Is it a Lesion, or is it Alignment?
May 7, 2014
Hosted by Mary J. Rogel, Ph.D., L.Ac.
Alignment has an impact on all aspects of health. My guest for this show is Anna York, who has lived with multiple sclerosis for 50 years. At age 37 she was largely paralyzed from the neck down and spent several weeks in a hospital and nursing home. The turning point came when two of her sons introduced her to Tai Qi. At a Tai Qi class in 1996, the instructor realigned her hip in 20 minutes, changing her life forever. The nerves on her paralyzed and atrophied left side started turning back on, leading us to ask whether the symptoms of MS were due to the documented lesions in her brain or to the misalignment of her hip. Today Anna York is active and vibrant, and without a wheelchair. She leads a full life as an author and teacher, and she has produced two instructional Tai Qi - Qi Gong DVDs, specially designed for seniors and people with serious conditions like MS, Parkinson's, stroke, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. We will talk about the role of alignment in her recovery, as well as related issues regarding diagnosing and treating serious disease, interacting with one's physician about alternative diagnoses, and empowering oneself to change one's life.
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I would like to shift our understanding and practice of orthopedic medicine away from the prevailing model of the body as a machine with replaceable parts toward an understanding of the body as a dynamic, adaptable structure with potentially reversible problems. If we shift our view of the body from the insides of the joints to the outsides of the joints, we get a different understanding of how they function. In this show, we will explore that adaptability and its consequences for structural alignment. My hope is to encourage health care practitioners to see new possibilities for, and to improve upon, their treatment methods so that their patients can derive more benefit from therapy, and to help people understand their orthopedic issues better so they can prevent problems, recover faster from ones they have, and work more effectively with their physicians and therapists.
Mary J. Rogel, Ph.D., L.Ac.
Mary J. Rogel is a licensed acupuncturist whose practice has a strong focus on orthopedics and body mechanics. Her approach differs from that of most practitioners in that she focuses on tendons and ligaments and their effect on structural alignment. This is her starting point for diagnosis and treatment not only of pain conditions, but also of internal medicine conditions such as digestion, breathing, and cardiovascular problems. Acupuncture is a second career for Mary. She holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from The University of Chicago and spent 10 years teaching psychology and 25 years doing health research and consulting before becoming a full-time acupuncturist. Mary is invested in sharing her unique methods with other practitioners. She has published a number of articles concerning her concepts and methods and is a licensed provider of acupuncture continuing education in Illinois. She has been teaching her style of orthopedic diagnosis and treatment to practitioners in various health care professions since 1991. In addition to teaching, Mary is the editor of Oriental Medicine Journal and does specialized editing of manuscripts and texts on topics in Oriental Medicine. Mary played a major role in legalizing acupuncture in Illinois. She served for many years on the Board of the Illinois State Acupuncture Association and was the Chairman of the Illinois Board of Acupuncture for the first 14 years after the Illinois Acupuncture Practice Act was passed.