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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?"
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.
June, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 06
Research: The Key That Opens the Door
By John Slavin, PhD, LMT
The amount of research opportunities and data available to massage therapists is growing steadily each year, ever since Dr. Tiffany Field's original groundbreaking research on pre-term infants was published more than two decades ago.However, although all new ventures have a glitch or two to work out, evidence suggests massage research needs more development; due in part to the fact that a great majority of therapists tend to be unwilling to form alliances with allopathic practitioners or even other massage therapists. Many therapists seem to be content only when they distance themselves from others, seeing them as a threat and building walls in an effort to protect their environment from competition, rather than trying to aid the progress of touch therapy.
It's sad, that in an environment where we value touch and closeness it seems therapists can, at times, be anything but amiable! Recently, I had a student ask me rather rudely why I was so involved in touch research. When I explained that research leads to conclusive findings, and conclusive findings lead to respectability, the student shrugged her shoulders and went on to tell me how she does not need respect from anyone but herself. This is true and very noble, but the fact remains, medical evaluators such as insurance companies will not reimburse massage therapists based on self-respect; they require concrete medical data and this is where research sometimes falls short.
Although, in this era of much research regarding touch therapy, it seems not nearly enough is being done. And that is not due to any lack of interest from the medical community. When presenting potential research studies to some of the major research hospitals and medical schools in my area, I was welcomed by the allopathic community with open arms. Granted, I had some help getting my foot in the door, but then I found myself meeting with prominent members of the medical community. Many times, the chief of staff of a given department would even set up a lunch. Discussions developed, in allopathic terms, why a certain massage technique was valuable and where they could see it placed in the medical model. When I mentioned the idea of research being done, the doctors challenged each other as to who would have the opportunity to work with the therapists. Within one day, I had calls from the head of oncology, the head of hematology, and the physical therapy department all wanting to do research. The physicians even discussed the potential of research being funded through the hospitals' own research department! Now, to what do I owe this amazing outcome? It's all about simple professional courtesy! If therapists would only work at speaking the allopathic language and gain their respect, then nine times out of ten they will not only be willing, but eager to work with them. Is it any doubt that Tiffany Fields, PhD, Janet Kahn, PhD, or Janet Travell, MD, were so successful in their research attempts? They did not go against the grain. They understood the need for good clinical research, studied their field and were well versed in the language of allopathic medicine.
Massage therapists seem to be the most highly underrated health care providers and this is a real shame. Sadly, they seem to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to respectability in the medical field, but this has been changing in recent years. This is primarily because their scope of practice is so broad and their knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology so vast, that when medical practitioners see this they often are dazzled at how knowledgeable therapists are and how useful they can be!
Unfortunately, it's not the therapist, but how they come across that makes or breaks them in the medical field. With all the recent bickering about defining medical massage and extra certification and training, it appears what it really boils down to is communication. The better therapists can speak with other health care providers, the better they can promote themselves. Many times, massage therapists complain of not getting compensated properly for their work in medical offices, but more often than not those same therapists are the ones griping that there is too much interest in touch research and therapists should focus their efforts somewhere more useful. To me, it's all tied up with research! Modern society is full of "doubting Thomases" and unless therapists can show them the proof, they most likely will never believe how powerful touch therapy can really be.
With research, one can definitely prove the physiological effects of a certain technique and reproduce the results. And this is what the insurance companies want to see.
In closing, I will tell of one more student comment. Recently, while instructing a student how to be successful when networking with doctors and fellow massage therapists, another student commented, "Why tell him your secrets? If everyone knows how you do what you do, then you won't be unique, and everyone will be successful!" I answered quite simply, "Good! Then I would have succeeded at my task!"
John Slavin, PhD, LMT, received his massage education from Florida Academy of Massage in Ft. Myers and his PhD in biology from Canterbury University. He was recently appointed Vice President of research and development for the American University of Healing Arts in Little Rock, Ark. He is extensively involved in medical research pertaining to massage therapy and is very proactive in bridging the gap between LMTs and the allopathic community. He can be reached at "> .
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