Shirley Vanderbilt

Child Development

The Healing Power of a Parent’s Touch

A parent’s touch holds great power. The soothing massage of a mother’s hand can calm a fussy infant. A child’s fevered brow may be cooled by the gentle stroke of her father’s palm. And in too many unfortunate cases, a child may be physically hurt and abused by a striking blow from his parent. A natural conduit for emotions, touch or the lack thereof transmits important information about the parent/child bond, whether one of acceptance or rejection.

Moving With T’ai Chi

Regaining Strength, Self-Esteem Despite MS

In August 1977, Angelina Hekking was living on a kibbutz in Israel, exploring new horizons and possibilities for her life. She had been experiencing problems with headaches and strange sensations in her body before leaving her native Holland. During her 2 1/2 years in the kibbutz, the symptoms gradually worsened.

A Day in the Life

The Many Faces of Hospital-Based Massage and Bodywork

Displayed in the hallway of the Health Center of Integrated Therapies in Longmont, Colo., adjacent to Longmont United Hospital, weathered photos of early 1900’s hospital wards depict a cold, spartan environment where patients sit in straight-back chairs at the foot of a row of metal beds, neatly lined up like soldiers at attention. The solemn countenance of the patients’ faces reflect the stark mood of these lifeless rooms.

Ancient Cure for a Modern Problem

Quelling Post-Op Nausea

Surgery as a remedy for body ailments dates back to ancient times. But it has only been within the past 150 years that general anesthesia has been on the scene.1 The use of anesthesia has become a double-edged sword for the medical profession, contributing to a perplexing problem known as PONV, or post-operative nausea and vomiting. Although several factors may contribute to PONV, anesthesia is a major player and its effects on the patient continue to thwart attempts for a pharmacologic panacea.

Into the Looking Glass

Massage for Mastectomy Patients

Kate was 35 years old when she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in her left breast. A modified radical mastectomy was performed and the breast was gone forever. It was several weeks later when the emotional shock set in. She thought, “Oh, God, what did they do to me? Where is my breast? In the hospital trash? Is it in a jar of embalming fluid? What did it look like? Was it in pieces or chunks? Couldn’t I have taken it home and buried it?” She felt the need for closure with her loss. She wanted a mourning process with her breast.1

Soft Tissue Massage and Infertility Treatment

Clearing the Way

It was nearly five years ago when massage therapist Larry Wurn and his wife Belinda, a physical therapist, made a startling discovery. “We were surprised when a patient we were working on became pregnant,” said Larry Wurn in a recent interview. Qualifying this statement, he went on to explain that the woman was being treated for myofascial pain at the time. Seven years earlier she had been diagnosed as having blockage in both fallopian tubes. Since that time, she had remained infertile despite being sexually active.

Reaching Out

Massage Emerges as a Lifeline to Dementia Patients

A Crabbèd Old Woman

The body it crumbles. Grace and vigor depart.
There now is a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the pain, and I remember the joys,
And I’m living and loving all over again.
And I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing will last.
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see
Not a crabbèd old woman,
Look closer: See me.

Green Tea

Brewing Up Healthy Skin

In an age when ancient remedies are increasingly emerging as solutions to our modern medical questions, researchers are finding a blend of simplicity and complexity in their work. So is the case with green tea. For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the carcinogenic effects of free radicals in the human body.

Two Paths, One Heart

A Conversation with Ken Cohen, Energy Healer

In the small, mountain town of Eldora, Colo., nestled between towering pines and shimmering aspen trees, sits a modest log cabin. Here, Ken “Bear Hawk” Cohen lives and works in unpretentious surroundings that belie the complexities and accomplishments of his life. Cohen is Jewish by birth and Native American by adoption. He is also a world-renowned qigong master and Chinese scholar, inter-faith minister, university professor, Haiku poet, doting father and loving husband.