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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.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
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!
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
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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