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Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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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