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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
Newsweek Validates Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain
By Editorial Staff
Chalk up one more point for the publishers of Newsweek. The magazine devoted nearly half of its Dec. 18, 2002 issue to "The Science of Alternative Medicine," a series of articles that looked at the most popular forms of complementary and alternative care, and the April 26, 2004 issue goes one step further in its promotion of alternative therapies in treating back pain.
In a cover story, "The Great Back Debate," editor Claudia Kalb explores the role back pain has played in American society.While the article examines some surgical options used to treat back pain, it also gives a favorable review of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and other forms of alternative care.
Back pain is a universal problem; according to the article, an estimated 80 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from back pain at least once, making it the second most common reason for seeing a doctor, following coughs and other respiratory infections. Between medical bills, disability payments, and lost productivity and time at work, the costs of back pain add up to more than $100 billion per year.
One of the reasons back pain is so common, Kalb asserts, is because of the spine's delicate nature. "Like an expensive, but temperamental sports car, the human spine is beautifully designed and maddeningly unreliable," she writes. To complicate matters further, myriad conditions can cause back pain, including physical injuries like degenerated discs, compressed nerves, muscle tears and spasms, and ligament or tendon injuries, as well as psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Small wonder, then, that Kalb labels back pain a "mystifying mix of physical symptoms and psychological underpinnings."
Americans try invasive and costly remedies to treat their pain. The article notes that between 1996 and 2001, spinal-fusion surgery procedures (which cost approximately $34,000 each) increased by 77 percent. In 2001 alone, more than 250,000 spinal-fusion surgeries were performed, the vast majority employed to treat disc problems; however, fusion surgery was originally developed to correct serious instabilities and deformities of the spine, not to treat damaged or herniated discs. As a result, Kalb notes, "many of these procedures simply don't work." The lackluster results seen in spinal-fusion cases and other types of surgery have caused some practitioners to consider simpler, less invasive forms of care.
We've come to the point where we have to think out of the box," said Dr. David Eisenberg, the head of the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School. "The time is now." Even experienced spine surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases has cautioned that doctors need to be more selective about choosing candidates for spinal fusion surgery, and that "not everyone who has disc degeneration should have an operation."
So, what's a person with back pain to do? For millions of Americans, the choice has become some form of complementary and alternative medicine, including massage. According to the article, "Massage has seen an increasing number of addicted patients...research shows it can help knead out persistent pain; one study even found that patients took fewer medications during treatment."
The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York employs a variety of alternative health care options, including massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, tai chi, personal trainers and rehabilitation specialists; providers work together for the good of the patient. The facility, which sees about 13,000 patients a year, many of them with bad backs, uses "any noninvasive approach they can find" to relieve pain.
As alternative forms of back pain care have increased, so has the amount of research into these therapies. Dr. Dan Cherkin, a researcher at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Wash., has conducted several large trials on the effectiveness of chiropractic, massage and acupuncture for back pain.
And Dr. Eisenberg is leading a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, using chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, neurologists, orthopedists and other practitioners, to see if there are more efficient and cost-effective ways of treating back pain from a multidisciplinary perspective."
After centuries of agony, humanity could certainly use some relief" from back pain, Kalb concludes. "But more important than the success of any given treatment is the good news that both back pain sufferers and the medical establishment are embracing bold new ways to think about that most exquisite and frustrating work of art: the spine."
If nothing else, the Newsweek story illustrates the value of complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of back pain.
According to the World Press Group, Newsweek is one of the most widely read publications in the world; it is distributed in more than 190 countries and six languages, and has a weekly circulation of approximately 4.4 million (3.85 million in the United States).
Read "The Great Back Debate" Online
If you didn't pick up a copy of the April 26 issue of Newsweek at your local newsstand, fear not: The magazine has a partnership with the Microsoft Network and NBC that allows people to view its stories on the Internet via www.msnbc.com.
Copies of "The Great Back Debate," along with interactive features such as online polls and audio clips, are available www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4767268/
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