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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.
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
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.
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.
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 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
Metabolic Syndrome: A New Way of Thinking About Long-Term Risk
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
The votes are in, and metabolic syndrome is the choice this month. This condition is not really a specific illness. Instead, it is a collection of features that, individually, are not great, but not particularly alarming.Together in various combinations, however, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are almost a certainty. Since cardiovascular disease and its corollaries (heart attack, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm, etc.) are responsible for nearly 40 percent of deaths in the United States, it behooves massage therapists and other bodyworkers to be familiar with this health-risk profile.
What makes metabolic syndrome especially interesting, in my opinion, is that it is a proactive approach to dealing with disease risks. Identifying when a person has some of the components of metabolic syndrome gives a person the chance to undo those processes before they progress to a more advanced and serious disease state. This idea of identifying and treating an illness before it creates significant problems is unusual in our allopathic medical community; however, this shift indicates good changes in the future.
Demographics: Statistics for the incidence of metabolic syndrome vary. Some researchers suggest it affects some 16 million Americans (about .06 percent), the majority of which are unaware of its existence. The Cleveland Clinic Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism indicates that the incidence is 22 percent, or about 47 million people. The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that up to 44 percent of all people over 50-years-old meet the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. These inconsistencies may have to do with the age of the target group studied, differing diagnostic criteria, geographical region and other variables.
Metabolic Syndrome Features: Most of the features of metabolic syndrome are silent and go undetected without the appropriate blood work.
Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when at least three of these five features are present. Therefore, while a person may have a large waist, if the other components are absent, the risk of cardiovascular disease is low. Other features sometimes seen with metabolic syndrome include a high risk of blood clotting, and polycystic ovary disease in women.
Treatment: The first, best option for a person with metabolic syndrome is to exercise and lose weight. Reducing body weight by 5 to 7 percent (this is only 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person) significantly reduces the risk of complications due to insulin resistance; exercise improves insulin action and decreases blood glucose. Limiting alcohol use and quitting smoking are other important steps. If these lifestyle changes are insufficient to control this disorder, medications that improve insulin uptake and/or stimulate more insulin production may be prescribed, along with agents that work to lower blood pressure and/or cholesterol.
The role of the massage therapist who works with clients that are not perfectly healthy is to maximize the benefits of bodywork, while minimizing risks. This may mean changing tactics or adapting techniques to accommodate for the fragility of a client with a compromised circulatory system.
One way to make this determination is to get an idea of the client's activities of daily living (ADL). Does the client exercise regularly? Is it safe for the client to elevate his or her heart rate? Does the client huff and puff while climbing the stairs to the massage clinic? Has a doctor suggested avoiding aerobic exercise? This data informs the decisions about what kinds of bodywork are most appropriate. Techniques that focus on fluid movement may be less tolerated by a client whose circulatory system is challenged, but energetic or reflexive techniques that don't focus on fluid flow may be safe and welcome.
Metabolic syndrome patients who exercise rigorously and successfully control blood glucose, hypertension, and other features, are likely to be fine candidates for more vigorous circulatory-based techniques like Swedish or sports massage.
For next time: I have recently received a surprising number of letters requesting an article on contagious skin diseases like warts and herpes. Because I usually teach this material whenever I go on the road, I'd gotten it into my head that most therapists were pretty much at home with these topics. Clearly, I am mistaken! Unless I hear otherwise, I plan to focus my next column on herpes simplex. Do you have any stories you'd like to share? Let me know, so we can all benefit from your experience.
Until then, many thanks and many blessings.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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