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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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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