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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.
July, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 07
Health Care as a State of Self-Defense
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
I have a friend who was in a car accident not long ago. Brenda* was cruising down the road at 45 mph when another car suddenly crossed her path. By the time both vehicles crashed to a stop, Brenda's face had been slashed by an exploding air bag and her knees had slammed into the dashboard.She was quickly taken by ambulance to the emergency room of a local hospital.
When she arrived, her face was so swollen you couldn't quite tell what she looked like, and her knees resembled small cantaloupes. The doctors took x-rays, found no broken bones, and promptly sent her home with a prescription for painkillers and advice on how to wash her wounded face.
Fortunately, Brenda is married to a cranioSacral therapist who understood the full effect of such a serious impact to the soft tissues. He immediately began icing his wife's knees by the hour to help bring down the swelling. He gave her warm Epsom salt baths to decrease systemic muscle soreness, and he used his hands to gently release the tissues that had recoiled from such a strong blow.
By addressing the soft-tissue injuries as soon as possible, his chances of helping his wife avoid long-term, debilitating pain multiplied exponentially. Still, they were both sure they'd get even more advice when they visited their family doctor two days later.
Indeed, the doctor gave Brenda one more prescription for inflammation - but that was about it. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the most obvious and least expensive courses of treatment: ice; hot baths; massage therapy; and craniosacral therapy. Instead, Brenda was given one more drug and told to wait it out. If the pain didn't subside, she was told, an MRI might be next. After that, who knew?
Thankfully, Brenda had armed herself with a full spectrum of healthcare information. Rather than remain passive, she chose to seek out other options she knew were available to her. She received neuromuscular therapy to release the muscles that had convulsed in an effort to protect her joints and bones. She received myofascial therapy to relieve the trauma to the tissues that ran like a web throughout her body. And she received more craniosacral therapy to alleviate any pressure on her brain and spinal cord, and help ensure that her central nervous system was free to facilitate a full recovery.
It's possible none of that may have happened if Brenda had simply taken her doctor's advice at face value. Unfortunately, it seems that health care these days has become a matter of self-defense. We have moved so far away from the wise family physician who cared for us from the time we were babies, approaching each malady with concern and common sense. Instead, the medical industry appears to be sliced up into small slivers, with each professional tending to focus on his or her own small segment.
In this case, the ER doctors were there to see that no bones were broken. The primary care physician was there to dispense the medication. And (thank goodness) Brenda's family was there to help her address the problem from the point of whole-body wellness. Now, after a series of simple, inexpensive measures, Brenda is well on her way to a full recovery. If she had taken the advice of only her allopathic doctors, she might still be in bed.
All this is to say that no one will ever tend to your health the way you can. As both practitioners and patients, it remains up to you to know what your choices are and demand them. This may seem obvious to you as holistic healthcare practitioners, yet I'm continually surprised at how many people are "stuck" in the general health care system without fully appreciating this point.
Yes, there are many good doctors out there who do everything they can to take care of their patients. (And believe me, insurance companies aren't making it easy for them.) But as I've said in the past, it's the patient's needs that should dictate the course of therapy. You play a crucial role in this state of self-defense.
By the way, by Brenda's third doctor visit, she finally asked if some type of massage therapy wouldn't help her heal faster. "It certainly could," came the reply, "but insurance probably won't pay for it." That may or may not be true, but that's a topic for another column altogether.
*Name has been changed to protect patient confidentiality.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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