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A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
Prenatal Massage During the First Trimester
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Among some of the myths and old wives' tales surrounding prenatal massage is the misguided belief that massage should be avoided during the first trimester. It's fair to say that under the skilled hands of a certified prenatal practitioner, massage during the first trimester is not only safe, but can be especially supportive during the transitional first months.
One of the reasons many practitioners and spas refuse to massage first-trimester clients is the fear of causing a miscarriage.Miscarriage is defined as a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, which generally means before 20 weeks gestation. (An early spontaneous abortion occurs within the first 12 weeks; a late spontaneous abortion happens within weeks 12-20.) Almost 90 percent of miscarriages occur within the first eight weeks, so the reasoning concludes that if you avoid the massage, you will avoid the miscarriage. Unfortunately, this logic is not based on science, but rather on litigious concerns.
Miscarriages occur very frequently, perhaps in as often as half of confirmed pregnancies, and most miscarriages can't be avoided. They rarely are caused by anything expectant women do or don't do. In nearly half of all known losses, the embryo was chromosomally abnormal and not viable or able to sustain life. Other possible risk factors include genital and reproductive structural abnormalities (retroversion of the uterus, bicornuate uterus, fibroid tumors, etc.), infections (chlamydia, rubella, listeria, ureaplasma, mycoplasma), maternal disease (diabetes, renal disease, thyroid conditions, nutritional deficiencies), ectopic pregnancies, hormonal imbalances, immunological rejection, maternal age (the older the gravida, the greater the risk of miscarriage), and environmental factors such as first- or second-hand smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to organic solvents, and excessive radiation. Massage is not a contributing factor in any of these physical or environmental circumstances, and is not causative in a miscarriage.
In early pregnancy, symptoms of a miscarriage include bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and lower back, thigh or pelvic pain. In late pregnancy, a miscarriage is accompanied by heavy bleeding, including the passage of blood clots and intense uterine contractions. If a client presents any of these symptoms, massage obviously is contraindicated.
The other explanation practitioners use to avoid first-trimester massage is the issue of morning sickness. Nearly 85 percent to 90 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness and nausea in early pregnancy; for 10 percent of them, the problem persists beyond the first trimester. While it's clearly accepted that massage for anyone nauseous or vomiting is contraindicated, you can make appointments to massage your pregnant clients when they are not experiencing symptoms. These treatments effectively can reduce the severity of symptoms.
There are other suggestions you can make to your pregnant clients to reduce morning sickness. They should eat small but frequent meals throughout the day. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack before bed will reduce morning nausea. Protein takes a long time to digest, and they won't wake up with an empty, gnawing feeling in their stomachs. Cut up a fresh lemon into wedges and put the wedges in a plastic bag. They can inhale the lemon as needed. One drop of peppermint oil in honey water every hour helps some women. Other women find ginger tea, ginger ale and ginger candies very soothing. Drinking red raspberry-leaf tea or sucking on the pit of an umeboshi plum (found in health food stores or Oriental groceries) can settle the stomach. Stimulation of acupuncture point Pericardium 6 by wearing motion sickness "sea bands" or with digital stimulation is extremely effective in eradicating or minimizing nausea. This point is located on each forearm, 1 1/2 inches below the wrist, in the middle of the inner forearm.
Press for a count of 6-10 and repeat a total of 6-10 times.
Another concern regarding first-trimester massage includes avoidance of abdominal massage due to the fear of dislodging the placenta. This is another unfounded fear. It's strongly advised to ask the client's permission before massaging her abdomen at any stage of the pregnancy, and the abdominal massage always should be done with an open palm, light pressure and gentle effleurage following a clockwise direction, but the placenta is attached firmly to the uterus and appropriate massage will not damage or dislodge this strong attachment.
Properly trained prenatal massage practitioners can safely and effectively address first-trimester concerns. For those of you who work in establishments where first-trimester massage is avoided, liability is a major contributing factor to this decision. Since this business policy has been set by the management, you have to adhere to what management decrees. In private practice, however, you can base your decision on science and appropriate training, not fear or misconceptions.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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