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Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
May, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 05
Client Sensitivities to Aroma
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
Following the publication of my article on treating fibromyalgia (FM) with essential oils, several readers contacted me with questions about what to do when clients appear to have difficulty with scents.Of course, this is a topic that has relevance for a broader population than those with FM.
I do not believe that sensitivity to aroma is a result of, or indicator for, FM, and so I would not consider aromatherapy a general contraindication for that diagnosis. In fact, Lynne K. Matallana, president of the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), has said the following:
"The National Fibromyalgia Association 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. To find credible information on aromatherapy, you can contact NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy), www.naha.org."
It's important to know there are misconceptions about aromatherapy that have been communicated by people who have an agenda or have had insufficient education, or both. An agenda could involve the sale of essential oils, or it might arise from a competitive point of view from a practitioner of another modality. I can assure you there are wonderful scientists in the field of aromatherapy who are very up-to-date on contraindications, toxicity and safety issues, and the latest information from research being conducted throughout the world. The NAHA Web site has sections devoted to "frequently asked questions," safety and research. You can rest assured that the information you find there is credible.
People contact essences on a daily basis in food, as well as in cleaning and cosmetic products. Thus, it is not surprising that most of the research on essential oils has been conducted by the food and cosmetic industry, the largest users of essential oils. Issues of toxicity and sensitivity are important with distribution and accountability on such a large scale.
On the topic of sensitivity in general, I once heard a teacher who also sold essential oils falsely advise her students, "No one is allergic to true essential oils." There are times when a person can have sensitivity to the chemicals in synthetic fragrances and do well with true essential oils, but the truth is that a person can be allergic to anything. And there are essential oils that are known sensitizers. It's wise to consult a book such as The Aromatherapy Practitioner Manual, Vols. I and II, by Sylla Shepard Hanger, and learn possible contraindications for essential oils, particularly before using them on the skin. A proper client intake form should have a question about sensitivity to aromas and a place to list allergies. Case notes should list the essential oils (and the number of drops) used in a treatment, so the client has access to that information if a reaction occurs.
I have been fortunate; in more than 15 years, I have known only one client who appeared to have a reaction to a blend I used. What does a reaction look like? It can be a skin rash, a digestive response, nasal congestion/sneezing, or in this case, a headache. The good news is that once the client removes the blend and avoids additional exposure, the reaction goes away. There have been no cases of anaphylactic shock associated with the use of essential oils on the skin in the current research literature. So, while there is a chance of temporary discomfort resulting from an aromatherapy treatment, there will be no serious, lasting damage due to the application of diluted essential oils during a massage.
I interpret sensitivity to aromas as an aversion to inhaling fragrance. If this type of sensitivity were present, a way to add essential oils to the treatment would be to choose aromas that are commonly experienced on a daily basis and use them in high dilution. If they are not known allergens for the client, the citrus oils - orange, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, lime, tangerine and bergamot - might easily be tolerated in high dilution (two or three drops to an ounce of carrier oil.) Citrus oils have an uplifting, encouraging effect, but also are soothing and relaxing. The essence of common cooking spices enhances circulation, bringing warming and a feeling of protection. Rosemary, thyme, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and even black pepper in high dilution (one drop per ounce of carrier oil) could be acceptable. And finally, a common wood aroma, such as pine or cedar, might be considered if these are not known allergens. Naturally, if the client refuses all aromas, you will have to do without this tool.
Please see prior articles on my columnist page (www.massagetoday.com/columnists/enteen) for more information on the properties and use of relaxing and stimulating essential oils. In future articles, I will explore some of the other misconceptions about aromatherapy. As always, I welcome your questions and comments!
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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