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News in Brief
Updated Neck Pain & Whiplash Guideline; Attention, IHS DCs; New VP of Institutional Advancement At Palmer; N.J. DC Interns At U.S. Olympic Training Center; Chiropractic Society Of R.I. On The Front Lines.
A Conversation With Dr. Betty Edmond
This month's column is an exclusive interview with Betty Edmond MD, newly elected CEO/President of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas.
Let's Clear Up the Collection Confusion
This is an often-misunderstood practice swirling with misinformation. First, a few basics: Insurance is a contract between the patient and the insurance company. The insurance company is simply making a payment for services or care on behalf of the patient.
Low Back Pain in Running Athletes
After 7 million years of adapting to upright postures, the lumbar spine and pelvis have become remarkably adept at managing ground-reactive forces associated with running.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Country Needs Us Between Elections, Too; Continuing Care: We Aren't There Yet; Our Associations Need to Do More.
An Opportunity & a Responsibility
Nearly 80 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose every day, and spine-related pain is one of the principle drivers of opioid use. This unfortunate situation creates both an opportunity and a responsibility.
Five Branches University Has First Hospital TCM Residency
Established in 1984, Five Branches University (FBU) has campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose, Calif., which serve the communities of Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay, and Silicon Valley.
Nutrition for Menopause: Front-Line Therapy for All Phases
Of all the changes women experience during their reproductive life, there is no doubt the most dreaded are the three phases of menopause. This is not surprising since all of the symptoms associated with menopause are replete with unpleasantness.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 2)
Protocols & treatment Timing
The winter season is upon us and offers unique challenges for the clinician and patient alike. To effectively navigate through the winter season there are two main TCM medicinals, Huang Qi and Gan Jiang, to consider, as well as two important formulas which feature these two TCM treasures.
Shoulder Rehab: Start With the Scapula
The scapula is an incredible display of elegance and movement within the biomechanics of human motion. It's evolved for mobility and stability in the scapulo-thoracic region, giving us the ability to do things that are uniquely human, such as throwing with accuracy.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 1)
The earliest Chinese reference to channels is in the Mawangdui Medical Manuscripts,1 which are dated to the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (475 BC-221 AD). The text presents 11 channels. There are no acupuncture points listed in those channels.
Another Step Forward for Chiropractic
Chiropractic is now available to 86,000-plus Latter-Day Saints missionaries and you are invited to become a provider. LDS membership in not required; our only concern is that our missionaries get the best quality care available.
True Practice Mobility for the Chiropractic Profession
When natural disasters occur, chiropractors can literally travel to the other side of the world to offer humanitarian relief in less than a day. The chiropractor's license to legally practice, however, can't make it past the state line.
A New Year and Vision for the ACA
Inadequate pain management coupled with the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has taken a severe toll on the lives of millions of people in the United States. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids.
The Case Report: A Valuable Tool
Case reports are a valuable form of descriptive research. The most basic form of practice-based research, a case report is a detailed account of the history, presenting symptoms, assessment, observations, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient, discussed in the context of prior and potential future research.
Flirting With Alternative Therapies
There are about as many adjunct therapies being marketed to acupuncturists as there are acupuncturists. While some may remain purist in their application of traditional Chinese medicine, others choose to explore new horizons of treatment.
Prepare for the End, From the Beginning: Wealth Building and Retirement with the Tao
Yin and yang flow into and out from one another continually. Beginnings become endings and endings become beginnings again. Wholeness and cycles are the nature of Tao.
Anti-Aging With Dr. Ping Zhang
Jennifer Waters, TCM practitioner and writer of the Acupuncture Today column, "Talking With the Masters" sat down with Dr. Ping Zhang to discuss aniti-aging with acupuncture.
Qigong for Substance Abuse
It is commonly believed that substance abuse, in addition to harming one’s physiological state, hurts the spirit. There is also a belief that one’s spirit does not weaken due to substance abuse, but rather, the person finds solace in addiction due to an already weak spirit.
Crow Like the Rooster
As we welcome in the Year of the Rooster, we look at some of its major characteristics: confidence and communication, which suits the image we have of the Rooster...strutting in the farmyard, crowing to the others that it's time to wake up.
Enhance Healing With Therapeutic Endings
To support your clients' healing process from chronic somatic difficulties, you may want to consider therapeutic endings, which can assist the human nervous system in updating and recalibrating itself across its vast lattice of neurovascular relationships. I consider it to be similar to a musical symphonic resolution, encouraging a more expansive state of neurological balancing. Let's discuss three suggested protocols which can be exceptionally helpful in increasing the effectiveness of your work.
The essential condition of any client presenting with chronic somatic dysfunction is that their nervous system has adapted to their ongoing troubles. Even though they desperately want their pain to go away and desire a return to normal function and range of motion, their autonomic, sensory, and motor systems have adjusted to their dysfunction in order to provide stability, and to minimize their pain – so much so that even the anticipation of movement can provoke a limitation in its range and the onset of the sensation of pain.
Adaptation is the evolutionary genius of our species. Survival at all costs, even for just one more day, was the innate drive for our species' biological progression into our human form and its diverse varieties of function. Yet, I propose that this same capacity for adaptation can have a dysfunctional echo into our modern lives.
