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News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
Cholesterol: Friend of Foe?
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
As a physician who is passionate about all aspects of the human body, I frequently get questions about situations outside of the realm of CranioSacral Therapy. One such topic that has come up a lot over the last few years is that of cholesterol.With all the talk about the evils of cholesterol, you might think it is a dangerous substance that should be avoided at all costs. But is it really as terrible as it seems? Let's take a look.
Cholesterol is what is called a sterol molecule, which is any of a group of solid, mostly unsaturated polycyclic alcohol molecules. There is one hydroxyl (OH) group on carbon 3 that makes cholesterol an alcohol. If you aren't savvy in chemistry, don't worry; I'll make it as simple as I can.
Cholesterol is abundant in a wide variety of animal tissues, including human tissue. It is especially abundant in brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous tissues. It is a generous constituent of the myelin sheathes that serve as insulation for all of the white nervous tissues. Without adequate cholesterol, the myelin disintegrates and the conduction of impulses in all nerve tissues, including the brain, is impaired. So when cholesterol is not present in adequate amounts, brain function is proportionately compromised.
In addition to cholesterol's contribution to myelin, it has more recently been discovered that cholesterol molecules are essential for nerve cells to communicate with each other. It seems that for a message to be successfully sent from a presynaptic neuronal axon to the receiving neuron, on the postsynaptic side of the gap between the two neurons (the gap is the synapse), there must be an abundance of cholesterol molecules on the presynaptic side of the gap (synapse). We don't yet know precisely how this works, but we do know that cholesterol is necessary for the nerve impulse to be transmitted from one neuron to the next.
We also know that cholesterol is the primary molecule from which all of the corticosteroid hormones of the adrenal glands are derived. Without these adrenal corticosteroid hormones, we would live in pain. These hormones are secreted by the adrenal glands. They mitigate the inflammatory responses that are induced and continually produced under any circumstances that stimulate an inflammatory response by the immune system. Without the proper level of corticosteroid hormone being produced by the cortices of the adrenal glands, we probably wouldn't survive attacks of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, allergies, and more. We would simply inflame our lives away.
Another arena in which we would get a tremendous amount of pain is in the area of muscle, tendons, ligaments, fascia, bone wear and tear, etc. The corticosteroids reduce the inflammatory responses in those tissues and bones tremendously. I could go on and on with what inherently produced corticosteroids do for our creature comforts. Yet another arena that requires cholesterol as a primary substance is that of the sex hormones. Cholesterol is the essential basic substance from which our bodies manufacture both male and female sex hormones, i.e., testosterone and the various estrogen- and progesterone-related hormones. Where would we be without cholesterol? We would be asexual and childless. The aforementioned are only some of the things that we know require cholesterol.
Here's one other thing we know for sure about cholesterol: In our skin, in the presence of sunshine, cholesterol is converted to vitamin D, which is necessary for health. Lack of vitamin D in children results in rickets, in which the bones are very soft and easily become misshapen.
In the category of cholesterol functions, there is an argument that I believe began in the 1950s. From 1960 through 1963, I was attending osteopathic medical school and concurrently participating in a biochemistry teaching and research fellowship. I was selected as the award recipient by the biochemistry department chairman, Dr. Stacy F. Howell, who had great experience in the field of biochemistry, and was due to retire at the same time I graduated. Dr. Howell's PhD was from Cornell University where he helped establish proof that enzymes were proteins. His mentor, Dr. J. Sumner, received a Nobel Prize for establishing that same proof.
Dr. Howell and I spent many hours together, and he mentored me several nights. I recall that his friend, Ancel Keyes, PhD, from the University of Minnesota, discovered that there was abundant cholesterol in the plaques that form in arteries. These plaques serve to partially and sometimes completely obstruct the flow of blood through the involved arteries. The medical community immediately took this information from Ancel Keyes and decided that cholesterol was the demon that caused the plaques because when they formed in the arteries to the heart (coronary arteries), a "heart attack" (myocardial infarction) was the result. So it was simple: Cholesterol in the blood was the cause of ischemic (not enough blood) heart disease.
Within a year following his discovery, Ancel Keyes tried to reason with the "powers that be" that simply because cholesterol was present in the plaques did not mean it was the cause of the plaques. It struck Dr. Howell that the medical community was eager to find a cause for ischemic heart disease, a.k.a. coronary artery disease, and it could be treated by lowering blood cholesterol. The simplicity of the concept overcame scientific scrutiny. I listened to Dr. Howell and respected his wisdom; I also felt that Dr. Keyes should be listened to very seriously.
A few years later, a heart surgeon from Texas named Michael DeBakey hypothesized that the artery became infected by a bacteria, virus, etc., first, and that part of the body's defense might be to isolate the infected and inflamed area in the artery so that it would not spread throughout the arterial system and become lethal. Dr. DeBakey suggested that the cholesterol deposits might be part of the body's attempt to isolate the inflamed/infected part of the artery before it spread. Shortly after hearing Dr. DeBakey's ideas, I went to Mexico City to study with Dr. Demetrio Sodi-Pallares, a well-known cardiologist. Dr. Sodi agreed with Dr. DeBakey. I performed several autopsies with Dr. Sodi while I was there, and he showed me some instances in which plaque was not present, and the inflammatory response to a spreading infection in the coronary arteries was the cause of death.
With this information, I offer the idea that cholesterol is not the demon that it is touted to be. First, I believe that Mother Nature would not have the liver manufacturing cholesterol in response to physiological need if the cholesterol molecule were indeed such a menace to our well-being, and it would not have the intestines absorbing cholesterol from our food intake. If cholesterol were that bad for us, it would mean that Mother Nature wants us dead, and I just cannot accept that idea.
When I was in general practice from 1964 through 1975, a normal blood cholesterol level was 250 to 300 mg% (mg% being the number of milligrams of cholesterol per 100 milliliters or cubic centimeters of blood). Now doctors want it to be at 125mg% or less. I believe that cholesterol is an effective part of the immune system's armament against disease invasions. When we starve our bodies for cholesterol, we get sick and taken over by depressive moods more often. Frankly, I believe that the statin medications that are used to lower cholesterol production by the liver are far more toxic than blood cholesterol of 300mg%. As far as "good" and "bad" cholesterols are concerned, I believe that Mother Nature can deal with that better than medicine can.
Editor's note: This article has been written for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for personal medical advice. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have about your health.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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