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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
We've Made It!
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Massage therapy has finally arrived as a significant player in health care. How do I know? From the article, "Setting the Record Straight," by Rebecca J. Razo in the June issue of this fine publication (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/06/02.html).When I read that well-written article, my heart jumped with joy. I shouted, "Alright, we're there - we've finally gotten to them!" Massage has finally tripped the radar of the allopaths, and they have begun their typical attack.
The medical "cartel" does this whenever some product or procedure begins to affect their bottom line. They start attacking it, trying to discredit it. Their first effort is always to scare people away from alternative providers and products, and back into their clutches by labeling the alternative dangerous, unsafe, unproven, blah, blah, blah.
If they can't accomplish that, they demand to control access to the alternative. If you haven't noticed, they have been pulling this same cowardly, poverty conscious routine on the chiropractic profession for decades. They go after any natural food supplement, herb or remedy that becomes popular and negatively impacts the sale of pharmaceuticals. The highest acknow-ledgement the medical-pharmaceutical cartel can give is its effort to eliminate or control you. It is the true measure of your success and effectiveness.
Do not get down about this "hit" piece; it is great news! We are hurting the allopath's bottom line. We are reaching enough people that they are getting upset. This is just the first of many hit pieces to come. Rejoice! Don't worry; be happy! It means we are winning. The allopaths' efforts have not stopped the growth of chiropractic, and they will not stop the growth of massage, unless we sell out to the allopaths by giving control to them.
I have carefully observed the attacks on DCs and the natural food and supplement industries for many years. This hit piece against massage perfectly fits the pattern they used against chiropractic. The media always allows some individual physician to make outrageous, unchallenged statements about some product or alternative therapy that sound plausible to the untrained lay person. When challenged, the physician backpedals, but the media never does an effective retraction. If they even do one at all, they bury it or minimize it.
When Dr. Robert Gotlin was challenged, he said, "Massage therapy is an excellent modality choice if not contraindicated." Well, duh - If that is what he really believes, why didn't he say that? He is like a racist saying, "I'm not a racist, some of my best friends are black, Asian, Indian, etc." The good doctor (I'm being generous here) expresses his real complaint when he says his concern is for those who self- treat without seeking appropriate medical care. What this means is, he thinks doctors should be in control of who can receive massage. He wants his office visit fee; he wants to control who can get massage, how often, and what type. Dr. Gotlin says he does not care if someone without pain gets a nice, relaxing massage. You see, that is all they thought we were doing. That is why they have left us alone this long. Now they are figuring out what massage can really do (and is doing) and they want control of it - to suppress it. (Hey, you up there in New York; anyone ever gotten a referral from the good Dr. Gotlin?)
I wonder how concerned Dr. Gotlin is about the 783,936 people murdered each year - (oh, come on Ralph, don't use such emotionally inflammatory language); all right, just killed - by his conventional medicine "colleagues" in America? (Oh, by the way: Those are just the ones they admit to in their own publications.) The leading cause of death and injury in America is the medical system. Talk about dangerous, unsafe and unproven! What about the 2.2 million people per year having in-hospital adverse reactions to prescription drugs; the 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually; or the 8.9 million people hospitalized unnecessarily each year?
Why isn't Dr. Gotlin -- or the media -- concerned about this? For the answer, just follow the money trail. You should read the study, "Death by Medicine" at www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_01.htm.** We should be sharing it with everyone we can. The public needs to know how it is being systematically abused by the medical-pharmaceutical cartel, and its blind trust in the "conventional medical system" needs to be broken.
When this happens, people will begin to take better care of themselves, and alternative providers will come to the forefront of health care, where they should be. Kudos to the 10,000-plus licensed massage therapists in New York who are doing such good work. New York has a strong massage law, higher than average standards, and its own exam -- and it's working. Keep those storefronts open and keep helping people!
Something to think about: To those who believe "It is a massage, not brain surgery"; that there is no need to increase entry-level standards because it cannot be proven that therapists with 500 hours of training or fewer cause harm; or resist regulation, licensure, standards, and continuing education, one observant reader asks, "Why are our associations billing us for 3-to-6-million-dollar malpractice/liability insurance policies?" Why are massage therapists joining organizations just to get insurance and why are they carrying so much of it? Hmm....
A Practical Massage Tip: Fascia is not inert connective tissue that merely transitions from a more dense "gel" state to its more fluid "sol" state. It is densely innervated with mechanoreceptors, which respond to appropriate manual pressure, lowering sympathetic tonus. Fascia also contains smooth muscle fibers, allowing the nervous system to tension the fascial sheaths. One type of fascial pressure receptor group, the Ruffini ending, responds to tangential pressures and lateral stretch, lowering sympathetic nervous system activity. Next time you are holding a stubborn tender point or trigger point, try adding slight, subtle sideways pressure, preferably cross-fiber and see if you get a faster or larger release or change in the tissue. See you in September - when I will weigh in on the "medical massage" debate. Have a great summer!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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