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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06
When the Immune System Attacks, Ask Why
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
My life experiences have forced me to embrace a radical concept: tissues, cells, even DNA molecules each have their own individual consciousness.
This concept was not easy for me to accept.It flies in the face of my early psychological studies that focused on physiological and behavioral schools - virtually risk-free if your bent is toward the rational, scientifically proven, one-step approach. For me to consider that biosystems have individual consciousness was a huge leap of faith. My ongoing study of biochemistry has helped broaden my acceptance.
Years ago, I was extremely fortunate to have as my mentor Dr. Stacy F. Howell, the same man who discovered that enzymes were proteins. A Nobel laureate runner-up, he retired at the same time I received my doctorate in osteopathic medicine. As many do at that stage, Dr. Howell wanted to share the wisdom he had accumulated over years of teaching and research.
He showed me that each atom is a solar system: its nucleus is like the sun and its electrons are like the orbiting planets. He described molecules as interacting solar systems with tissues as mini galaxies. In my mind, he built a model universe composed of the atoms and molecules drawn together to create any matter or structure that might exist. The matter is the universe. Size is the only factor that differentiates what we consider our cosmic universe to be.
In short, Dr. Howell opened the door for me to welcome into my own consciousness the concept that organs and tissues, cells and molecules are individuals, much like people and animals. From there it was a short jump to accept the idea that each of these structures possesses a consciousness, and that each of these contributes to the next group consciousness up the line.
For me this was all happening in the early 1960s. Yet I continue to hold these concepts, not only because they still feel true but also because the model that has evolved from these seeds is extremely useful in patient care.
One recent example is Edith*, a 74-year-old woman who had been diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with autoimmune disease of the liver. The first thing I did when she came to see me was put my hands to work. Using CranioSacral Therapy, I was immediately drawn to her liver and lower throat in the area of her thymus gland. Her craniosacral system vitality was also markedly reduced.
I blended with Edith and, as we became one, I was moved to ask her immune cells why they were attacking the liver cells. I asked her if she would allow her immune system components to speak with me using her vocal apparatus, and she agreed.
First, I asked her thymus gland if it would be willing to communicate. Edith's voice gave an enthusiastic "yes." So I asked the thymus if it knew about the immune cells destroying liver cells. Through Edith, the thymus explained that these were abnormal liver cells being destroyed. The attacking immune cells were macrophages working under thymus gland direction. I asked the thymus if it knew what happened to the liver cells to make them abnormal. Once again, the answer was yes.
Here's what I got: About four years ago, Edith had received x-ray therapy for some malignant growths that had been surgically removed from her colon. The effect of the excessive x-ray exposure was to change the nature [DNA] of some of the liver cells. These changed cells then divided and produced more abnormal cells. This had been going on for a while before the thymus received information about the existence and multiplication of the changed liver cells. Now it was the immune system's job to clear the abnormal cells from the liver.
It was clear to me that this "autoimmune disease" was the immune system's effort to restore the liver to health. I applauded the thymus gland and the immune system for removing the abnormal liver cells to protect the normal tissues from being invaded. However, Edith's blood samples had reflected liver cells being damaged. I explained that her body needed to construct new liver cells to take the place of the abnormal ones being destroyed.
Through Edith, the thymus agreed, so I suggested recruiting stem cells from the bone marrow to go to the liver and develop normal liver cells. Stem cells are capable of creating new and compatible cells in almost any tissue they visit. The bone marrow acts as a holding residence for these stem cells, where they await their instructions.
As I continued to communicate with Edith's body, I could feel energetic activity taking place under my hand. In less than a minute I could feel new and different activity in the liver. Toward the end of the session, I did some simple craniosacral balancing. Subsequently, Edith had six follow-up sessions with one of our staff therapists, who administered general craniosacral therapy.
Eleven days after her last session, blood tests showed significant improvement in liver function. Edith also reported much more energy and vitality. Repeat liver tests less than three months later were all within normal limits. Had we not established dialogue and rapport with the consciousness of Edith's immune sytem, she may well have been treated with immunosuppressant drugs to stop the macrophages from "attacking" the liver. The abnormal liver cells would probably have continued to multiply, and perhaps liver failure or possibly cancer could have resulted.
It certainly seems worthwhile to try something as harmless as dialoguing with the consciousness of body systems, organs and tissues before taking more invasive steps. Of course, it also requires more healthcare professionals to honor the possibility that cells have consciousness. I remember the teachings of Dr. Stacey Howell and continue to hold great hope.
*Name has been changed to protect patient confidentiality.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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