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Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
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.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
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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