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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
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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