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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 01
"Peek-a-Boo, I See You": Obstetric Ultrasound
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Expectant mothers ask for it by name. They often can't wait to get to their obstetricians to "see" how their babies are growing. A remarkable diagnostic tool called ultrasound enables mothers and doctors to peak into the mysterious world of the life and growth of the fetus in-utero.But is it safe and accurate? Are women being protected, or are they being offered a false sense of security about the health of their babies? And what about this burgeoning business of keepsake images and videos of unborn babies? Are eager mothers courting danger with this unnecessary exposure to ultrasound radiation?
Originally developed during WWII to help the military detect enemy submarines, this technology wasn't used in clinical obstetrics until the early 1960s. The use of ultrasound has now become a routine practice in prenatal care in most industrialized countries. Ultrasound uses ultra-high frequency sound waves that bounce off internal structures to produce images (sonograms) of organs, tissues, blood flow, or, in obstetric instances, the developing fetus. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are legitimate medical reasons to use this prenatal test: to confirm pregnancy, assess fetal age, diagnose any fetal abnormalities or birth defects, evaluate the position of the placenta, and determine whether there are multiple pregnancies. Generally speaking, when a trained professional administers the test, it is assumed that its benefits outweigh any risks; however, some experts feel that even medical application of obstetric ultrasound has not been fully tested and is not without risks.
There is a lack of epidemiological studies on the risk of ultrasound on human fetuses, although animal studies have shown altered growth, low birth weight, diminished immune response and a deviation in genetic material from high doses of ultrasound. Studies on humans exposed to ultrasound have shown some serious side-effects, including pre-term labor or miscarriage, low birth weight, delayed speech, and fewer instances of right-handedness, which is viewed as brain damage to the developing brain. According to some doctors, ultrasound has its place in clinical diagnosis but not during pregnancy. Many physicians are losing their ability to confirm gestational age through a bimanual examination because they rely so heavily on technology, and medical schools rarely teach this palpatory skill.
Other concerns about the medical use of ultrasound include different powers of energy emanating from the equipment itself (the machines are becoming more powerful and there is inadequate data or control on levels of output) and the misreading of these tests by technicians or doctors. A study conducted on the accuracy of ultrasound at a major women's hospital in Brisbane, Australia, showed that ultrasound missed almost 40 percent of fetal abnormalities. Many genetic and physical disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, or heart and kidney disease, cannot be picked up from an ultrasound. False positives (an abnormality is detected when it does not exist) may occur, and uncertain interpretations can be extremely stressful for the expectant couple.
There are other serious considerations. The number of elective scans is increasing as doctor's routinely use the test at many prenatal visits, sometimes exposing their patients - and fetuses - to periods as long as one hour. The traditional transabdominal scan is now being replaced with the transvaginal scan, which probes even closer to the growing fetus. New developments, including the Doppler ultrasound, 3-D ultrasound and even 4-D (moving or dynamic 3-D) scanners are currently available to women.
The 3-D ultrasounds are also referred to as "entertainment scans" and provide clearer pictures of the fetal face and movements. What is of greater concern is that the technicians who perform these entertainment ultrasounds are neither regulated nor certified by the states where they do business. Appealing to their emotions, expectant parents are being courted by a number of new companies who claim that this 3-D technology is safe and can offer them the chance of a lifetime to photograph and video their unborn child (doctors use 2-D imaging.) They claim that these pictures help couples bond early with their babies. For a fee of about $80 for a short session, couples can learn the baby's gender. For $300, a half-hour session (exposure) will record fetal movements on a videocassette or DVD; color photos are included in this package. The recommended gestational age is between 28 and 32 weeks for the "cutest" images.
The FDA strongly cautions against the use of ultrasound for these keepsake memories. They insist that nonmedical use of ultrasound is not a wise idea. The FDA also regulates medical equipment and is trying to crack down on the "entertainment" use of ultrasounds. Along with the FDA, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the European Committee for Medical Ultrasound agree that the nonmedical use of ultrasound must be discouraged and that the use of 3-D ultrasound for psychosocial or entertainment purposes is inappropriate and contrary to responsible medical care.
The use of a diagnostic ultrasound during pregnancy may provide some valuable information about the well-being of the fetus. It can also be emotionally comforting to see the fetus' heart beat. But the advance of technology needs to be kept in perspective and in the safe hands of those qualified to use it.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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