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Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
May, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 05
"V-Back" to the Dark Ages
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
The popular belief that "once a Caesarean section, always a Caesarean section" came from a paper printed in 1916 called "Conservatism in Obstetrics," which cautioned doctors to avoid a primary C-section for fear that it would cause surgical deliveries in future births.At that time, the national C-section rate was two percent. Further support of avoiding C-sections and urging vaginal births after C-sections (VBACs - pronounced "vee-back) came during the 1980s when studies at large urban hospitals indicated that a vast majority - nearly 80 percent - of women had safe vaginal births after C-section(s).
While not every woman is a candidate for VBAC, eligible candidates were overwhelmingly sought to have vaginal births when given the option. In 1996 in the United States, vaginal births after C-sections went up from 19.9 percent to 28.3 percent, and in Europe to 50 percent in 1997. In this country, government health experts supported VBACs as a way to minimize and control rising C-section rates, which reached 24.4 percent in 2001. The report published in 2000 gave a goal of increasing VBAC rates to 37 percent of births by the year 2010.
But instead of following these guidelines, just the opposite occurred. The rates of VBACs dramatically dropped from 28.3 percent in 1999 to 10.6 percent in 2003. Today, at hundreds of small hospitals across the country, women are being told that they have no choice in the matter and must undergo a surgical delivery or be sent to larger medical centers, often miles away from their homes, families and doctors, to give birth vaginally. This even includes women who have already had successful VBACs. "Once a C-section, always a C-section" has come back to haunt us.
What went wrong? It seems that during the late 1990s, reports started coming in, particularly from rural settings, about women who had ruptured their uterus during labor without the presence of medical staff to deal with the emergencies. This caused widespread panic among doctors and hospitals and compelled the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to revise their VBAC guidelines and stipulate that a doctor should be "immediately" available, rather than the previously worded "readily" available, in the event of an emergency. In other words, it required small, understaffed hospitals to have a medical team present at all times just in case of labor complications. Since many of these hospitals don't have that kind of medical staffing, they decided instead to ban the practice of VBAC altogether regardless of a woman's wishes. The other, and possibly more insidious reason, was the rampant fear of lawsuits.
In the majority of instances, the uterine scar from a previous C-section is very tough and able to withstand the contractions of an arduous labor. The rate of uterine rupture occurs less than two percent during a VBAC, the same degree as in repeated C-sections. None of this seems to impact the decision, however.
What doctors are failing to address is why the uterus might rupture in the first place. Some data (although inconclusive), suggests that the use of hormones to induce labor, or speed it up, such as prostaglandins and pitocin (synthetic oxytocin), increases the chances of rupture as much as 15 times. In midwifery practices, where labor augmentation is not used, VBACs are performed without any complications in the majority of cases. Uterine dehiscence (asymptomatic separations of the uterine scar) in a non-induced labor occurs in the same proportion as repeated C-sections, but some doctors and hospitals are still not willing to take the chance on a vaginal birth.
In third world and developing countries where sanitation is questionable, cephalopelvic disproportion (large fetal head size to small maternal pelvis size) is common, and access to medical care may be hours away, dehiscence of the scar may cause further uterine tearing and threaten the life of mother and child. But in the United States, which ranks 11th out of 117 in the world of the best countries to have a baby according to the 2003 survey "The Complete Mothers' Index and Country Rankings," published by Save the Children Foundation, serious rupturing is rarely a problem, particularly if labor-inducing and augmenting medications are not administered.
There are many reasons why women seek a VBAC. There is certainly less trauma to the body and a vaginal birth is easier to recover from than major abdominal surgery. The risks of surgical complications, including hysterectomy, increase with each C-section and the emotional satisfaction derived from a vaginal birth is unsurpassed. When a woman prefers a more family-centered, natural birth experience, she should be able to have one. The choice must belong to the women. Many women are more than willing to assume the risks and responsibilities of a vaginal birth after a C-section and believe that their decisions are being undermined by hospitals whose primary concern is the bottom line, a fear of lawsuits, and doctors who find surgical births more lucrative and easier to manage than vaginal births.
Little by little, women's reproductive rights are being whittled away by doctors who refuse to learn the necessary, life-saving medical procedure, D & C (dilation and curettage), because it can be used to perform abortions; by insurance companies who put birthing centers and dedicated doctors out of business as a result of their unaffordable malpractice premiums; by misogynistic extremists in Washington who use our bodies as legislative fodder to take away our reproductive choices; and by small-minded hospitals who force women to cede ownership of their bodies and dictate to them how to have their babies. We are indeed going back to the Dark Ages.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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