resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
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.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
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.
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.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
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!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
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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