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Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
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.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
Toxic Brain Injury (Encephalopathy)
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Health problems that occur secondary to the bodily absorption of toxic substances can come on acutely and result in life-threatening crises, or occur gradually over months or years. When symptoms present themselves one at a time, very slowly, the period of latency or incubation can be extremely variable in length.
During latency, the body's adaptational or defense mechanisms may be countering the effects of the toxic substances as best they can.Yet as toxins gradually overpower these mechanisms, symptoms may begin to appear slowly and increase in intensity as the body's adaptational or defense mechanisms founder and - perhaps - ultimately fail. Usually, acute responses to toxic substances occur either with large-dose exposure or when there is a severe allergic response to the toxin, no matter the dosage. Should the allergic response be severe enough to result in toxic shock, the situation becomes life-threatening.
In the case of slowly progressing symptoms, there may have been an acute dosage of the toxic substance. The body's resistance to the toxin input, however, may have been strong and appropriately tuned in, taking the edge off the exposure and resulting in mild symptoms that may or may not progress. The symptom pattern that progresses in severity over months or years, however, more likely resulted from ongoing exposure to smaller doses of toxic materials. The organs most obviously affected by toxic substances are the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver. Usually, we see less obvious effects in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, spleen, and the bones and joints of the musculoskeletal system.
It generally takes longer to recognize the effects of toxic substances on the brain, spinal cord, autonomic nervous system and voluntary peripheral nervous system. The brain seems to be a keen competitor for the title of slowest responder with the most endurance. What we have been calling "senescent changes in brain function due to normal aging processes" may actually be due to slowly advancing toxic brain inflammation. I refer to that as toxic encephalitis, or toxic encephalopathy.
Recently, toxic substances have been traced through the blood-brain barrier into the hypothalamus, and from the hypothalamus into the pituitary gland, where they cause dysfunction. Should the toxicity compromise the posterior pituitary gland, the result can be diabetes insipidus, secondary to dysfunction of the posterior pituitary gland. This posterior part of the pituitary gland produces anti-diuretic hormone. When production of this hormone is curtailed, the tubular reabsorption in the kidneys is impaired.
This situation results in the passage of large amounts of urine, great thirst, and often a voracious appetite. The increased quantities of urine do not contain significant amounts of sugar. Thus, it is differentiated from diabetes mellitus, which is due to a deficiency of insulin, or a problem with insulin receptors in the cell membranes. There are large quantities of sugar in the urine of diabetes mellitus (type I) patients. In type II diabetes (maturity onset), there is also increased urine output that contains significant quantities of sugar (glucose).
It is clear that diabetes insipidus may be caused by toxic substances that were eaten, taken in with water, inhaled, absorbed through the skin, etc., and eventually wound up in the brain and affected the posterior pituitary gland. Presently, there is little, if any, evidence to support the concept that either type I or type II diabetes mellitus is caused by toxic substances, although the possibility may exist.
When toxic substances get into the hypothalamus, there is a strong possibility that they will also get into the anterior pituitary gland, the master gland of the total endocrine system. Imagine that the repetitive inhalation of organic solvents, such as those that vaporize in gasoline fumes and cleaning solutions, may be the underlying cause of anterior pituitary gland dysfunction that might easily result in hypothyroidism (low thyroid); hypoadrenalism (poor adrenal response to emergencies, stresses, etc.); abnormal menstrual cycles; infertility; poor lactation, with the inability to nurse; and poor immune response, resulting in increased vulnerability to infections caused by low-potency bacteria, viruses, fungi, and on and on. Any of these symptoms could result from toxic substance infiltration of the pituitary gland.
Also, consider that these toxic substances probably invaded the hypothalamus of the brain en route to the pituitary gland. What happens when hypothalamic function is disturbed? First, the hypothalamus more or less governs the anterior pituitary gland. It doesn't seem to have much say over the posterior pituitary gland. However, the hypothalamus has a private connecting system with the anterior pituitary, and the highways between the two run both ways.
There are both nerve- and blood-system highways connecting the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary; therefore, they intercommunicate by both nerve impulses and hormonal molecules that are transported through their connecting blood vessels.Besides its influence on menstrual function via the anterior pituitary gland, the hypothalamus also strongly influences appetite and satiation, and a wide range of emotions, including pleasure, aggressiveness and sadness.
Imagine the possibility that being around cleaning solutions that are organic (and many are) and breathing the fumes every few days can affect your emotions; your sexual and reproductive function (including sperm count and vitality); your appetite-satiety balance (and hence your weight); and other functions. Organic solvent fumes can change your whole life, and you wonder how it is happening.
I suspect we should seriously look for ongoing and possibly hidden sources of toxin input. Perhaps if the input is stopped, the body may be able to effectively clear the remaining toxic substances/molecules. I am also sure that CranioSacral Therapy (CST), in conjunction with some other modalities, such as lymph drainage therapy, can assist in the clearing process.
Exercising the craniosacral system enhances the ability of cerebrospinal fluid to flush unwanted toxic materials from the brain and spinal cord tissues. Since it is now known that cerebrospinal fluid carries small molecule-chelating agents, clearly the enhanced flushing may remove unwanted metallic deposits from brain and spinal cord tissues. CST may also remove traumatically induced obstructions related to the meningeal and myofascial systems that interfere with cerebrospinal fluid flow.
All in all, it's better to include a modality in your protocol that stimulates fluid flow and helps flush the tissues than to ignore the body of evidence pertaining to toxic encephalopathy.
For a more in-depth article on toxic encephalopathy, please call 1-800-233-5880 and ask for the Toxic Brain Injury monograph.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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