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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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
Therapist Finds the Right "Tools" to Unite CAM Providers
By Rebecca J. Razo
"What is the right tool for the job?" In conflict resolution, this quasi-rhetorical question seems perfectly natural, but former community and court mediator, Sonia Turanski, a successful massage therapist for the last 10 years, found that this question - her mantra, of sorts - could be asked in other settings, including the health care profession."It is my disposition to respect all sides of an issue," Turanski said in an e-mail interview with Massage Today. "And so, from the beginning of my massage training and career, I have seen every approach of medical care as a valid, important tool, with [that] question always [at the center]."
Indeed, Turanski asked this question again when she relocated to Maine's Blue Hill Peninsula, a quaint seaside community south of Bangor, and found a wide range of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners in need of organization. Turanski discovered that a local hospital was recruiting for a community CAM liaison; she inquired about the position, and although it did not pan out for her, the seeds for her greater vision were planted. "My interest in creating a bridge between the differing camps of providers in our community came into focus," she disclosed.
A short time later, Turanski created the Acadia Health Association (AHA), a network of local providers spanning many different realms of CAM, including massage therapists, chiropractors, herbalists, psychologists, medical doctors, and many others. For Turanski, creating AHA was an important step in developing a unified system in which health care providers of all disciplines could network for the purpose of promoting the benefits of integrative health care to the communities in and around the Blue Hill Peninsula.
"The byline of AHA is 'integrated health care begins with us,' meaning that a system is not going to come down from above that we all plug into and magically become integrated, but that we, the providers, need to embrace the idea of working together with mutual support at a grass roots level," she said. However, once AHA was up and running, Turanski realized that the providers were only half of the equation. "I realized the need still existed for the population at large to have a resource for access to information and education about the variety of options available in health care, as well as a way to find out who in the community provided those services," she said.
That's when Turanski created Whole Health Access (WHA), "a holistic resource and referral service," according to its motto. WHA seeks to empower patients so that they can make informed decisions related to their health care. Turanski was preparing to present her idea for WHA to the local hospital where she originally inquired about the community CAM liaison position, when she received a visit from a childhood friend, Dr. Allen Tien, president of Medical Decision Logic, Inc. (MDLogix), a medical-based information technology software company in Towson, Md.
Since a number of MDLogix's projects are funded through grants, Dr. Tien suggested creating a Web-based database program for WHA, and offered to partner with WHA and apply for a grant to get the project off the ground. MDLogix applied for a grant through the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and was approved in August 2003 for Phase I: a grant for $100,000 used for project research, development and testing, but not market research or marketing. According to Dr. Tien, principal investigator and overseer of the grant, Phase I, which usually lasts about six months, ensures that the project's goals are feasible; upon completion of Phase I, applications for Phase II may be submitted. Phase II usually lasts for about two years and funds are in the amount of $750,000.
Currently, WHA Phase I testing is underway. Local providers (some of whom belong to the AHA network) and a group of clients volunteered to test the software system over a three-week period. Providers enter information about their services, including contact information, specialties, etc., into the database, while clients conduct searches on the site based on health-related concerns by clicking on a series of checklists grouped under three categories: physical, mental and spiritual.
Clients also have the option of indicating preferences, including whether a provider is male or female, licensed or unlicensed, and insurance type. The system then matches a client's choices to appropriate providers in the network; however, what Turanski appreciates most is the database's interactive nature. "If someone doesn't find a descriptive term that applies to them, they can add it to the list. In this way, the lists of concerns and attributes are self-educating, with the system reflecting the actual words and categories of the people who use it," she noted.
During the testing of Phase I, the volunteer clients will evaluate the results generated by the search. At the conclusion of the study, all volunteers will fill out a survey describing their experiences with the service and provide suggestions for improvement. MDLogix plans to submit the application for Phase II on April 1. If funding is approved, Turanski hopes to test the program in other areas, including Baltimore; Portland, Maine; and Seattle.
For now, Turanski would like to see AHA continue its growth to include providers from all aspects of health care, and she notes that one of her goals for WHA is to de-emphasize the importance of categories that divide practices into conventional, traditional, alternative, and complementary. "My favorite saying [from massage school] is, 'when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.' I love this saying, because it so accurately reflects the self-importance that seems rampant in every school of thought. We need to respect the variety of skills out there, and to understand the limits imposed by our own beliefs...across the spectrum of health care, all providers offer important and relevant services. The question should not center around whether certain professions are better or more legitimate, but around 'what is the right tool for the job?'"
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