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Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
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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