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News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
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.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
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.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
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.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
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.
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.
August, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 08
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
To many health care practitioners, seizures are a particularly puzzling phenomenon. They occur when hyperexcitable nerve cells in the brain fire abnormally. No one knows quite why this happens, and the types of seizures vary.Epilepsy generally is considered the condition when seizures reoccur, even if they stem from any number of chronic processes that disturb normal neuronal activity. If the seizure occurs once or is correctable, then it's considered non-epileptic.
Whatever the source, seizures in some people respond very well to the gentle approach of CranioSacral Therapy. Here are two letters from therapists that highlight this beautifully.
A Mother Cares for Her Son
Dear Dr. John,
I've started this letter at least once a year for the last 10 years. Rather than give you a long history of my son and me, let me share with you briefly what I have discovered.
A still point* will stop a seizure. My son "Brian" has benign rolandic seizures. He seizes only in his sleep. By bringing him to a still point, I can stop a seizure in two minutes. Yes, I've timed it. In the 10 years I've been using it, it has never failed.
It is absolutely amazing to watch a seizure unwind. My son goes from arms ridged, legs kicking and head pounding on the floor to near-normal sleep. At first, I used a technique I learned from the Holistic Nurses Association to soothe his pulse and breathing. Since it's energy work, I had to go on faith that it was really doing something.
Shortly after I began using this technique on Brian, he was taken to the ER in seizure. I began to work on him while he was hooked up to the monitors and watched his pulse drop from 120 to 95 in under five minutes. This happened before I discovered that the still point would stop a seizure more efficiently.
There is only one negative aspect of using the still point: The person performing it comes away feeling like they have just been hit by lightning. You have to understand, Brian's seizures generally start after 1:30 a.m., so you jump out of a sound sleep and put your hand on a body wildly discharging energy. It seems as if there is a backwash of energy, and you're lucky to get back to sleep three hours after the event.
Last spring, Brian fainted on a bus going to school (he's a university student) and went into a seizure. The bus driver panicked and called EMS, who rushed him to the hospital. The treatment he received in the hospital almost bordered on barbaric.
Sorry, this is my soapbox. I had stumbled onto something so profoundly simple that it really is unbelievable. But do you know what surprises me even more? Not one doctor has asked me how I do it. They just give me a blank stare. Your work is so important. Your still-point technique has changed the lives of my family. Before I made the connection, I felt totally helpless watching my then 11-year-old son as his seizures got worse.
You know what they say, no prayer goes unanswered. I went from Henry Ford Community College to Irene's School of Myomassalogy in Michigan, where your book jumped off the shelf at me. I began my coursework with The Upledger Institute before I started massage school. It took me almost a year to make the connection between the still point and seizures. That was my prayer answered.
You can do the still point anyplace on the body that is socially acceptable, but I have found the breastbone or the center of the back to be the safest. Brian almost kicked my head off one night, so I stay away from his feet and legs. When the seizure has stopped, the breathing will still be fast and the pulse very high. Then the energy work will restore the breathing and pulse to near normal within a few minutes.
S.K., Myomassage Therapist
P.S. Since I first penned this letter, my son has been back in the ER. Now, thankfully, his doctors are asking me point-blank how I stop his seizures. Of course, I'm more than happy to demonstrate. I look forward to the day when I can take my soapbox apart and toss it out for good.
Editor's note: In CranioSacral Therapy, a "still point" refers to an extended pause in the rhythmical activity of the craniosacral system, which can occur either spontaneously or be induced by the therapist. To induce a still point, the practitioner uses very delicate tissue techniques to restrict the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the craniosacral system until it stops completely. This interruption causes a momentary buildup of fluid. When the tissues are released and the fluid begins to flow again, it gently "flushes" the system, causing the membranes to stretch a bit more to release any inherent restrictions or adhesions.
Case of Mystery Seizures Solved
Dear Dr. John,
About a year ago, a mother brought her 2-and-a-half-year-old son to me to be evaluated. He had suffered seven epileptic-like seizures in the previous month - almost two per week. The concerned parents had taken their son to specialists, but tests found no cause for these terrible seizures. The last seizure, worse than the previous ones, had resulted in the boy losing control of his bladder functions. The only recommendation was to put the child on anti-seizure medication. The parents did not want to do this.
In town from Georgia, the couple asked a relative for someone in the alternative field who might help their son. They were told to call me and see what I could do. An evaluation of the sphenoid bone movement showed a strong side-bending motion. I worked to correct this imbalance. This was very difficult to do on a young child who did not want to stay still.
What worked was for the mother to lie on the table and put the child face down on her stomach. In an hour, we probably got in about 15 minutes of actual movement therapy. Working on him during his regular nap time helped, since he went to sleep. Though I had just three days to work with him, it was apparently enough to stop the seizures.
This was a child who had not experienced any big falls. His birth had not been difficult. There had been no forceps or suction delivery. There was no obvious reason for an incident of this severity to occur. What worked was plain CranioSacral Therapy.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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