resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
March, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 03
The Practical Pitfalls of Research
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Werner Heisenberg, best known as a founder of quantum mechanics, gave us the Uncertainty Principle, which took our comprehension of quantum physics a giant leap forward. We began to understand that we may often get what we're looking for.If an experiment is designed to measure particle mass and activities, that's what we get; if the experiment is designed to measure wave activity, that's what we get. If one scientist sees evidence that energy is particles, and a second scientist sees evidence that energy is waves, they might argue. Both would be correct, but the argument might continue ad nauseum.
Heisenberg also alluded to the idea that there is no such thing as a purely objective experiment. As soon as you begin to measure something, the energy of the observer may change the results. I'll share with you a few personal experiences that strongly support this concept.
In the late 1970s, I was conducting research at a center for autism in Michigan. At one point, I got the bright idea that autistic children have different energy fields than nonautistic children. I worked with my co-investigator, biophysicist Jon Vredevoogd, to bring in an arbor-type wooden structure in which a child could stand. We mounted 10 receiver electrodes in the arbor to serve as antennae. The signals they received were passed into a sensitive Keithley Electrometer that gave us a digital printout of the child's electrical field at any given moment.
As I suspected, the electrometer consistently measured higher electrical fields in autistic children than nonautistic children. After we had collected what appeared to be groundbreaking data, Jon took our apparatus to his basement laboratory. He wanted to measure the influence of natural versus synthetic fabrics on the electrical fields of those wearing them. His experiment worked according to his expectations: Synthetic clothing produced a higher electrometer reading than natural fabrics.
One night at about 10 p.m. Jon called me at home. He said he had news that invalidated our results. This upset me. I was sure we were on to something important. Jon went on to tell me that he could sit across the room from the electrometer and its electrodes, and change the printout of the electrical fields using only his mental intention. With practice, he was able to get the exact numerical printout he intended.
Skeptical, I immediately went to his house. I was unable to change the electrometer printout with my intention - but Jon could. I didn't want to be able to change the numbers, so I couldn't. I was convinced that autistic children had higher electrical energy fields than nonautistic children, so they did. Jon didn't have as clear a feeling about his fabrics; he got the results he sort of wanted, then was shown the truth. This was an educational experience for both of us.
Another series of lessons came from my experiments using Kirlian photography in the 1970s. At the time, there was an upsurge of interest in this type of photography, which captures energy emissions on a photographic film or plate. Kirlian enthusiasts would use these images to diagnose everything from cancer to schizophrenia. The assumption was that the corona - the energy emission recorded on the photograph - was relatively consistent for any given human subject, and coronal defects or abnormal patterns reflected disease states or conditions.
Skeptic that I am, I began to investigate, first by photographing the coronas of my patients' fingertips on the same film as my own. The process involved creating a time-controlled, electrical-potential field. I took the photos before and after each treatment session, or between each segment, if I used several modalities. The coronas depicted an apparent interchange of energies between myself and the patient. Frequently, on a first visit, the patient's corona was less dense and expansive than mine; posttreatment, my corona usually diminished, while the patient's corona was enhanced, suggesting some of my energy had transferred to the patient.
As the treatments progressed, the patient's corona sometimes appeared stronger than mine in the pretreatment photographs, while I showed a stronger corona posttreatment. This suggested that the patient energized me. Usually, about the time the treatment series was to be completed and the symptoms were resolved, both of our coronas strengthened. I began to accept these positive changes as indicators that the case was "solved." In this manner, I was using Kirlian photography as an indicator of progress.
I decided to photograph my students' fingertips before and after patient examinations, while I observed and graded the results. I found if I reflected a happy mood, the student's corona was strong. If I warned the student that this would be a tough exam, the corona weakened and reflected flaws similar to those interpreted as diseases by other investigators. If I told the student he or she did well and then re-photographed, the corona was strong again. Some investigators would have used this to indicate a "cure" for a previously diagnosed disease; to me, it suggested that anxiety or fear, no matter how transient, could be misinterpreted as a disease process on a Kirlian photograph.
I went on to test a wide range of variables for their ability to influence a Kirlian photograph. Among our observations: Strenuous exercise caused no significant change in coronas. One person's feelings of happiness toward another caused his or her coronas to blend, while feelings of anger left an empty space between coronas. Temperature differences caused variable corona changes. Acupuncture was used to relieve a toothache in one student, and menstrual cramps in another, and their coronas improved with pain relief. We even studied bloodflow, which caused no change in coronas.
We ended our research after more than a year, and presented our findings at an international Kirlian convention in New York. The results were not warmly received.
In any case, I learned that intention can change the reading on a Keithley Electrometer, while thoughts, moods, anxiety, temperature and pain relief can change a Kirlian photograph. Yes, Mr. Heisenberg, the observer does change the outcome. So, how do you put the observer in the equation, when he or she is an inconsistent factor?
Every session of CranioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release, Energy Cyst Release, and Therapeutic Imagery and Dialogue requires the therapist to blend with the patient. Moreover, each patient problem and method of treatment is unique. If you follow a standardized protocol, you will not get the same results as if you had blended with the patient and followed the steps provided by the patient's inner wisdom, which is integral to the practice of these therapies. Obviously, you cannot have a double-blind study if no two treatments are alike.
It seems to me that the only studies that can be done to validate the efficacy of such modalities are clinical outcome studies that do not dictate the protocol. The results obtained for given disease diagnoses could then be compared to the thousands of conventionally treated patients with similar diagnoses. To go beyond this in terms of control is to study something that is not CranioSacral Therapy.
I am biased, but I believe I have a right to be. I have worn the moccasins of the rigorous experimentalist. I spent three years as a teaching/research fellow in biochemistry. I spent eight and a half years as a clinician/researcher in biomechanics at Michigan State University. I served for five years on the American Osteopathic Association's Bureau of Research, and two years on the Alternative Medicine Program Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health.
I have seen both sides, and have come to the conclusion that in health care, it's the outcome that counts, whether you understand the process or not. I have had people tell me I should not use a treatment protocol until I know how it works. My answer to them is to stop using gravity and electricity, until they understand how they work.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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