Mar 28 2021
This month we offer some insights to help you achieve a successful therapeutic process.
An underlying belief that supports holistic therapies is that our bodies and minds can be influenced psychologically, physically and energetically through noninvasive healing experiences. By choosing a talking, body work, movement or energetically based therapy you are investing in your own innate ability to recover and heal.
Pursuing holistic therapies involves the cultivation of a practice.
When you commit to a therapy you are investing in a process that works best when you actively participate. Rather than opting for medication or surgery you are devoting time and resources to explore a noninvasive alternative option. Holistic therapies at their best yield self discovery and growth. Whatever type of therapy you choose has the potential to be transformational. You might get much more than you bargained for.
For example, after an initial cranial sacral treatment you find that you are able to breathe more deeply and have the realization that your breathing had been relatively shallow. You now have a greater awareness of your rib cage, back and chest along with the rise and fall of your breath, and a deep sense of relaxation. Consequentially you develop the habit of interrupting your work to breathe deeply which clears your head and reduces your level of tension.This allows you to return to the task at hand with greater productivity. Transformative and growth processes require diligence. Sticking with the therapy of your choice will not only increase your chances of healing aches and pains but also yield additional unexpected benefits. That is why it is important to choose your practitioner carefully.
Choosing the right practitioner makes all the difference.
Choose a practitioner with whom you are comfortable to talk with so that you can be partners in your healing process. A great practitioner has diagnostic abilities, vision, intention and technique. All practitioners are not identical, nor are their treatment styles, diagnostic abilities, personalities, training, history and strengths/weaknesses. If you tried one you have not tried them all. Practices that have a factory or gym like atmosphere often give care that is diluted. Choose a therapy practice that offers privacy so that you can freely acknowledge your progress and discuss your concerns. Your therapist is ideally focused upon you throughout your treatment. It can be profoundly helpful to have someone who listens and strategizes with you.
Gaining Perspective: Bumps in the road are normal and to be expected.
It is common for people to begin therapy with high hopes and after a few sessions become disillusioned because their chronic issues have not disappeared. Some patients begin with the hope that this therapy will offer some magical solution, when in fact it presents a direction to take that over time can chip away at a long standing issue. Antithetically, others might arrive to treatment feeling desperate, skeptical and angry. Nothing else has worked before and they will give this therapy a chance but not much of one. After two sessions they are gone and have proved to themselves that surgery is needed. Chronic pain, albeit emotional or physical can wear away at our perspective and judgement.
It is easy to lose ourselves in confusion. A seasoned therapist who has seen thousands of patients can help to ground, encourage establishing realistic expectations and help you to explore your options.
If you are pursuing more than one type of therapy at a time check to make sure that your therapies are not in conflict with each other.
Consider the two manual manipulative approaches chiropractic and Rolfing. Chiropractic involves boney manipulation while Rolfing addresses the connective tissue. Both are powerful means of affecting alignment and health but might not work well together. Barraging the body with too many inputs can cause these positive approaches to cancel each other out.
Some therapies enhance each other
For example acupuncture and Rolfing. Acupuncture can open up the energetic system by removing blockages which can sometimes be the underlying issue with structural and neurologic problems. A structural acupuncture approach can make the soft tissue manipulation of Rolfing more fluid and accessible. It is best to talk to your practitioners and ask for their advice. It is their business to be able to advise you what the best treatment strategy is.
Some clients come to holistic therapies as a last attempt to avoid invasive diagnostics, procedures, chemicals or surgeries. Each of these traditional approaches comes at a price. Chronic issues can take residence in the body over a period of years. Recalcitrant problems can become hardwired neurologically, psychologically and within the musculoskeletal system. It may take some time to make a dent when a problem has been in your life for a long time. Be kind to yourself and look for positive change even if it seems unrelated to your reason for being in a therapy. Ultimately, a good practitioner will alert you if she feels you have plateaued or you are not making progress. Additionally, she will help you to explore your options, refer you to another therapy or perhaps take a break from treatment and guide you to fly solo.
Both holistic therapies and western medical approaches are a part of an industry. Private practices are businesses run by people trying to make a living.
It is important to be able to identify a practitioner who is knowledgeable, grounded and seasoned in energetic, touch or movement approaches. It’s also helpful for you as a consumer to understand the basic premise behind the therapy you are considering just as you would learn about a medical or surgical procedure before you decide what is the best path to take.
Mar 11 2021
Prior to the COVID-19, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the USA have had at least one major depressive episode. Since the onset of the pandemic, this mental health challenge has tripled, according to an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). Depression has become one of the most common illnesses in our culture. When feelings of hopelessness, despair and disconnection set in it can be difficult to function.
In the west, traditional approaches to mental health problems include psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. While these approaches can be very helpful, they often miss the relationship between our physical body, mental function and emotional health.
Five Element Acupuncture is a powerful tool that can help you to manage and overcome depression. In our intake, we are interested in your past, what it was like for you growing up, how your life has progressed and how you are doing now. We explore the important junctions in your life and your hopes and dreams for the future. Concurrently, we evaluate how your physical body is functioning and learn about your overall constitution.
Mar 11 2021
Before to the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety disorders affected over 40 million adults in the USA. (National Institute of Mental Health) Today, the stresses we face are extraordinary. We have feelings of fear, concerns about our personal safety and uncertainty regarding our future. The number of people who are struggling with anxiety since the pandemic began has skyrocketed.
