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Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
October, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 10
Who's the Smartest of Them All?
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
In 1960, my mentor, Stacy F. Howell, said to me, "Upledger, I don't know why we're so worried about the Communists. It's the viruses that are going to get us." Dr. Howell, a biochemist and 1937 Nobel laureate runner-up, was referring to the overuse of antibiotics that began in the 1940s and escalated in the 1950s.
How would this make viruses a more significant problem? In our view (I soon shared his perspective) a natural balance exists between bacteria and viruses. Viruses need bacteria to reproduce, and bacteria keep viruses under control. When a virus is through with bacteria, the bacterial cell simply dies. Nature has set up a system that prevents bacteria and viruses from overrunning each other.
The problem is, antibiotics kill bacteria, but not viruses. We'd gone on a "kill the bacteria" campaign that was irrational and out of control. Doctors gave antibiotics to almost every patient with a cold or sore throat, and they were freely used to prevent other infections. This abuse has only just begun to slow down today.
Let's look at this from the viral point of view. The virus uses bacteria as a host in which to reproduce, because it's not equipped to do so on its own - viruses usually contain only DNA molecules (though a few have only RNA).
DNA carries biological information. It determines, for example, the color of your eyes; how smart you'll be; what you'll like or dislike; even whether you'll be a nice person. The virus is mainly a sac full of information. Since other cells contain different things, it seems reasonable to say that, pound for pound, viruses are actually smarter.
The virus enters your body, perhaps through your lungs, skin or mucus membranes, then travels around your blood stream until it finds a cell to fool. Your cells are surrounded by membranes penetrated by channels that select protein molecules from your blood and intercellular fluids, to be used as building supplies. The virus somehow discovers what a given channel will accept, then imitates that molecule.
When successful, the channel opens and admits the viral molecules. It then transports the viral DNA or RNA to the host cell nucleus, where the viral DNA immediately combines with the host DNA and modifies it to suit its purpose.
Once in the host cell, a virus can quietly exist for as long as seven years, according to some estimates. When the virus decides to activate, the cell releases new viruses into the fluids and bloodstream, often at a rate of up to 500,000 per minute. Is it any wonder patients can get sick so quickly?
When we started our antibiotic rampage years ago, we began killing bacteria by the trillions. The viruses undoubtedly noticed a shortening supply of cell hosts and adapted to the changing conditions. Soon we saw colds and flus become more severe when antibiotics were used, probably because the viruses were forced to invade more human cells. In the past few decades, we've seen an even wider array of viral diseases -- consider not only HIV and AIDS, but the tenacity of herpes and the rapid-acting, deadly Ebola virus.
There's little we can do pharmacologically. Vaccines have some use, but their focus is narrow and viruses can quickly outwit them. Witness the variable success of flu vaccines. Each year the virus changes just enough to require a new formulation. So any victories we achieve using chemical agents will probably be short-lived.
This whole picture may seem depressing. It appears humans have little hope if viruses decide to take over the world. Yet my real encouragement comes from the intelligence of the human immune system, where the "use it or lose it" rule applies.
Our immune system can miraculously improvise and adapt, learning to resist bacterial and viral disease-producing organisms. But if everything is done for the immune system, as in the use of antibiotics or vaccines, we'll never achieve our full potential. We need to be exposed, in moderation, to a wide variety of antigens that stimulate immune responses, rather than relying on external medicines to cure us.
An effective immune system requires exercise; plenty of rest; healthy habits; good nutrition; only reasonable amounts of stress; and a happy emotional and spiritual. The immune system even responds to your thoughts -- if you think you'll get sick, you probably will. However, if you sincerely ask your immune system for help, and express faith and gratitude for its assistance, it will do its best to perform more effectively.
Viruses are smart, but you can help defeat them with an energetic, well-exercised immune system.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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