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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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
March, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 03
The Truth About Pitocin
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
There is a little publicly known law in New York (Public Health Law, Section 2503), passed in 1978, that requires all physicians and midwives to fully disclose and require informed consent from laboring women regarding the use of all drugs during labor and delivery.Unfortunately, many care providers fail to tell their patients about the potential side-effects and possible risks involved in administering one of the most common drugs used during labor, pitocin. Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, the natural hormone that stimulates the onset of labor, promotes a sense of well-being and enhances maternal bonding, given to women to induce or augment labor. It's manufactured from the pituitary extract of various animals, and combined with acetic acid for pH adjustment and less than one percent of chloretone as a preservative.
The routine use of pitocin is not backed by any scientific data, and the side-effects of pitocin during labor (and sometimes during the third stage of labor to assist the expulsion of the placenta) rarely are discussed with the laboring woman. Regardless of how many labors are induced with pitocin, most of them are not medically necessary.
During the 1980s, Dr. Roberto Caldreyo-Barcia, a former president of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a renowned researcher into the effects of obstetrical interventions commented, "Pitocin is the most abused drug in the world today." He claimed its use was medically necessary in only about 3% of labors, yet estimates of its use range from 12% to 60%. Often, the drug is administered without the woman's knowledge and she never is told of its potential harmful risk factors.
The Physician's Desk Reference supports the use of pitocin only when medically necessary and advises to begin with a minimum dosage to see how the laboring mother tolerates it. The mother should receive oxygen and continuous electronic fetal monitoring, since fetal distress is more common with pitocin use and needs to be carefully watched.
The natural rhythm of labor is supported by the release of oxytocin in bursts as needed, whereas pitocin is administered as a constant IV drip that confines most women to bed. This decreases their ability to control the escalating pain caused by drug-induced uterine activity, and laboring women are more likely to require pain medication that slows labor. Think of the dichotomy: pitocin is administered to speed up labor, but the increased level of pain requires medication that slows it down. In addition, pitocin often has no effect on cervical dilation even though the contractions are much stronger.
Pitocin might cause a tumultuous, difficult labor and tetanic contractions, rupture of the uterus and dehiscence of a uterine scar, lacerations of the cervix, retained placenta or postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum perineal and pelvic floor pain is increased as a result of augmented uterine contractions. Fetal complications might include fetal asphyxia and neonatal hypoxia, physical injury and neonatal jaundice. The use of pitocin also might be a factor in cerebral palsy from deprived oxygen and autism.
Dr. Eric Hollander of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York presented a theory at a 1996 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that linked autism with pitocin-induced labors. He put forward the idea that pitocin interferes with the newborn's oxytocin system that results in the social disabilities of autism. When he gave autistic children oxytocin, it made them four times more talkative and twice as happy, although some patients did not respond.
(Author's note: consider how the heightened, augmented uterine contractions might impact the soft fetal cranium and its possible injurious affect on the cranio-sacral system.)
Pitocin was first synthesized in 1953, and became available for use two years later. By 1974, it was an established medical fact that its failure rate was 40% to 50%. In 1978, an FDA advisory committee removed its approval of pitocin for the elective induction of labor. Interestingly, the drug never was approved by the FDA for use in augmenting labor.
While not all women and their babies are harmed by the use of pitocin, there are natural ways to coax labor that are rather effective and have no potential risks. Orgasms cause the release of oxytocin that might initiate the onset of labor in late pregnancy. Sex always has been a recognized method of starting labor. Sperm contains prostaglandins that encourage the cervix to ripen. Spicy foods, long walks, nipple stimulation, certain herbs such as blue cohosh (Excessive amounts of blue cohosh might raise maternal blood pressure to dangerous levels and might have an overdosing effect on the baby. A naturopath or herbalist should be consulted before recommending this or any herb to your pregnant clients), the use of castor oil, acupuncture, massage and general relaxation techniques might all be effective in initiating labor without the harmful side-effects of pitocin.
Labor is a complex physiological function that begins with the harmonious synchronicity of the fetus, mother and placenta. Any intervention of these essential participants offsets the balance and rhythm of labor. Babies, like fruit, ripen in their own time. The best way to promote a healthy pregnancy, labor and birth is to let the forces of nature work at their own pace.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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