resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
The Power of Touch: A Basic Human Need
"Countless variations of 'hands-on' therapy have been devised and practiced in every culture we know of, all honoring and elaborating the timeless traditions of primate grooming. The ubiquity, antiquity and variety of these practices can mean only one thing: back-scratching is more than politics. We all need to be touched." - Frank R. Wilson, author of The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture.
The evolution of human touch has progressed from the grooming behaviors of our primate ancestors to the variety of well-developed systems of manual therapies we know today. Yet, at every stop along the time line, our fundamental need for touch has remained critical to our epic story. This account of human touch is not a laundry list of techniques or scientific principles related to anatomy, physiology or pathology; the importance of touch goes beyond time and space, or art and science. Rather, it is about human interaction and human development at its most basic level.
Touch takes place on the canvas of human experience. Healthy, positive touch is intended to help and to heal, and the application of healthy touch takes many forms. Massage, for example, is the structured form of applied touch, administered with purpose and by way of thoughtful techniques based on knowledge. Touch can be an expression of our unique human nature and brings us many benefits. J. Lionel Taylor, author of The Stages of Human Life wrote: "The greatest sense in our body is our touch sense. It is probably the chief sense in the processes of sleeping and waking; it gives us our knowledge of depth or thickness and form; we feel, we love and hate, are touchy and are touched, through the touch corpuscles of our skin."
Primate grooming behaviors are the origins of healthy touch and I believe that it is both a basic need and an invaluable inheritance derived from our animal origins. Do you believe that humans exhibit both learned and instinctual touch behavior? I do. Touch, as Frank R. Wilson says, is ancient. Primitive man and woman inherited the social structure and function of grooming from their primate relatives. Of course, we have changed them significantly during our evolutionary process. For example, human models of leadership have emerged in place of alliances formed through grooming. But the principle remains the same.
For both species, touch continues to be a crucial element of care giving and the primary way we show love to our young. We know that positive, loving touch is a way to provide a sense of security, and massage therapists of yesterday and today know that touch remains essential to our health and well being. Research and observation shows us that primate grooming behaviors are a central feature of social life. Grooming establishes and maintains a social hierarchy within the community and between family members. It provides a way to give love and comfort, especially to their young. It's even used to apologize for offenses committed against another member of the group as a way to make up and move on. Some of those grooming behaviors include scratching, hugging, holding, slapping, pressing, dabbing, pulling, sucking, rubbing and licking. That behavior is woven into the social fabric of primate life. Grooming is a deeply ingrained behavior - a habit millions of years in use.
Over time, forms of grooming changed as humans evolved. As we began to stand upright, our bodies were no longer so exposed to the sun. Needing less protection from the elements, we lost our protective covering of thick, course hair.
As our skin became more exposed, it became more sensitive. The dexterous, sensitive primate hand evolved into an even more intricate instrument — the human hand. Developments in human hand dexterity and sensitivity, increased intelligence and the advent of language all contributed to more evolved touch behavior. Humans could now apply caring hands to soothe and heal. Eventually, that led to systematic touch techniques.
Though its form and function has changed considerably, the fundamental value of touch remains intact. Touch is a bonding agent, a means of pain relief and perhaps most importantly, a way to say, "I care." The inherent human need for touch has always been a part of our story, and it continues to this day. I give thanks to all the people in this field for helping the world with your healing hands.