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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
March, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 03
Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
In this aromatic message, we will explore the use of essential oils in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The deep tissue work known to relieve spasms and pain actually can increase discomfort for those who suffer from FM and cause them to avoid further treatment.Clients who report this diagnosis frequently request a light massage touch. A gentle, noninvasive massage with essential oils providing relaxation, peace and comfort can offer great relief for the symptoms of this increasingly common complaint.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
The Web site for the National Fibromyalgia Association, www.fmaware.org, states, "Fibromyalgia (FM) is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and hands, but any body part can be involved. Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time. FM is characterized by the presence of multiple tender points and a constellation of symptoms."
How is the diagnosis made? The Web site continues: "Currently there are no laboratory tests available for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Doctors must rely on patient histories, self-reported symptoms, a physical examination and an accurate manual tender point examination. This exam is based on the standardized ACR criteria. Proper implementation of the exam determines the presence of multiple tender points at characteristic locations."
The site also says it can take an average of five years to have the condition diagnosed. The cause is not known, though current research points to a disorder involving neuroendocrine/neurotransmitter dysregulation. Increased pain appears due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system. Studies also show multiple physiological abnormalities in FM patients, including increased levels of Substance P in the spinal cord, low levels of blood flow to the thalamus region of the brain, HPA axis hypofunction, low levels of serotonin and tryptophan, and abnormalities in cytokine function. Other evidence suggests a connection between early trauma and a more recent trauma of an emotional or physical nature will bring the symptoms out.
Discussing current treatment protocols for the varied symptoms, Lynne K. Matallana, president of the NFA has said, "The NFA suggests that individuals who suffer with the symptoms of fibromyalgia implement a self-management program which incorporates both Western and complementary approaches to health care. Some people with FM are very sensitive to medicines and prefer to use more natural health care options. Dealing with the constant pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia can be quite stressful, and finding ways to help relieve stress can also help to reduce the overall symptoms of this chronic illness. Since fibromyalgia involves an increase in neurological sensitivity, both physically and emotionally, practices that are calming can bring a sense of relief. To accomplish these goals, we suggest aromatherapy alone or in combination with massage and other relaxation techniques. The use of fragrant herbs or oils can help promote sleep, calm the mind, decrease muscle pain, increase circulation, relieve headaches and promote a general sense of well-being."
Essential oils to help the FM client during massage also can be used at home in bath and body oils, as well as simple diffusion (releasing in the air) or inhalation. For the purpose of therapeutic massage, up to 10 or 12 drops of a blend of essences can be used in a 1-ounce base of carrier oil, which should be a cold-pressed nut, seed or vegetable oil. I highly recommend fractionated coconut oil, which can be found on the Internet. It is clear, light and odorless, never oxidizes, and there is total skin penetration. The essential oils most useful in treating the symptoms of FM are:
While I believe the best blend will be specific to the individual and their needs, a useful overall blend might be: 4 drops of lavender, 1 drop of frankincense, 4 drops of sweet orange, and 1 drop of neroli. Another blend could include 4 drops of sweet marjoram, 1 drop of Roman chamomile, 4 drops of mandarin, and 1 drop of rose. If you want to provide more circulation, use 4 drops of lavender, 4 drops of rose geranium, 2 drops of rosemary, and 1 drop of lemongrass.
In your selection process, be familiar with the mental, emotional and spiritual effects of the essences, as well as their physical properties. This will make the blend more appropriate for a specific client. The citrus oils provide energy and courage, and the flowers create peace and harmony, while spiritual connection comes through rose, neroli, sandalwood, frankincense, helichrysum, mandarin and lavender. You might need to experiment with different blends before you find the one that works best for an individual. When you see a good result, for greatest benefit, encourage them to use the blend at home, too.
I invite your questions and any FM blends you would like to share.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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