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Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
There's nothing like a bit of personal involvement to motivate learning.With a disposition to burning the candle at both ends, a semi-addiction to exercise, and a tendency toward upper-respiratory allergies, I'm all too prone to catching a head cold from a school-bound offspring or world-traveling colleague. Generally, it's not the respiratory symptoms that impact me most, but the mental fog, tendency to nod off, and general malaise that comes with them. It's the immune system chemicals called cytokines, believed to result in the systemic response, that are the focus of this article. What's particularly fascinating about cytokines is that they show up in the literature on infections, allergies, exercise, stress responses, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The local response to infection or tissue injury involves the production of cytokines, which are released at the site of inflammation. Cytokines facilitate an influx of lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes and other cells, which participate in the clearing of antigens and healing of tissue. The local inflammatory response is accompanied by a systemic response, known as the acute phase response.6
Similar to explicit tissue injury, strenuous exercise is also accompanied by an increase in circulating proinflammatory and inflammation-responsive cytokines.7 This effect is observed both from long events, such as marathons, and from shorter, intense episodes of eccentric exercise. The cytokine response following exercise is also affected by nutritional factors such as carbohydrate loading or restriction.6
Cytokines are potent mediators of immune activity. These chemicals carry messages from one cell group to another and invoke the most powerful of whole-body defense responses. The cytokines include the interferons and interleukins, which cause many of the symptoms of bacterial and viral infections - fever, headache, generalized aching, fatigue, weakness, and clouded consciousness.3 Injection of proinflammatory cytokines has reproduced many of these acute phase symptoms.
Cytokine production also responds to stress. It is now well established that the central nervous, endocrine and immune systems interact with each other; psychological stress can down-regulate the immune response by affecting the interplay of these systems. The interactions are complex, involving both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and the autonomic nervous system.4
It's been proposed that cytokines, reacting to partial protein production by latent viral infections, could be a mechanism involved in chronic fatigue syndrome.4 The viruses could be partially reactivated; that is, viral proteins could be produced at levels high enough to cause a low-grade infection, but too low to be seen using current laboratory assays.5 Stress is also thought to play a role in viral reactiviation.
Cytokines may also play an important role in the more systemic effects of allergic rhinitis, symptoms that include fatigue and difficulty concentrating. One possibility is that allergy stimulates the release of cytokines, which have been shown to produce achiness and fatigue, as well as cognitive impairment. It may also interfere with adrenergic and cholinergic activity in the central nervous system, thereby impairing attention.1
In my December 2002 article, "Flushing Out Myths" (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/12/08.html) I advanced the opinion that post-massage reactions similar to flu might be due to an induced response of normally subclinical fibromyalgia; a concept advanced by Leon Chaitow.2 I noted: "I tend to think of a body's neurochemical system on the edge of its ability to adapt being pushed temporarily beyond the edge by accommodating to the work being done. This reaction may be exacerbated by effects of athletic overtraining or by a genetic metabolic predisposition." The post-massage production of proinflammatory cytokines would be a possible mechanism leading to this result. Chaitow has also noted the involvement of cytokines in fibromyalgia.
The possibility of inducing a proinflammatory response should caution us not to probe too deeply, too fast into the unknown client. It is better to start a first session moderately and then adjust based on following up the client's response. On the other hand, since the immune response is impacted by stress, reducing perceived stress and its effects within the musculature may help the client's body to cope with the otherwise unmanageable. Sometimes our lesser effort is more. It's all in the intention and the attention we bring.
Editor's note: Due to the transient nature of the Internet, some links may not be operational.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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