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Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
March, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 03
Womankind: Is Seasonale® Reasonable?
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Is there anyone else feeling disgusted and outraged at the latest assault on women by the pharmaceutical industry? Are women so gullible that we believe these mega-billion dollar giants have our best interests in mind when they claim that the female reproductive system is broken and needs fixing?
I was sitting home one evening, minding my own business, when a commercial for Seasonale® came on.In the ad, several 20-something waifs, clad in white dresses with pink polka dots, were kicking the dots as they fell of the dresses until there were only four left. The dots symbolized (menstrual) periods - one dot per period - get it? That's the gimmick. You would never wear white when you have your period (or after Labor Day), and this miracle contraception provides effective birth control protection plus cuts down the number of menstrual cycles to only four - one per Seasonale® . I wanted to hurl.
Brought to you by the same industry that labels menopause "estrogen deficiency syndrome" (and wanted to sell drugs to change that until the dangers of hormone replacement therapy became widely accepted), this birth control pill is made with lower doses of the same estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (levonorgestrel) found in conventional birth control pills, but the usage is vastly different. Instead of taking the pill for 21 days followed by seven days of placebo, Seasonale® is taken for 84 days and seven days of placebo so the normal number of menstruation cycles, 13-14 per year, dwindles to four.
I suppose there are a number of women who applaud this innovation. Those who suffer from severe menstrual cramps, have extreme bleeding, or consider their monthly cycles an inconvenience would probably welcome relief from these symptoms. But these women are not the target population, and the strategy is to convince all women of childbearing age that it's okay to mess with Mother Nature and reduce the number of periods.
Approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2003 to prevent pregnancy, this oral contraceptive acts like the traditional birth control pill by suppressing ovulation and making the cervical mucus hostile to sperm. It prevents the endometrium (uterine lining) from growing thick enough to support fertilization; however, the hormones of this drug prevent the endometrium from growing at all. As birth control, it is 99 percent effective if taken as directed, compared to the 95-percent effective rate of traditional birth control pills. Supporters also maintain that decreasing the number of periods can prevent anemia and incidences of endometriosis, which is often linked with pelvic pain and infertility. There is even some inference that this pill may reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Conversely, as with any birth control pill, Seasonale® does not protect the user from HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Its side-effects are similar to those of standard birth control pills and include nausea, vomiting, weight gain, breast soreness and breakthrough bleeding; however, users of Seasonale® may experience more breakthrough bleeding, particularly in the first few months. So, perhaps avoiding white garments should also be on the warning label.
Seasonale® is not appropriate for women with blood-clotting disorders or those who have risk factors for heart disease or stroke, such as elevated blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol, nor is it safe for smokers and women over 35. But these warnings are ubiquitous with all birth control pills.
There are a number of doctors who maintain that missing periods is not a good idea. It is a monthly hormonal cycle that should not be artificially controlled. Women who take Seasonale® ingest nine more weeks of estrogen and progestin every year; although clinical studies have not proven an increased risk to these women, long-term usage has not been evaluated.
But what upsets me is the way the marketing of this drug tries to suggest that having monthly periods is a mere inconvenience that can be safely eliminated. It plays into the idea that women, who rarely rejoice when they menstruate, can deny their womanhood and fool their own biology by ceasing to menstruate. It's a psychological ploy to convince us that our bodily functions are unnatural and need to be controlled.
Women of childbearing age bleed once a month. That's the way it always has been and that's the way it should remain. Trying to convince women that there is a better way to experience that which makes us uniquely women is doing a great disservice and borders on misogyny.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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