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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.
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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