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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
October, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 10
Menopause, Part I
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
After spending most of my career treating pregnant and postpartum women, I decided to explore the next stage of a woman's reproductive life for this first article: a topic near and dear to many of us aging (gulp!) female baby-boomers - perimenopause and menopause.
We are not alone.Every day in the United States, about 4,000 women start menopause. Its symptoms read like a Stephen King horror novel: irregular periods (when menstruation ceases for over a year, menopause has been firmly established), hot flashes, flushes and night sweats (although some women experience cold flashes instead), heart palpitations, vaginal dryness and decreased libido, weight gain - especially in the midsection - mood swings and depression, memory lapses, bone-density loss, elevated cholesterol levels, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia and fatigue, the list goes on and on. As if menstrual cramps and labor weren't enough, we now have to suffer this final insult to our gender. (If it's any consolation, men undergo their own changes, called andropause. It is caused by a decrease in male hormones, particularly testosterone, growth hormone and DHEA. Men often experience decreased libido, lack of energy, fatigue and muscle weakness accompanied with loss of muscle tone.)
Why all the "Sturm und Drang" associated with menopause? Because it is a time of bewildering physical, hormonal, emotional and spiritual changes in a woman's mind and body.
Menopause is a normal part of the aging process, which usually occurs naturally in 25 percent of women by age 47; 50 percent by age 50; 75 percent by age 52; and 95 percent by age 55. It can also be brought on earlier as a result of chemotherapy or other medical interventions, such as hysterectomy, which accounts for 30 percent of menopausal women in the U.S. over the age of 50. As part of the aging process, it happens when the woman's eggs cells, the oocytes, are used up and menstruation ceases. As menopause nears, the ovaries stop making estrogens; these low hormone levels cause most of the discomforts associated with menopause.
Estrogen is also called the "female hormone" since it is essential to the development and maturation of the female reproductive system. It is the hormone that gives us our feminine shape and prepares our bodies for the unique expression of pregnancy. It also stimulates skeletal growth and helps maintain healthy bones. Estrogen plays an active role in protecting the heart and veins by increasing HDL (high-density lipoproteins, the "good" cholesterol) levels. Estrogen influences the brain and is thought to be important in memory and healthy functioning of nerve cells in the brain.
Estrogen is not one hormone, however. There are at least three major estrogens of which 90 percent are predominantly produced in the ovaries, although small amounts are manufactured in the adrenal glands, liver and kidneys. This explains why there are still low measurable levels of estrogen in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Fat cells can also produce small amounts of estrogen. Women who are overweight tend to have fewer hot flashes and osteoporosis.
Estradiol, produced in the ovaries, is the leading estrogen found in a woman's body during her reproductive years. It helps relieve menopausal symptoms, protects against osteoporosis, heart disease and possibly Alzheimer's disease. Estradiol has been shown to enhance mental alertness and memory. It also increases serotonin and endorphin levels, so it is easy to understand how a decrease in this estrogen results in insomnia and mood swings.
Estriol, manufactured in large quantities during pregnancy, promotes urogenital health and has been shown to provide protection against the production of some cancer cells. (A study by Dr. H.M. Lemmon, reported in a 1966 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that higher levels of estriol correlated with the remission of breast cancer; in addition, women without breast cancer excreted less estriol in their urine than women with breast cancer. Dr. Lemmon also noted that women without breast cancer have naturally higher levels of estriol, compared with estrone and estradiol. Vegetarians and Asian women also produce higher levels of estriol and have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Estriol has the most benefit to the vagina, cervix and vulva.
Estrone, the weakest of the three estrogens, is more prevalent in postmenopausal women, thus providing a modicum of estrogen's benefits. The body manufactures it from hormones stored in fat cells and it is comparable to estriol's function in the body but is not nearly as effective.
Editor's note: Part II of this article will appear in the December 2004 issue.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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