resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
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!
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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