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The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Elevated Shoulder? Check the QL
As you know, posture reveals a great deal about the body. Posture is a unique mental and physical landscape revealing compensations and adaptations to life. It's a classic mind-and-body story.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
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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