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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
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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