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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.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
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.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
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.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
Magnets: A Cause for Pause
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Recent discussions about the therapeutic use of magnets bring to mind the story of Madame Marie Curie, who discovered the x-ray. Curie and her husband suffered great damage to their fingers from the ionizing radiation they worked with during their research.Apparently they were not aware that their new diagnostic tool, although invisible, could have harmful effects.
The magnetic field has also been shown to have powerful effects - both healing and destructive - upon living systems. In our eagerness to find new therapeutic methods, I wonder if we may be getting carried in our use of magnets.
The effects of artificial magnetic fields on humans became startlingly evident during the early manned space flights. Both U.S. and Soviet scientists were forced to concede that magnetic fields might have a powerful effect upon human health and function. Subsequent investigations confirmed that changes in magnet field intensity, vector orientation and polarity exert significant influence on living systems in space.
These studies have implications for the earthbound as they refute several long-held scientific dogmas. For instance, one principle held that humans do not have any permanently magnetized materials in their tissues. In fact, the brain contains about five million single-domain crystals of magnetite per gram of tissue, and the meningeal membranes contain 100 million of these crystals per gram of tissue.
These findings are of particular interest to those working with the craniosacral system. It is possible that the energies perceived by craniosacral therapy practitioners as signals of membrane restrictions are related to these magnetite crystals. The mobilization of the meningeal membranes through craniosacral therapy may have an as-yet-uknown positive effect upon the magnetic aspects of these membranes.
Meanwhile, the earth's magnetic fields - called geomagnetic fields (GMF) - are constantly fluctuating due to internal and external influences. These fluctuations seem to be self-correcting, such that the natural magnetic fields remain within the limits that make earth habitable. Continental shifts; explosions; earthquakes; sunspots; eclipses; atmospheric pollutants; lightening; thunderstorms; hurricanes; and cyclones can influence the GMF.
For a simple example of how we are affected by subtle changes in the earth's magnetic field, consider what happens during a full moon: some people report experiencing irrational thoughts or malaise. The earth has an overall positive charge that increases during the full moon. Yet most people seem to feel and function better in an abundance of negative ions. It has also been noted that human oxygen consumption goes up during the full moon, and blood and lymph become somewhat less viscous.
The effects of magnetic fields also have been observed at a cellular level. A researcher at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California hypothesized that individual cells may possess sensory systems that respond to weak magnetic fields. He noticed that extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields change the cellular protein structures, which disrupts the transport of proteins and other substances within the cells. Clearly, disruption of the magnetic field of a cell may ultimately disable it to some degree, and may even cause cell death.
By chance, I came across some startling examples of the effects of magnetic fields on living systems in a book by a farmer named Davis. He and a friend became curious about the effects of magnets on crops and farm animals. They divided vegetable seeds into two batches, then exposed them to either the north or south pole of a bar magnet before planting them.
The men noticed that the seeds exposed to the south pole grew more rapidly, and the vegetables grew much larger than the others. Unfortunately, they were also dry, woody and inedible. The north pole vegetables, although smaller, were moist, tender and pleasant tasting.
Next, the men exposed fertilized chicken eggs to magnets. Again, the chickens exposed to the north pole grew slower and remained smaller than the other chickens. Yet here's what really caught Davis' attention: the south-pole chickens were very aggressive. They would fight to the death. By contrast, the smaller north-pole chickens were quite peaceful. If allowed to mingle, the south-pole chickens would attack and kill the other chickens, then pick apart their victims and eat some of the flesh. This particular observation suggests the possibility of hormonal effects caused by the magnet.
After this book piqued my curiosity, I discovered, along with Jon Vredevoogd, my co-researcher at Michigan State University, that we could use magnetic fields to cause and relieve headaches, nausea and mental confusion. We also found that increases and decreases in craniosacral system pulse amplitude were closely related to changing magnetic fields.
I suggest that, because human and other living systems appear able to create their own permanent magnetic materials, they possess some ability, albeit limited, to modify most external magnetic fields to acceptable levels. It also seems reasonable to expect that long-term exposure to unnatural external magnetic fields might ultimately drain these protective systems of their ability to neutralize and/or modify the effects of these external magnetic fields.
If the body's defenses are not able to neutralize abnormal external magnetic fields, many serious things can happen. Magnetic field exposure could lead to distortion in the cellular production of hormones, various cellular dysfunctions and ultimately, cell death.
Externally created magnetic fields can also interfere with normal cellular activity by creating a "static" that interferes with communication between separate cells and structures within cells. This type of exposure has been seen to interfere with the cell's ability to block disease-causing proteins. Thus, the cell may become more vulnerable to disease-causing invaders such as viruses and bacteria, and to the acceptance of toxic substances.
My experience, personally and with patients, has shown that the autonomic nervous system also is sensitive to changes in the magnetic fields. Research supports these observations, noting that the long-term use of external magnets can cause autonomic systems to change their set points and require time to readjust once the magnets are removed. These autonomic effects are manifest in episodes of cardiac failure, brain dysfunction, blood viscosity changes and gastrointestinal problems.
On the bright side, reports are coming in about the successful use of magnets to stimulate nerve growth. I believe this effect may occur, at least partially, because the external field may reactivate magnetic crystals in the nerves. I have only worked with several spinal-cord-injury patients using magnets for limited periods. They all had secondary paraplegia and sensory loss. In sensory and motor responses, the magnetic stimulation produced more definite subjective responses than electrical stimulations.
However, based on the current evidence, I recommend exercising the utmost care when using magnets as a long-term treatment. This invisible, powerful modality is not without risk. I will err on the side of caution until I am convinced that we know what we are doing. The Curies might have faired better had they been more wary.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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