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Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
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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