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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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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