resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Are You Feeling Hot, Hot, HOT?
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Humorously referred to as a "power surge" or "my own private Florida," hot flashes are no laughing matter. They probably are the number one symptom of menopause in Western societies. It's interesting that these sweats are not as common in some Asian countries or Mexico where only about 10 percent of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes.1 One theory postulates the reason Japanese women have such low rates of hot flashes is due to their high fiber, low fat and high consumption of soy diet.
It's estimated that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of American women of a certain age experience hot flashes; referred to medically as vasomotor flushes.2 Nobody really is sure what causes them, but there are a number of speculations.The most common explanation is that lower estrogen levels and declining ovarian function are causative. (This also can explain the profuse sweating a postpartum woman experiences when her estrogen levels dramatically drop after the baby is born.) But this theory cannot apply to women with low levels of estrogen who do not have hot flashes or women with estrogen excess who get them. The fact that almost 30 percent of women treated with placebos have an improvement in hot flashes also might indicate there is more involved than estrogen.
Other factors that might trigger hot flashes can be explained by the complex neuroendocrine reactions to thoughts and emotions. Spicy food, hot drinks, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, stress, heated environments and tobacco also might be triggers.
Another theory suggests they are brought on by a dramatic, sudden downward normalization of the body's internal core temperature. Since estrogen and progesterone are significant in regulating temperature, a decrease in their levels might contribute to a shift in the body's ability to control temperature. Studies with both natural progesterone creams and prescription estrogen show a significant reduction in hot flashes.3
As our clients reach peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause, these flushes or hot flashes can be very uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing. They seem to occur at the most inopportune times and can be very disruptive of restful sleep. They start as mild to intense heat that spreads through the upper body and face. Red blotchy skin might appear on the face, arms and back or the face might appear flushed. Cardiac rate increases and often copious amounts of perspiration appear, followed by a chill as the hot flash subsides.4
They can be short, lasting only a few seconds or as long as 30 minutes, although most diminish after 5 minutes. They can occur every hour or occasionally. They can disturb sleep at night or creep up at any time during the day. And they can drag on for years, well into menopause.
Lifestyle changes are an integral part of any natural approach to treating hot flashes and the massage therapist's first line of defense in treating hot flashes is a soothing massage that increases endorphins and allays stress. Pressing Spleen 3, found at the medial aspect of the feet, posterior and inferior to the head of the first metatarsal, can help balance hormones. Your client should discuss all these suggestions with her doctor before deciding which suits her best.
Some medicinal plants have been used for centuries as female tonics. (Author's note: It's essential that your client discusses any herbal remedies with a naturopathic physician or some medical authority with a knowledge of herbs who can determine which herbs are beneficial and at what doses. Herbs are medicines and it's outside the scope of our practice to diagnose and prescribe medicines.) Herbs that have palliative, soothing effects on the female reproductive system and endocrine glands are black cohosh, motherwort, chaste berry tree, blue cohosh (can potentially raise blood pressure to dangerously high levels when too much is taken; must be avoided by any woman with high blood pressure); red clover, ginseng, dong quai (rich in estrogen), licorice, sarsaparilla and false unicorn.5
The effects of black cohosh in treating menopausal symptoms has not received extensive research in the U.S., although the herb has
Soy and red clover have plant-derived, estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones that mimic a weak form of the body's estrogen. This might explain why women who consume soy-rich diets have fewer hot flashes. Clinical trials in the U.S. have yielded inconclusive results. There also is a concern that isoflavones could cause cancer and those women with breast cancer, or who have had breast cancer, should discuss the efficacy of taking isoflavones with their doctor.
Simple lifestyle changes include wearing layers of loose clothing made of natural fibers; exercising daily; sipping a cool drink at the onset of a hot flash; avoiding excess alcohol; avoiding spicy food and caffeine; employing stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation or a massage; quitting smoking; taking vitamin E; increasing soy intake; taking evening primrose oil capsules; sleep in a cool room; drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
There are many women who choose hormonal therapy when natural approaches are unsuccessful or symptoms are extremely severe. Estrogen or progesterone therapy can relieve symptoms, but personal risks and benefits have to be considered. Taking certain antidepressants might decrease hot flashes, especially when they are from a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Brand names might include Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, etc.7
An off-label use of the medication Gabapentin (Neurotonin) that is FDA-approved to treat epileptic seizures and the pain
Women can't avoid menopause. Whether it was chemically or surgically induced, or just a matter of normal aging, these power surges are an annoying part of it. But women can be more in control of their bodies by adopting simple lifestyles changes and understanding that this, too, shall pass. Now, open a window. Is it hot in here, or is it me?
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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