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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
Expedition Costa Rica 2004
By Madeleine Evans, LMT
February's expedition to Costa Rica went too fast and ended too soon. Seven massage therapists made the trip: Sandi Minck, Elise Linden and expedition leader, Elvis Mairena (NJ); Kathy Carlson (Ore.); Katie Haley and myself (Fla.); and Brian Nutter (Md.).Accompanying us were Brian's lovely wife, Rebekah (our much-needed interpreter) and the couple's beautiful 10-month-old daughter, Helena (our public relations person - nobody could resist her charm).
Elvis, a native of Costa Rica who now resides in New Jersey and works as a sports massage therapist for Rutgers University, got the idea for the Costa Rica project after his mother volunteered in an orphanage for handicapped children. The first successful expedition was in July 2003; a subsequent article published in Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/09/03.html) engendered much interest, prompting Elvis to gather a new team of volunteers for this year's trip.
We first went to Tamarindo, in northwest Costa Rica by the Pacific coast. Some of us stayed at a tourist hotel, while others opted for the more modest cabaneras, which cost about $10 a night. From there, we drove to the Clinic Hogar Maria Immaculada in Puntarenas, and administered massage therapy to the residents and staff for two days.
Most of the clinic residents were at least 70 years of age; some were receiving massage for the first time. They suffered from various illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, polio, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, yet they appeared happy. They had an irresistible mixture of shyness and friendliness toward us. During the massages, there were many contented smiles and lots of laughter by our attempts to communicate in Spanish. We touched these people with our hands; they touched us with their smiles and kind words, and we made friends.
During our late lunch on the second day, I noticed that Elvis was up to something secretive; I noticed a group of 15 children and a few adults sitting outside on benches. Curiosity got the best of me and, armed with my video camera, I inquired about what they were doing. "We don't know," the adults said, and indicated that they had been called by the clinic's administrator to meet there with the children.
As it turned out, Elvis organized a lecture for the children on "good touch," which was a lot of fun. Elvis taught the kids some easy techniques, including how to apply pressure to a friend's hand if that friend had a headache, how to massage each other's shoulders, and other good remedies. At the end, he tested their mental math skills and offered small coins as rewards. The children were full of joyful energy. Most of the kids were predestined to work the land, Elvis said, but he was hoping that they would remember the massage lecture.
Who knows? Perhaps one or more of those children would become massage therapists some day. I was amazed that those adults and their children had waited patiently without knowing what was in store for them. If Costa Ricans were so trustful with us, we could certainly trust them in return, I thought. We left Puntarenas a bit reluctantly.
A couple of days later, we worked at The Inn for Elders, near Quepos, where we gave a lot of seated massages and a few table massages. We received the same warm welcome from the residents, and were again impressed by the cleanliness and bright look of the place. The tiled floors were impeccable and the walls were freshly painted.
We noticed that the residents did not have many personal belongings in the bedrooms and that they were always outside socializing, which, perhaps says something about how "things" become unimportant at the end of one's life, while being around other people remains desirable.
Three of the residents were dying; Sandi worked on a resident dying of cancer: "Once I put my hands on him and started to do the massage, his whole face changed. He got a big grin from ear to ear. At some point we made eye contact and it was an exquisite moment; no words needed," she said.
The last place we visited was the Disabled Children Clinic. Children suffering from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities, were brought to us by their parents. Mothers watched attentively while we worked with their children, and later, the parents received massage. The director of the clinic told us how much the mothers appreciated what we had done for them. "Those mothers are so poor and so tired," she said. "Getting a massage is a miracle for them." We were happy to make that miracle come true.
We also got a kick out of playing Santa Claus. In a big sailor bag, I had children's clothes and stuffed animals donated by coworkers back home. The joy the gifts brought to these families made it worth dragging that huge bag through the airport.
Plans are already in progress for next year's expedition. Here are some words of advice to future team members:
My advice is to invest in a small Spanish translator - and have fun speaking with the locals.
In every possible way, the trip was a success. What surprised us the most was how much fun we had with each other. We were a group of strangers brought together by a common interest. We were all ready to be "nice" and "polite" to each other; what we had not expected was to become old friends in a matter of days. According to Sandi, the influence of a special dessert made of watermelon and guaro had a lot to do with our wonderful and sudden friendship.
I believe that when caring people are grouped together to do good things in the world, the Gods are always in their favor. And also, massage therapists tend to be really neat people!
For more info about the next expedition, contact Elvis Mareina at or Brian Nutter at .
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