A current definition of chronic is any condition lasting more than three months. Previous definitions were six months or longer. However, the duration is of little concern to a client who can no longer maintain their daily functions without noticeable disruption, especially while experiencing pain most or all of the time.
Regardless of the therapeutic bodywork strategy you may employ, the actual experience of a client to feel that they made progress as a result of your touch and interaction with them quickly determines whether they continue to make future appointments with you. Their perceived progress influences your prosperity.
Discussion of effective therapeutic session endings has had little attention in our literature or any other. However, my clinical experience suggests that it is a significant variable. I postulate that effective therapeutic endings are intended and designed to consolidate the gains of an individual therapeutic session and to build a momentum toward a more normal state of physiologic homeostasis from one session to the next.
During my first advanced training in 1980 with Bill Williams and Ellen Gregory, the developers of Soma Neuromuscular Integration, I was first introduced to the concept of a parasympathetic ending. This ending sequence consisted of an active connective-tissue stretch on each side of the client's neck; while supine, a stretching of their sacrum caudally; and then while seated, an inferior bilateral fascial stretch of their lower back applied caudally, as the client actively rolled their torso forward.
My comprehension of the autonomic nervous system and the importance of enhancing parasympathetic outflow took a huge leap while studying CranioSacral Therapy with John Upledger, DO, and other physicians during my intensive studies at his institute.
One particular protocol was an exceptionally gentle stretching of the dural tube, which was intended to stimulate the outflow from the vagal nerves exiting the brain and from the pelvic splanchnic nerves within the sacral portion of the spinal cord. The contacts for this technique are organized with the client supine and therapist at the side; cradling the occiput with the palm of one hand, while accessing and cradling the sacrum with the other.
Many variations are possible with this gentle approach: stretching both ends away from the other, holding the upper end and stretching the lower end toward the feet, or reversing the more fixed end toward the sacrum and stretching the occiput superiorly, or gently counter-rotating the opposite ends, like very gently wringing a wash rag.
Considering that the brain and spinal cord float within an internal sea of cerebral spinal fluid, and that circulation of the fluid can be noticeably enhanced in this manner, this technique has an awesome track record as an effective therapeutic ending.
Often, when using this technique I create or invite my clients to create a visualization. Asking them to recall a time when they simply floated comfortably and effortlessly in water can deepen their state of relaxation and increase parasympathetic outflow. With others, I have encouraged them to recall an image of the person they feel has loved them the most consistently in their lives; and then further inviting them to recall additional sensory elements associated with that individual such as their smell, quality of touch, texture of their clothes, the look in their eyes, and the adoring smile of their face.
Ilana Rubenfeld once commented that remembering the loving moments of one's life is as important as clearing the pain often sequestered behind closed or locked doors.
My 36 years of clinical experience strongly supports the concept that enhancing parasympathetic outflow is a key contributor to the re-booting, recalibrating, and rebalancing within all branches of the central nervous system, supporting one's emotional healing as well.
The goal of effective therapy is to create a new, more efficient normal – an updated reference point for the nervous system to reorder itself with additional and enhanced options and choices. It is a form of educating, supporting, and soothing that may transform what has been negatively anticipated toward an open moment of neutrality, and then toward new possibilities for movement and an expanded range of emotional and physical responses. Therapeutic endings function as a bridging structure from what was to what may now be possible.
A third original therapeutic ending that has shown consistent results with many of my clients has been to create an energetic two-way linkage between the heart and the brain. The organization for this connection are palmar contacts with the anterior heart and the forebrain, or sometimes with the parietal portion of the cerebral cortex, while forming a clear intention to energetically reconnect these essential parts of our bodies.
An image of a lava lamp, with its base being the heart and its top being the brain, is a useful analog to most clients. This style of touch and communication between organs reflects decades of training with Lansing Barrett Gresham, founder of Integrated Awareness.
The epiphany of this technique occurred quite spontaneously one day in a moment when I realized that the brain and the heart are the true parents of the human body. All cells are dependent upon the electromagnetic and electrochemical vitalization of the brain/nervous system and upon the nutrition, oxygen, and hormones delivered by the heart/circulatory system.
Many possible implications flow from this analogy. Foremost, given that heart disease is the No. 1 reason for our collective demise and that Alzheimer's is in sixth place, the intuitive question arose in my brain: What if assisting these organs to prioritize each other might be an overlooked therapeutic goal? What characterizes one of the most noble qualities of mammals is their capacity to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole. Maybe this happens within our bodies more often than we imagine and involves the heart and the brain specifically.
Consider that the heart and the brain work so very hard to support and maintain our bodies that they may be actually sacrificing themselves individually. Extending the parenting analogy, many families that descend into dysfunction are characterized by very well- intentioned parents, endeavoring to raise their children with love; yet, they grow out of step with one another. Neglecting to nourish each other or even themselves, the family slides into a downward spiral.
What happens on the outside is so often a reflection of what is going on inside is my obvious premise. Kinesthetically planting this seed of the heart and brain, prioritizing each other to support the function of the whole, has resonated and contributed to positive therapeutic improvements for many, many clients.
Please allow your own creativity to discover and evolve novel therapeutic endings for your clients. Your clients will notice the difference, and as a result they will schedule more often.