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Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03
Stay in Touch With...Ayurveda, Part I
By Karyn Chabot
"Stay in Touch With..." is a periodic column designed to provide an overview of a particular technique or modality. If you would like to contribute to this column, please e-mail .
When I was a student of Dr.Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, each class left me in awe as I learned more about the ancient, profoundly simple, biological and spiritual science of Ayurveda.
In the past, Ayurveda has been misunderstood, but now with the yoga craze, people are starting to see that it is a beautiful medical science that encourages people to live in harmony with the earth, the elements and the seasons. Ayurveda does not involve mandatory worship of mysterious deities. Instead, it embraces all forms of spirituality and recognizes the divine intelligence within all living things. It is the ancient healing science of India.
Ayurveda addresses the root of disease, rather than just alleviate symptoms. It doesn't assign a medical name to disease because when you name something, you indirectly assign power to it. Instead, Ayurveda views disease as an imbalance of the five great elements within the body. Some of the modalities used to restore this fragile balance include nutritional and lifestyle changes, bodywork, herbs, yoga, meditation, mantra, mindfulness, breath work, sound, color, crystal, aromatherapy and intuitive living. This ancient science was designed to empower people with the knowledge of self-discovery and self-healing.
Disease starts in the mind with thought. By cultivating the garden of your mind and generating positive thoughts, you can prevent disease. A thought is absorbed and assimilated into the body, just like food, right down to the smallest structure of the human cell. An Ayurvedic practitioner named Ryan Kurczak, LMT, once told me: "Many of the people I know who succeed in utilizing Ayurveda as an effective method of health maintenance implement moderate changes over a long period of time. They are not fanatics and don't get bent out of shape if someone offers them a piece of chocolate cake when they are supposed to be on a 'pure' Ayurvedic diet. When I asked my spiritual teacher about how strict I need to be with Ayurveda he said, 'Meditate, and be happy. Then adjust your diet as you need to.' One of the most powerful disease causing factors according to Ayurveda is a diseased mind. When the mind is peaceful, the body will be, as well."
We are the subatomic structure of God; we are microcosms of the macrocosmic universe. There are five great elements that exist on our planet: ether, air, fire, earth and water. Ayurveda classifies these five elements into three aspects. These aspects are referred to as doshas, a Sanskrit word meaning "biological principle," which generally refers to an imbalance due to excess of one of the elements within the body.
Although there are five great elements, there are only three doshas or biological principles. All five elements must exist within our bodies and within the universe in order for us to function properly. As soon as the sperm meets the egg, a unique combination of the five great elements is determined and the physical constitution is born. This constitution is called Prakruti.
Stress, negative thoughts, feeling disconnected from the divine within ourselves or the ones we love, wrong food choices, and lack of exercise are just some of the things that throw us out of balance. When the doshas are out of balance, it usually means they are in excess and have reached the first of six stages in the disease process called "accumulation." Restoring balance usually means reducing the dosha by making conscious choices regarding our lifestyle, food, mindfulness, exercise, breath, prayer, meditation and bodywork.
The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata is a Sanskrit word meaning "what blows." Vata lives in the colon/large intestines and becomes excessive on cold, windy days during the fall and winter. When vata within the body is in excess, people tend to experience anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia and loneliness.
Pitta means "what cooks" and lives in the small intestines. Pitta becomes excessive on hot summer days. When pitta within the body is excessive, people tend to experience self-condemnation, jealousy, anger, competitive thoughts, and aggression.
Kapha means "what sticks" and lives in the stomach. Kapha becomes excessive on cool, muddy days of spring and on cold, snowy days in the winter. When kapha within the body becomes excessive, people experience greed, lethargy, apathy and heaviness. The weather, the seasons, our genetic constitution, lifestyle choices and our thoughts have a direct affect on our health.
After careful observation of the majority of my clients and friends, I have concluded that the most common complaints are stress and anxiety, which consequently disrupts vata within the body. Living in a world where we are eating lunch while we are driving our car, or reading our e-mail while listening to our voicemail at the same time will naturally disturb vata within the body and mind. Multitasking and feeling like there is not enough time in a day will continually challenge vata. When the vata dosha is out of balance within the body, it can blow the other doshas (pitta and kapha) out of balance causing an overflow of the other doshas. Preventing all the doshas from becoming excessive is important, but remember that vata is the dosha that is critical to health and longevity. The ancient Ayurvedic texts say the earth is now in the vata stage of its evolution, so vata is high for everyone simply because we are so connected to our earth.
There are specific bodywork techniques and lifestyle choices that pacify and calm the vata dosha. Massage therapists are at risk for having excessive vata because of the nature of the job. Most massage therapists will tell you they are in constant physical motion on some level during a session. Massage therapists are movement-centered, energetic, and on the go. Since vata is the dosha responsible for motion within the body and the universe, massage therapists need to take extra care not to accumulate too much vata. Massage therapy can become a vata-provoking job, so choose a lifestyle that will soothe and balance your vata. Here are some easy vata soothing activities:
Editor's Note: Read part II of Karyn Chabot's article in the April 2005 issue.
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