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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
July, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 07
PMS: Please Make It Stop
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
The first time I menstruated my mother slapped me across the face.
"Whadya do that for?!" I demanded, rubbing my sore cheek.
"So the blood should never leave your face."
This and numerous other old wives' tales have plagued women throughout our unique reproductive lives.PMS, premenstrual syndrome, is another set of symptoms that had to struggle to gain respect and acceptance in the medical community. First described as a set of symptoms in 1931 by an American neurologist, women who exhibited irritability, headaches, bloating, tension etc., a week or two before their periods were considered mad or hysterical. At the very least, the syndrome was "all in our heads."
Then in 1953, Dr. Katharina Dalton, a very brave English doctor, and her colleague Dr. Raymond Greene coined the term PMS in a paper they published. She recognized that during her own (four) pregnancies her premenstrual-related headaches disappeared. She knew that high levels of progesterone during pregnancy contributed to her calmness and freedom from these crippling migraines. In her practice she had great success in treating women who displayed migraines, asthma, irritability and epilepsy with progesterone. She (rightfully) concluded that hormonal imbalances - and not madness - prior to menstruation were responsible for the wide variety of symptoms so many women suffered.
PMS is a disorder brought on by hormonal shifting that triggers mild to severe disruptive symptoms in almost 40 million (40 percent to 80 percent of menstruating) women. Almost 5 million require medication for intense mood and behavioral changes. Over 150 symptoms have been ascribed to PMS, with the most common being headaches and fatigue. The symptoms are often physical as well as emotional. Physical symptoms might include headache, migraine, fluid retention, fatigue, constipation, joint pain, backache, abdominal cramping, breast swelling and soreness, food cravings, heart palpitations and weight gain. Emotional changes may include uncontrollable crying spells, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, tension, clumsiness, failure to concentrate and diminished libido.
Hormonal influences have not been examined until recently. Right after menstruation, estrogen levels start to rise and peak around mid-cycle, or ovulation. If a woman does not become pregnant, levels rapidly drop off only to slowly rise again just before her period. Estrogen holds fluid and with an increased level of estrogen, women tend to bloat. (I had one client who needed two sizes of clothes - one set for after her period and one set just before because she gained as much as 15 pounds of fluid.) Estrogen has a central neurological effect and can cause increased brain activity, including seizures. This hormone can also create a cycle of salt retention and drop in blood sugar. PMS and migraine sufferers benefit from a diet that restricts salt and sugar, and includes a mild diuretic to reduce the excess swelling.
As if PMS wasn't bad enough on its own, a more severe, disabling form of PMS is PMDD - premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Here, the emotional symptoms are depression, anxiety, tension, persistent anger and rage, and irritability. With PMDD, these symptoms often lead to intense problems with relationships and social functioning. Physically, PMDD is accompanied by headaches, joint and muscle pain, bloating and breast sensitivity. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PMDD is diagnosed if at least five of the usual symptoms are present two weeks before menstruation and are extinguished after the period starts. Antidepressants are used to treat PMDD.
What else can we do for our clients to minimize PMS? A general massage will alleviate joint and muscle pain, treat headaches and migraines, reduce swelling (using lymphatic drainage), and elevate her spirits. Other suggestions include
PMS goes away with the onset of menopause. Oh great, something to look forward to...
Editor's note: Elaine Stillerman recently signed on with Mosby Publishing to write Prenatal Massage: A Textbook of Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum Bodywork. Elaine is also the developer of MotherMassage®: Massage During Pregnancy, a professional certification workshop, and author of MotherMassage: A Handbook For Relieving the Discomforts of Pregnancy and The Encylopedia of Bodywork. Congratulations, Elaine!
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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