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Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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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