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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.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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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