing the flow of universal energy, learning mindfulness and following five simple, non-religious but infinitely wise precepts.
I could discuss the many ways in which Reiki has benefited me personally and those around me over time and how, when I experienced a healing crisis two years ago, it was Reiki that I turned to, administered by my teacher and Reiki Master. As a result, my journey back to health took less time and was infinitely more profound. I would add that at that time, I was not a Reiki Master; I had studied the first two levels of Reiki and saw how effective it was for my clients and for myself. My original intention was to strengthen my intuition and energetic boundaries for my clients, but it ended up being so much more than that.
Let's return to the definition of Reiki. It is perhaps more constructive to begin by saying what it is "not." It is not magic by a conventional definition, it is not supernatural, nor religious. It has its origins in Japan, discovered and founded by Sensei Mikao Usui, a Japanese man of possible Buddhist origins. It has been said that he climbed Japan's Mount Kurama and meditated until he felt the healing power of Reiki within him. He then went on to teach others what he had identified and created a lifestyle for his students to follow. Reiki has since changed in its travels from East to West. There are some who claim to have expanded on Usui's teachings and reinvented them for their own purposes. It is important to realize the true origin of Reiki and be aware of ways in which it has been modified for marketing or ego-centered purposes.
Overall, it is a simple technique that doesn't require all the bells and whistles of our Western consumer culture. In fact, I believe that the academic subjects of spirituality and physics are converging, as we learn more about our mysterious universe and as we use the term, "energy" more in the context of our daily conversations. The word, "Reiki" literally means, "Life Energy." Rei as in life force, and Ki for energy, known also as "Chi" or "Qi" in Chinese medicine and "Prana" in India.
There are many other words for this life force energy: source, divine source or energy from the universal energy field, which surrounds every living thing and interacts with the physical body as well as all living things collectively. This is the holistic aspect of Reiki — the idea that it is part of a greater whole.
Simply put, using Reiki in one's daily life or on others for healing purposes involves being a conduit of sorts to draw energy from the source inward through one's body. The best technique for doing Reiki is visualizing being rooted in the earth, while drawing light or heat in from the top of the head, or the Crown Chakra. Administering Reiki essentially helps increase the flow of energy, addressing energetic blockages that may exist, which are of emotional, spiritual or karmic and physical origins.
Those who come for a Reiki treatment have their own personal needs or reasons for doing so, but the end result of a Reiki treatment has almost always been unanimous: people feel more centered, less uncomfortable and have a greater sense of well being. The choice to receive Reiki or to study it and integrate it into one's daily life is certainly individual. Either way, it has its benefits.
Eastern Vs. Western Reiki
Original Japanese Usui Reiki differs greatly from the way it is used in the West. "In Usui's time [at the turn of the century,] the emphasis was very much on personal responsibility and commitment," says Reiki Master and beloved Teacher, Ginny Mackles, who has practiced Reiki for almost 30 years and has a direct lineage to its original teachers. "Students were expected to work hard to develop their abilities, and they were given practical tools for using it. For us, [as practitioners] Reiki is first and foremost a self-healing and spiritual development method, though it is something that you can also use to help others. The course is thus rooted in personal energy work, though we cover the treatment of others in depth too."
Kerry and many of my clients continue to come weekly or bi-weekly for Reiki. Their issues vary from serious, life-threatening illnesses to emotional struggles, to daily challenges. I am struck by the way almost all of them marvel at how much better they feel after a session. I continue to be amazed and humbled by the power of Reiki. Whether you are a healing practitioner or client of the healing arts, Reiki is a powerful gift for everyone's healing journey.
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