resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
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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