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What's New in the NCCIH Strategic Plan
The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) released its draft strategic plan 2016-2021 for public comment in early spring of 2016.
What are the Meridians?
The meridian and collateral system (jing luo, hereinafter referred to as "Meridians") is comprised of the main meridian channels (jing mai) and the collateral vessels (luo mai). Jing takes from meaning of the Chinese word pathway (also jing) and are the main branches of the system.
Know Your Research: Tips for Evaluating Literature Reviews
Clinical and experimental studies are not the only types of published research we might encounter as we look for evidence to inform our practices. One of the most useful types is the literature review, which summarizes a group of studies.
Illuminating the Hidden, Freeing the Source
Amongst the Primary Channels, from a classical point of view, the small intestine is perhaps the most important channel to understand. It is one of the least used acupuncture channels in modern acupuncture, yet it within it can be found a wealth of theories from the Ling Shu.
The Professional and Practice Benefits of Political Activism
Welcome to election season, a vital part of our American culture. Every two years, without fail, we are bombarded with TV, print materials and phone messages seeking our vote.
Adventures with the Pericardium
My previous column on the San Jiao deserves equal time for SJ's loving partner, the pericardium. I nicknamed SJ the travel meridian – but pericardium can also play a crucial role in air travel.
Are Probiotics Doing More Harm Than Good?
Considerable controversy exists concerning the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Very few human studies show any real positive impact on the microbiome or health. The "promise" of probiotics is based on the few animal studies that suggest a positive effect.
Lessons from Functional Neurology
Chiropractic neurology, also known as clinical neuroscience or functional neurology, is moving the chiropractic profession forward by leaps and bounds.
Less Time Than Required
Q: When is it appropriate to use a modifier -52? Can I use it for a timed service when I do less than the time required by the code?
Let's Talk About Biceps Injuries at the Elbow
While most muscles cross over only one joint, the biceps crosses two joints: the elbow and the shoulder. Injuries to the lower biceps cause considerable elbow pain. Here's how to assess and treat an injury to this area conservatively.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists more than 80 common autoimmune diseases including asthma, Crohn's disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Time to Fight for Your Medicare Right
I have heard a lot of noise and a lot of debate about what is going on with Medicare. As an ACA delegate, I often get asked: 'What is the ACA even doing?'
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in Taiwan Hospitals
This spring, a team of Western medical doctors and TCM practitioners from Cleveland Clinic traveled to Taiwan to visit Kaiser Pharmaceutical Co. (KP), and China Medical University (CMU), Taiwan's leading integrative medicine hospital.
International Congress on Integrative Medicine
"Bridging Research, Clinical Care, Education and Policy" was the theme for the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2016 (ICIMH).
MPA Media Wins More Publishing Awards
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) has honored Dynamic Chiropractic with a national award and two regional awards for editorial excellence, and sister publication DC Practice Insights with two regional awards for graphic design excellence.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Part 1)
More than 45 million children ages 6-18 participate in some form of organized athletics, and 75 percent of American families with school-aged children have at least one child participating in organized sports.
Code Connection: Guidelines for the Use of Modifier -52
Modifier -52 identifies that a service or procedure has been partially reduced or eliminated at the physician's discretion. This is to indicate the basic service described by the procedure code has been performed, but not all aspects of the service have been performed.
Analyzing Acupuncture Case Studies
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Take this case study as an example. After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse during cold weather.
A Study of Relationships
Sa-Ahm's five element acupuncture method is known to be one of the most effective acupuncture techniques in Korea because it gives an instant response at the time of treatment and has a high success rate in resolving chronic problems.
Don't Ignore the Lower Half of the Pelvis (Part 1)
When your patient complains of lower back or pelvic pain, but your usual treatments are not getting the job done, what do you examine and treat? You may be missing important structures in the lower half of the pelvis.
Work Stress and Musculoskeletal Health: Do Your Patients Get the Connection?
Most people underestimate the impact their job has on their health, especially if that job isn't particularly physically demanding. Big mistake.
May, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 05
Ancient Trade Routes
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
By the end of the first century B.C., there was a great expansion of international trade involving five contiguous powers: the Roman empire, the Parthian empire, the Kushan empire, the nomadic confederation of the Xiongnu, and the Han empire.Although travel was arduous and knowledge of geography imperfect, numerous contacts were forged as these empires expanded-spreading ideas, beliefs, and customs among heterogeneous peoples - and as valuable goods were moved over long distances through trade, exchange, gift-giving, and the payment of tribute. Transport over land was accomplished using river craft and pack animals, notably the sturdy Bactrian camel. Travel by sea depended on the prevailing winds of the Indian Ocean and the monsoons, which blow from the southwest during the summer months and from the northeast in the fall.2
Cities along the silk, spice and incense trade routes are prime material for adventure and romance novels. Even the names of the routes conjure up visions and suggestions of exotic sounds, scents and textures. So great were the influences of ancient trade cities that even today, we can almost imagine the cries within their marketplaces. Cities such as Petra and Palmyra once grew rich providing services to merchants and acting as international centers of trade. They also became cultural and artistic centers, where peoples of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds could meet and intermingle. They were the commercial and intellectual hubs with links extending to touch every corner of the known world.
Interestingly, we are only now gaining full understanding of how pervasive such links and hubs are in our lives. In his recent book on networks, physicist Albert-László Barabási provides an overview of ongoing research into the laws governing the way connections form within networks as they evolve and grow.1 Common structuring seems to exist: from the number of chemical reactions linking key molecules together within a cell; to structures within our bodies for communication, transport and support; to associations between actors who have made films together; to ancient trade routes; to the links between the ever-increasing information nodes on the Internet. It has become apparent that, on all spatial scales of organization, the linking between nodes or sections is not random. There are patterns with small local clusters of linking, with few links per individual, and certain individuals or places that act as major hubs, with many connections leaping to distant parts and places.
One of the studies Barabási discusses found that job seekers more often succeeded through their acquaintances than through their closer friends. A person's friends were in the same "small world" cluster in which everyone basically shared the same information. One's acquaintances provided links to other clusters of people in which new opportunities were available. In marketing our practices, this concept of long-range links yields the insight that we should seek to find and develop connections with those who will be our gateways to other groups. As we become known for offering services that add to individual support networks, ameliorate stress, and resolve problems of body usage and history, our personal links will multiply, and our practices will prosper.
Several conceptual keys open doors to understanding and modeling what we observe in diverse worlds of interconnectivity. First, making the interconnections needs to be a dynamic process of growth and change. Second, when a new person or item in the network is added, key hubs already possessing many links will be favored to get the new link (literally a type of "the rich get richer" favoritism). Finally, a solution or place providing a better fit to the current need will preferentially attract links, even to the detriment of well-established key hubs.
This last point, in particular, explains how new trade cities might grow, and old ones decline, with the introduction of a newly discovered route or technology. It equally explains how, as an instance of adapting to strain in accordance with Davis's law, the fascia within our bodies will adapt to a change in posture and body usage following the start of a new activity, or following an injury.3,6 Our unifying webs of fascia grow from an embryological viewpoint and modify continually from a life usage viewpoint.3,5Tom Myers, particularly with his work on "anatomy trains," seems to have captured the aspects of our fascial webs as networks of communication.4
While it is true that 'everything is connected to everything else,' some bits are more connected than others. An extension of the pioneering work of Dr. Ida Rolf and her system of Structural Integration, these 'myofascial meridians' provide a map for postural compensation, which, when grasped, provide a model for 'tensegrity' balance of the myofasciae around the skeleton. Using this scheme, unexpected linkages lead to new 'whole body' strategies for manual and movement therapists.
The interconnectivity that Myers implies adds the perspective to our work that we are never, in truth, just engaging a local area but initiating a chain of communication and compensations that will spread over a client's entire body. As our fingers ply the ancient trade routes of our physical embodiment, we bring goods of comfort and relief that reach back to our beginnings as human beings and beyond. We are linked by many webs of connection.
Everything touches everything. - Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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