resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
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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