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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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