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Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
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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