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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
September, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 09
Understanding the “E” Word in Bodywork
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Even in nontraditional healthcare circles, it's interesting to note how uncomfortable some therapists get around the "E" word - energy. They might be intrigued by your philosophy and impressed by your protocols, but mention energy and you can almost feel half of them check out of the conversation.(Ironic, isn't it?)
That's why it's helpful to be reminded of the physics of energy to better grasp why it plays such a central role in bodywork. I have a good friend who is a talented CranioSacral Therapy practitioner and instructor. He also happens to have a doctorate in theoretical physics. Indeed, before Tim Hutton, PhD, LMP, CST-D, became a massage practitioner in 1994, he worked in experimental physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tim spoke at length on the subject of energy at Beyond the Dura 2005, an international health care conference held every two or three years in south Florida. As he pointed out, energy means different things to different people. So, it's worth looking carefully at the term to help therapists find common ground in understanding the concept of energy in manual medicine.
Following is a highly abbreviated version of what Tim shared with more than 300 therapists at the 2005 conference. It serves well to highlight the science behind a concept that might, at first glance, appear unconventional in a therapeutic framework. As you'll see, it is anything but.
As therapists, we define energy as a physical sensation, like the vibration or heat we experience when we work. While we may not all feel the same thing, we can generally agree on when energy is being put into something and when it's being taken out. Energy in bodywork is sense-oriented.
In physics, energy has a precise definition: The ability to do work or to make something change. Energy is conserved - it can never be created or destroyed, just transformed or moved around. This concept of "conservation of energy" unifies every experience in life, from throwing a baseball to boiling water, and it allows you to see the connection.
Along with another concept ("conservation of momentum"), the conservation of energy forms the foundation of modern science and technology. So, to physicists, energy is neither elusive nor sense-oriented, but the fundamental principle from which all of science arises. Everything around us is a result of this dance of energy being transformed. Energy is encountered in several forms: kinetic, potential and heat. Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, like that of a baseball when you throw it. Potential energy is stored energy that has the potential to be used. Heat is the kinetic energy associated with the motion of all the atoms inside an object.
Imagine a roller coaster going over two hills. If the car starts at the top of the first hill and rolls down, it gradually picks up speed until it reaches the bottom. It takes the potential energy it has by being a certain distance from the earth (gravity) and converts it to kinetic energy to accelerate to the bottom of the hill. Then it slows down and continues up the next hill, converting kinetic energy back into potential energy. Because the car started at a higher point on the first hill, it still has enough energy to go over the second one. But energy was not lost or gained in the process, just transformed. So, what if the car starts halfway down the first hill? It accelerates but doesn't have enough energy to get over the second hill, and ends up oscillating back and forth between the two. To get the car over the second hill, energy would have to be added from outside the system to help push it over.
Energy is stored, moved or manipulated by one of three forces: nuclear, electromagnetic or gravitational. Nuclear force holds the nucleus together inside an atom. Electromagnetic forces provide the interaction between atoms. Gravitational force is the mutual attraction between masses. Since humans don't have much direct connection with nuclear force, what we experience in daily life are electromagnetic interactions in the field of gravity.
Physics dictates that anything conducting electricity has an electromagnetic field, including the human body. When you bring your electromagnetic field close to another person, the two fields interact. With training, you can learn to perceive your own field, and through this interaction, the field of another. This forms the basis of energy work.
To better understand this, let's add the concept of entropy - the degree of disorder or chaos in a system. Imagine a game of pool. You take the balls, place them into a triangular rack and set them neatly on the table. Then you strike the rack with the cue ball, scattering the balls across the table. The entropy of the table has increased - there is more disorder.
Globally, the universe tends toward increased entropy, toward chaos. Locally, however, a system that's strongly interacting with its surroundings tends toward equilibrium.
Thus, by putting energy into a system, it is possible to decrease entropy. Consider the pool table. How did you get an ordered state to begin with? By placing the balls exactly where you wanted them. You put energy into the system to increase order on the table.
The human body tends toward order, toward healing. If we cut ourselves, the body tries to knit itself back together. Life is a system for decreasing entropy. So what is energy in bodywork? It's one person adding energy to another through the interaction of electromagnetic fields, helping to decrease entropy in the body and return it to a more ordered state.
Consider that roller coaster with the car stuck at the bottom. You'd have to put energy into the car to move it past the barrier of the hill. In the same way, you connect to help your clients move past barriers toward better health. It's a concept supported by science.
- Tim Hutton, PhD, LMP, CST-D
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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