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Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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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