Stress that accompanies a crisis can be overwhelming and exhausting. When a person is faced with chronic challenges, the experience of overload can lead to physical and psychological depletion. Mental health issues often follow.
It is not uncommon for people who suffer from an anxiety disorder to also have depression. Traditional treatment options include psychotherapy and medication. Acupuncture is one of the approaches that is being included by mainstream medical offices. Acupuncture is gaining recognition as a noninvasive and potent way to treat not only physical but mental illnesses as well.
A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of acupuncture in managing anxiety problems. Five Element Acupuncture works to restore the health of the physical body and also the mind and spirit. The initial session takes an in depth look at your history, your experiences growing up, your relationships, hopes, dreams and challenges. Anxiety is a symptom that comes into play within the context of a person’s life. Emotional challenges and trauma can become deeply rooted in the physical body.
Jan 22 2021
Hou Li Tai Chi and Frome Physical Therapy are pleased to announce our virtual Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 4:30PM to 5:30 PM. You are welcome to join us for tea, snacks, entertainment and practice. There will be a brief meditation, Gongfu tea ceremony, Tai Chi demonstration and surprise guests performing music, Chinese folk dance and story. Please let us know if you would like to attend.
February 12, 2021 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the Year of the Metal Ox. Metal symbolizes values, respect, ethics, perfection, the autumn and the harvest. The Ox is associated with an honest nature, diligence and dependability. He achieves his goals with both strength, determination and stubbornness. While these traits are admirable, the Ox is not always the best communicator.
Based upon the character of the Metal Ox, it is advisable to choose your goals carefully, reflecting the greater good. Share your ideals with others and work together to overcome life’s many obstacles. Together, much can be accomplished.
Since 1984 Frome Physical Therapy has offered complimentary healing arts including Rolfing, acupuncture and now Craniosacral Therapy.
FPT has given birth to the Hou Li Tai Chi school, in Loch Arbour, NJ (Asbury Park) and now also online. Our school is now in it’s fourth year. Hou Li means vitality.
The practice of Tai Chi and Qigong appear to be simple however it demands balance, strength and flexibility and more. It takes years of study to do it well and can be practiced daily to cultivate physical, emotional and spiritual health. You will find yourself feeling more open and more relaxed after each practice. Tai Chi and Qigong challenge the body in ways that conventional exercise does not. It is slow and meticulous in its detail. As the student memorizes each movement, he is engaged mentally to refine the form.
David has studied Tai Chi for many years at The Society for Nanlaoshu in NYC. The literal translation of Nanlaoshu is “hard to grow old”. One can practice Tai Chi and Qigong into old age. The practice cultivates your strength, flexibility, immunity and vitality.
Our classes have been held in the studio, in the park and on the beach. Currently, our advanced Tai Chi and Chigong meets on Friday morning (virtually or outdoors) and our Qigong for all levels meets virtually on Wednesday mornings. In the spring, we will offer a beginners Tai Chi and Chigong that will meet outdoors. We welcome new students. To learn more, visit www.houlitaichi.org.
Jan 5 2021
Orthodox medicine has yet to recognize the existence of the craniosacral system and the movement of fluid within the central nervous system (CNS). What is Craniosacral Therapy and why does it matter?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands on approach that explores the movement of the fluid and soft tissue membranes that surround the brain and spine. The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord and the cerebro-spinal fluid. The therapist applies gentle pressure to relieve tension and restrictions within the central nervous system (CNS).
Cerebro-spinal Fluid (CSF) flows rhythmically around and through our spinal cord and brain. Just as air moves into and out of our lungs, and blood moves through our vascular system, the movement of the CSF helps to nourish and connect the brain, and spinal cord. The cranial bones have the ability to make subtle movements and respond to the pulsing of the CSF. When the bones of the skull and spinal column are well aligned and mobile, the craniosacral system “breathes.”
While CST is concerned with the alignment of the structure, it’s primary focus is upon the breath and movement of the Cranial Sacral bones and fluid. The movement of the CSF relates not only to the mobility of the spine and skull but also the tension and mobility of the dura. The dura is the connective tissue covering of the spinal cord and brain. Additionally, the dura separates the two sides of the brain. The tensions within the dural layer can influence the shape, mobility and function of the boney and nervous tissue that make up the CNS.
While applying gentle pressure, the practitioner evaluates the freedom and mobility within the craniosacral system. Gentle techniques are used to unwind the restrictions found within the head, neck and back. As mobility within the craniosacral system is restored, problems including low back pain, neck pain, headaches, TMJ and neuropathy can abate. As pains subside, CST promotes a deep sense of well-being.
The function of the brain and spinal cord are central to our overall health. Both emotional stresses and physical injuries can create imbalance and restriction within the craniosacral system. When the inherent cranial rhythm is disturbed our health is diminished. Craniosacral Therapy releases these chronic imbalances and nourishes health.
A typical CST session lasts 45 – 60 minutes and takes place in a peaceful, private setting. CST is performed with the client fully clothed and lying on a comfortable massage table. The therapist uses a light touch to “listen to,” or evaluate the body for patterns of tension or imbalances.
CST is a gentle hands on approach that releases long held tensions within the body. Craniosacral Therapy alleviates a wide variety of problems including chronic pain and dysfunction due to athletic injury, neurologic impairment or spirit level problems. Craniosacral therapy is profoundly relaxing and calming for the nervous system. During a session the client experiences a deepening of respiration, a softening of the musculoskeletal system and a greater sense of ease. Schedule your next CST session with David soon!