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Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
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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