Sunday, September 10, 2017


It is with considerable sadness that I report the passing to higher consciousness of my good friend, Dr John L Martin DC FICCA FIACA, pictured. John  affectionately known as 'Dr John'  passed on at 5.05 am on September 9, 2017, aged 78.

Dr John Martin was born in Tyler, Smith County, Texas on July 11, 1939. He grew up in Tyler, the ‘Rose Capital of America’, a city named for John Tyler, the 10th President the United States of America. He attended John Tyler High School, Tyler TX; Tyler Junior College, Tyler TX, 1957-59; San Antonio College, San Antonio TX, 1962-64; and Texas Chiropractic College, Pasadena TX, 1960-64. He travelled to China in 1987 to study and observe acupuncture methods. He was a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), a Fellow of the International College of Clinical Acupuncture (FICCA), and a Fellow of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture (FIACA), and also had other qualifications in health care.

A chiropractor of several decades experience (in his later years, the owner/clinician, Barton Creek Chiropractic, 1990-2006; Contemporary Health Care, 2008-2014) as well as a clinical acupuncturist, John brought applied kinesiology (muscle testing) to Austin TX and was an instructor and mentor at Touch for Health, Kinesiology Association (under the auspices of Better Health for Everyone Naturally, 2014 onwards). He delivered a paper titled ‘A New Method of Determining and Correcting Acupuncture Imbalances’ at the 37th Annual Touch for Health Conference held in Chicago, Illinois in July 2012 and hosted the 39th Annual Touch for Health Kinesiology Association Conference held in Austin TX in July 2014. He taught Touch for Health classes to hundreds of Austinites and many others as well.

John was a Past President of the Texas Chiropractic Association (1989-90), as well as its sometime Secretary, a Past President of Travis County Chiropractic Society, and a Past President of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). He was also a Past Chairman, Academic Affairs, Texas Chiropractic Association Board of Regents (also serving for 6 years on the Board of Regents). For a while, he was also President of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE).

Dr John Martin and my wife Elspeth. San Antonio TX. April 2000.

Most notably, he was a member of the Commission which produced the Guidelines for Chiropractic Quality Assurance and Practice Parameters (‘Mercy Guidelines’) (Aspen Publishers, 1993; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2005), being one of only 35 chiropractors selected internationally to co-author the chiropractic industry’s first Standard of Care. In addition, he was co-author of the Texas Guidelines for Chiropractic Quality Assurance and Practice Parameters  and a longtime editor of the Texas Chiropractic Association Journal for which he wrote many articles over the years. He attended the World Chiropractic Summit in London UK in 1987 and was also a highly respected expert witness on chiropractic standard of care in malpractice litigation (see eg Williams v Heuser Chiropractic, 2004 WL 100462 (Tex.App.-Tyler, 2004)). 

With his wife Kay, John was a longtime member of Unity Church of the Hills, in Austin TX, at which he facilitated various seminars and workshops on natural stress reduction and other subjects. John was a liberal Democrat who knew quite a few Democrat Governors of Texas. An Eagle Scout, he was also heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America and loved the great outdoors. John's passion was hiking at Philmont and he led 20 treks. He guided and influenced boys and young men through his work with the Boy Scouts.

Dr John Martin outside the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum.
Austin TX. March 2000.

In early 2000, during my sabbatical from teaching at UTS, Elspeth and I spent several weeks in Texas with John and Kay, also touring the states of New Mexico and Louisiana. I was studying the use of complementary and alternative medicine in recovery from addiction. We were based at John and Kay's home in Austin and they were both gracious hosts and knowledgeable tour guides. John was proud to be a native-born Texan. I will always remember the time he took us over the Texas State Capitol at night. It was a memorable evening. Another memorable occasion was when John took Elspeth and me to San Antonio to go over The Alamo. Another Native-born Texan was selling and autographing copies of his book inside the building. I remember John talking for some time to the author about Texan history and the Battle of the Alamo, in which even some Australians fought. The Aussie flag was one of many in the grounds of The Alamo. Anyway, the author inscribed John's copy of the book, 'From one native-born Texan to another.' 

Then there was the visit to the LBJ Presidential Library, the old French embassy, the Governor's Mansion, the Law School of the University of Texas at Austin, Texan restaurants (one being the Catfish Parlour), Lake Travis, Texas bluebells, worship at Unity, complimentary chiropractic sessions (even in a restaurant in San Antonio, when I was in considerable pain from a cervical headache), et al ... Yes, so many happy memories of my UTS sabbatical spent there.

Dr John Martin and his wife Kay. The Oasis, Lake Travis. Austin TX. April 2000.

Shortly after Elspeth and I came back to Sydney, New South Wales from our time in Texas with Kay and John, it gave me great joy to be able to facilitate John's registration here in New South Wales as a chiropractor. He was an admirer of Australia's system of universal health care and was very angry that America's system of health care was so deficient, inefficient and costly. He wrote an editorial on this very subject in the Texas Chiropractic Association Journal, advocating the introduction of a system of universal health care in the United States.

Dr John Martin really advanced chiropractic and its holistic advantages. He was a truly amazing healer and teacher – and a very good friend. So many people have expressed on social media their love, appreciation and thanks to this wonderful man in the short time since his passing.

John lived his life fully and his adventurous spirit will be missed. I am proud to have known him.

I am relieved that John is now out of pain. He be greatly missed. He has returned to the ineffable undiffused Light, from which we all come and to which we all ultimately return. Ever onward, ever upward.

Our loving hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to John's widow Kay, and his children Glennece and William and grandchildren Jason, Matt and Hannah, at this sad time. 

. A 'Celebration of Life' service for Dr John Martin will be held at Unity Church of the Hills, 9905 Anderson Mill Road, Austin TX, on Saturday, September 30, 2017, commencing at 11.00 am, with sharing time to follow. The family has requested that donations be made in his name to Unity Church of the Hills Bell Memorial Fund.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


A new pilot study published in the Journal of Attention Disorder suggests that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) could improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. 

MBCT is a structured, 8-week program that combines mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

In this pilot study the researchers enrolled 31 ADHD participants in an adapted form of MBCT, obtained self-report questionnaires, and interviewed 24 participants. The study found that mindfulness therapy significantly reduced ADHD symptoms and improved areas of executive functioning, self-compassion and mental health.

A larger trial is needed, but the small study is part of the emerging evidence that mindfulness therapies could play an important role in the treatment of ADHD.

A review published in May 2017 found that MBCT was a useful adjunct therapy to standard medication treatment of ADHD in young adults. Of the 12 trials published in the last 5 years, the majority have shown a reduction in ADHD severity with the addition of MBCT to standard treatment. There have been other studies which have made similar findings. (See ‘RELATED POSTS’, below.)

More research is needed in this area. However, the studies done to date suggest a promising and emerging role of mindfulness in the treatment of ADHD.

Study: Janssen L et al. ‘The Feasibility, Effectiveness, and Process of Change of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults With ADHD: A Mixed-Method Pilot Study.’ J Atten Disord. 2017 Aug 1:1087054717727350. doi: 10.1177/1087054717727350. [Epub ahead of print]


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