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The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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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