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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
November, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 11
Exploring with Science
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
As a scientist, I am often bemused by the apparently prevalent assumption in massage therapy that the role of science is as a sort of gatekeeper of proven methods.It's an outlook that I believe is derived more from a limited view of science as a promoter of mechanical technology than from the spirit of inquiry that beckons most research scientists. I have long recalled an article I read years ago on why people enter the pursuit of science. The title was "Whoa, look at that!" That simple title captures the spirit of curiosity and delight at nosing into the unexpected and unknown, better than anything else that I have since encountered. It's in that spirit that I'm writing today.
We do well to remember the gap that can exist between observation and understanding. Herbs containing salicylic acid had been used for centuries to relieve pain and fever before aspirin was purified in 1897. It wasn't until 1971 that Sir John Vane demonstrated that inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) by aspirin was responsible for its effects, sharing the 1982 Nobel Prize in medicine for that discovery. Only recently, a research group led by biochemist Daniel Simmons of Brigham Young University discovered a new variant of the COX enzyme that might explain the previously unknown action of acetaminophen.13 For massage and simple touch, I believe that many of the effects will be even slower and more difficult to elucidate, simply because they extend beyond the mechanical into simultaneous emotional, neurological, and neurochemical interactions. As with the complex connections involved with climate, better understanding of the whole picture may wait on our ability to use computers to simulate the entire system at work. Increasingly, such simulations are becoming a third branch of science - bridging experiment and analytical theory - because they make it possible to investigate regimes that are beyond current experimental capabilities, and to study phenomena that cannot be replicated in laboratories.
Within the last several decades, there have been several medical research developments that create a basis for some intriguing speculations on the effects of touch. In 1975, Dr. Robert Ader coined the term psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), beginning a new discipline of research linking the mind to the immune system.2,12 A recent small sample study with cellular analysis is consistent with massage having a positive effect on immune function.8 I tend to couple the research on PNI with the research and clinical experience of ideokinesis pursued by Eric Franklin and his predecessors.6 This material connects our mental imagery with creation and activation of our low-level neuromuscular patterns. In juxtaposition, PNI and ideokinesis substantially motivate respecting simple touch and relaxation massage as profound and deep reaching interventions toward managing stress and promoting health.
In a comparison of the co-location of acupuncture points and trigger points, Ronald Melzack and his colleagues found a remarkably high degree (71%) of correspondence.9 They concluded that "this close correlation suggests that trigger points and acupuncture points for pain, though discovered independently and labeled differently, represent the same phenomenon and can be explained in terms of the same underlying neural mechanisms." Based on further research into phantom limb pain, Melzack's group later proposed that we have an inherent neuromatrix, essentially forming an analog body within us.7,10 This neuromatrix acts to integrate our myriad sensory input into a coherent perception of a body. It also has a memory of its current state, helping to explain hypersensitivity towards experiencing benign sensations as painful. As a bit of blue-sky thought, I speculate that this research provides a basis for a western understanding of the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine. In this picture, the meridians don't lie within our physical bodies, but are a kind of circuit diagram of sensory relationships in how we form a cohesive sense of body from an overwhelming input of sensory information. There is no inherent conflict with an acupuncture point having non-local effects, because the important proximity is in neurological processing rather than physical space. There are some remarkable analogies to patterns of communication between individual processors in modern massively parallel computers. I find the possibilities intriguing.
When it comes to statements made about "energy work", I am rather an agnostic. Yet, nevertheless, I have experienced profound effects from such work and cannot discount the genre off hand. At this point, I see no basis for proposing fields of energy beyond the electrical and magnetic, so I return to consideration of these fields as recently reviewed by James Oschman.11
While what Oschman covers indicates that we all project fields around us, it doesn't support a conclusion that we are designed to emit beams of energy. Simply speculating on the maximum gain for the least energy required, suggests to me that something must occur in energy work akin to the improvements of tuning a piano.
Those talented in such work may simply possess perceptive skills akin to perfect pitch.1 Some recent studies with savants indicate that we all have neurological and mental capabilities beyond those to which we normally have conscious access.5 Some simply gain access by having the cloaking superficial layers of consciousness peeled back. These extra perceptional abilities include, for example, the ability to find the "sweet spot" in a room at which the sound from multiple speakers arrives simultaneously.5 There is every indication from such studies and from experience with biofeedback, that we are well-designed to detect and correct differences in "tuning" and coherence if we can perceive them. There is an additional observation that those with perfect pitch have a higher incidence of synesthesia, a mixing of senses. When hearing a sound, some, also perceive it as a color.1 This is suggestive that subtle sensations from bioenergetic fields could map for some into the visual, auditory, or tactile senses, giving person to person field interactions a rational basis. I think it likely that much that is taught about the techniques of energy work is simply a metaphorical roadmap to help train perception and focus the mind appropriately to enable subtle manipulations of bioenergetic fields.
While we must be careful not to interpret the perceptions stemming from cross-sensory mapping too literally, we should be equally careful in not dismissing them. Our neurological capabilities are turning out to be a lot more interesting than once thought, as science explores into the windows facing towards our inner selves. Whether we see two faces or a chalice can simply depend on our perceptions of foreground and background.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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