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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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.
Oh, The Places You Will Go
Massage therapists are notorious for not taking their own advice. Most of the therapists I know tell me they are too busy or can't afford to get regular massage. When asked, "When was your last massage?" I am often answered with a rolling of the eyes and the statement, "Way too long ago." Why is that? Schools train students that consistent massage has lasting benefits, and on an intuitive level we know it to be true. We advocate for our clients to schedule weekly, bi-monthly or monthly at the least, for their own benefit (and for the benefit of our pockets) yet most therapists don't walk the walk. In fact, I know therapists who lie to their clients so they don't have to admit they don't care for themselves the way they recommend their clients do. It's nothing short of madness.
Since the two greatest objections to receiving consistent massage are time and money, you must overcome these obstacles on a personal level if you expect your clients to do the same. How can you ask your clients to do something you are not willing to do? And if you've read any of my other articles or blog posts, you will recall that these objections of time and money are a CHOICE. After all, don't most people have the time and money they need for the things they value most? If your clients are not willing to spend time and money on massage, you haven't convinced them of the value. Moreover, you are not convinced in the value of your services and your profession if you don't receive regular bodywork yourself.
Let's drop the money argument right away. There is no reason for you blame finances on your lapse in getting regular massage care. Barter it. You have a valuable service and most therapists would be thrilled to set up a trade. Remember, as per Internal Revenue Service regulations, bartering is considered taxable income but that's a topic for another article. Look up www.irs.gov and type "barter" in the search bar for more information. Personally, I prefer to pay for services instead of bartering. The boundaries are cleaner as I usually don't work on the therapists I see for care. I also don't have room in my schedule for additional clients so fitting in a barter appointment would prove more stressful than paying out of pocket. Each situation is different, but with the option at your disposal, the money barrier is swiftly removed.
Time is a factor that you control. Sure we could all use more time. There isn't a person I know who isn't "way too busy" and desperate to find more hours in the day. Make caring for yourself a priority or sooner or later, you'll be useless to everyone. Many therapists start carrying a grudge after years of caring for clients and not caring for themselves in similar ways. These grudges can show up in your hands. Don't have time for a full hour massage? Get a chair massage or schedule a half an hour. You know the drill; find a way to fit it in. Enough said.
When asked how often I get massages, I can honestly look in someone's eyes and say, "every two weeks." I have done that for the 20 years I have been practicing with very few exceptions. Once a month I go to my regular therapist. She is consistent, works my injuries and knows my body very well. I rarely pay attention to what she is doing and often drift off to my happy place. Once a month, I go to someone I have never been to before and will probably never go back to. Even if I like the person, this experience is more research for me. Learning about the industry, picking up new techniques, I pay very close attention to every detail of the experience from the initial phone call to the exit interview. In fact, I often don't confess my profession so I can be incognito. For some reason, when it is discovered that I am a massage therapist and educator, the conversation and the treatment changes.
Moreover, I like to get massages from other places in the country and the world. Whenever I travel, I take advantage of seeing a therapist that trained elsewhere. Technique and overall approach varies dramatically based on geography and I find the experience fascinating. Because I travel so much, I often find myself in airports with time to kill. This provides an excellent opportunity for a massage. Just last week, I was blown away in Atlanta by a woman who promised to make my feet "lighter than air" and get me to my flight on time. Her attention to my schedule meant I didn't have to look at my watch or be concerned about my departure. This was all part of the experience and as a result, she received a handsome tip. As promised, I floated to my gate after the treatment.
You may not travel as much as I do, but I guarantee you'll find yourself out of town at some point. Don't miss the chance to experience someone else's work. Don't miss the chance to take care of yourself. It is sure to be a positive experience for your body and your mind. And to quote one of my favorite doctors, "Oh the places you'll go."