resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
June, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 06
Nutrition Research News
By James P. Meschino, DC, MS
Black Cohosh May Help Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Epidemiological studies and some experimental evidence suggest that soy isoflavones, which act as phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogens) in the body, help reduce risk of breast cancer.The herb black cohosh, which contains phytoestrogen compounds, has been used in Europe with great success for 40 years as a treatment for menopausal symptoms, PMS and other female reproductive disorders (i.e., dysmenorrhea). Black cohosh has been shown to be nontoxic, with few reported adverse side effects, primarily mild nausea. As such, many European physicians prescribe it instead of hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women, and as a treatment for a variety of female complaints. It has a safety profile superior to hormone replacement. Hormone replacement therapy is known to increase the risk of breast cancer (by 2.3 percent per year) and other conditions.
Intrigued by the physiological effects of black cohosh and its phytoestrogen agents, a number of researchers have recently set out to examine its impact on various human breast cancer cell lines. The assumption by many investigators was that black cohosh would encourage the growth of breast cancer cells, because its weak estrogenic effect was likely to promote proliferation of these cells. However, studies have demonstrated the opposite: Black cohosh has been shown to have an anti-proliferative effect on a number of human breast cancer cell lines. Essentially, black cohosh extract has prevented breast cancer cells from dividing in all of the in vitro studies reported to date. In one study, black cohosh was shown to increase the effectiveness of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, when both were used concurrently.
In the study by Foster, the authors concluded that extracts of black cohosh can be taken safely by patients who are susceptible to breast cancer (and possibly should be used as a means of chemoprevention). In reference to these studies, D. Dixon-Shanes and N. Shaikh remark in the journal Oncology Report (Nov.-Dec., 1999) that herbs such as black cohosh and soy isoflavones show potential as natural agents that may reduce the risk of breast cancer (if taken). As one in nine women in the U.S. develops this disease, it may be prudent for North American women to take a supplement containing black cohosh and soy isoflavones throughout adult life (unless contraindications are present) to discourage the promotion of breast cancer. If black cohosh and soy isoflavones can inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells, then in theory, this would give the immune system a better chance to destroy cancer cells before they have an opportunity to thrive.
The standardized grade of black cohosh extract that demonstrated clinical efficacy provided 2.5 percent triterpene content. A usual daily dosage for menopause is 40 or 80 mg, twice per day. Half this dosage may be prudent simply to support reproductive health throughout the premenopausal years, and as a primary intervention to potentially aid in risk reduction of breast cancer. Further studies are underway to enhance our understanding of this important and timely subject.
Vitamin C Supplementation Linked to Prevention and Treatment of Cataracts
Researchers from Tufts University extracted pertinent dietary, lifestyle and supplementation practices and performed cataract screening assessment on 492 nondiabetic participants from 1980 to 1995. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that 34 percent of the group had cataracts (cortical opacities). A review of the data indicated a significant link between age and vitamin C intake for a very common form of cataracts, known as cortical cataracts.
For women younger than 60, a vitamin C intake greater than 362 mg/day reduced risk of cataracts by 57 percent, compared with those who had an intake of less than 140 mg/day. Those who took vitamin C supplements for more that 10 years had a 60-percent reduction in risk compared to nonsupplement users. Researchers also found that women who never smoked and had high intakes of folate and carotenoids showed a reduction in cataracts.
Dr. Ronald Plotnik, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester, N.Y., was quoted as stating, "I think it makes sense that vitamin C and other antioxidants might have a protective effect in terms of cataracts." He said that previous research suggests that free radicals (from UV light exposure and smoking cigarettes) could contribute to the development of cataracts.
The February 2002 Ophthalmic Epidemiology published the findings of the Roche European American Cataract Trial (REACT). This randomized clinical trial investigated the efficacy of an oral antioxidant, micronutrient mixture to slow progression of age-related cataracts. After three years, the subjects taking the vitamin mixture (18 mg beta-carotene, 750 mg vitamin C, and 600 IU of vitamin E) demonstrated a small but significant deceleration in the progression of age-related cataracts. There were no reported adverse side effects in the treatment group.
Together, these results imply that antioxidant vitamin supplementation, at moderate doses, is a safe and effective means to potentially prevent cataract development, and should be considered therapeutically to help slow the progression of existing age-related cortical opacities.
Soy Isoflavone Supplementation Demonstrates Ability to Reduce Bone Loss in Perimenopausal Women
There has been much debate if soy isoflavones, which act as weak estrogens in the body, have sufficient estrogenic activity to help prevent demineralization of bone when a woman's own estrogen production declines during menopause. Estrogen helps to keep calcium in bone until the menopausal years, when the drop-off in estrogen production is known to contribute to postmenopausal osteoporosis. In the U.S., one in four women demonstrates osteoporosis early in the postmenopausal years.
In a randomized study involving 69 perimenopausal women, the group that received 24 weeks of continual isoflavone-rich soy supplementation demonstrated a favorable effect on preventing bone loss versus the control groups, which were given either whey protein supplementation or isoflavone-poor soy supplementation (containing only 4.4 mg of isoflavones per day). This study convincingly demonstrated that a daily soy intake yielding 80.4 mg of isoflavones provides an estrogenic effect on bone, sufficient to slow or prevent its demineralization.
Larger studies of this type are necessary to confirm these findings. However, results from this preliminary trial agree with epidemiological evidence and animal studies: All indicate that soy isoflavones support bone mineral density in postmenopausal women and oopherectomized animals. Soy isoflavones studied most intensively for their phytoestrogen properties include genistein and diadzein.
Click here for previous articles by James P. Meschino, DC, MS.
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