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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
November, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 11
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I was sitting at the airport waiting for a connecting flight when I noticed a young mother wearily pushing a baby carriage. She found a seat facing me and sat down with a sigh. She glanced over at her sleeping newborn, adjusted the baby's blanket and closed her eyes for a much-needed nap.About 10 minutes passed and the mother's head dropped forward as she fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly, the baby began to fuss and mom woke with a start. As her baby's cries got louder, two large stains appeared on the front of her blouse.
Touching, hearing, seeing, smelling or even thinking about your baby can stimulate milk let-down. Breast milk is absolutely perfect for babies and its benefits are well-documented. Breast milk provides numerous advantages to the infant's general health, growth and development and, at the same time, significantly reduces the risk for numerous acute and chronic diseases.1 Research in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other developed nations cite a decrease in the incidence and severity of diarrhea,2-4 lower respiratory infections,5-6 ear infections,7-9 urinary tract infections,10 allergic diseases,11 possible sudden infant death12 and many other physical benefits among breastfed babies. Other studies suggest breastfeeding might help boost IQs and cognitive development.13-15
Nursing mothers also reap numerous benefits to their recovering bodies and emotional health.16 To begin with, breastfeeding increases the levels of oxytocin (the maternal hormone or the hormone of motherly love), resulting in less postpartum bleeding and faster uterine involution or healing.17 There also is evidence that nursing helps new mothers lose their pregnancy weight faster.18 There is improved re-mineralization during postpartum for those women who nurse19 and a reduced risk of ovarian cancer20 and premenopausal breast cancer.21 Breastfeeding seems to really make a difference with regards to breast cancer risks. Data on 150,000 women from 30 countries established that each year of breastfeeding reduced a woman's lifetime breast cancer risk by 4.3 percent.22 In the U.S., this could mean reducing the number of women with breast cancer by 7,500 annually.23 Other studies showed that nursing mothers are a third less likely to be depressed.24
Equally important is the emotional bond between mother and child that nursing fosters. Breastfeeding provides a unique intimacy between a mother and her child, offers comfort to a fussy baby and is an incomparable method of communication. There are some practical advantages, too: Breastfeeding doesn't cost anything, the milk is available at all times, provides the appropriate nutrition and always is the perfect temperature.
Massage for Healthy Breasts
A gentle massage will help keep the breasts healthy, reduce or treat engorgement, keep the milk ducts unblocked and the milk flowing. A professional massage practitioner might offer this care or teach the new mother how to do it for herself. The following steps will guide you in giving breast massage:
There are several acupuncture points that can ease breast soreness and engorgement and encourage milk let-down. For example:
Another wonderful recipe for engorgement is the ginger compress. Grate one cup of peeled ginger root and secure it in a cheese cloth. Place the ginger in 1 quart of water, which you bring up to the boiling point. Turn off the heat once the water starts to boil and leave the ginger in the heated water for about a half hour, or until the water takes on a yellow tinge. Let the water cool enough before placing two washcloths in the liquid. Wring them out (make sure the water is a comfortable temperature) and place a washcloth on each breast. When the cloths cool, put them back into the water.26
Nipple care also is an important part of healthy breasts. If the nipples crack after the first few days of nursing or if there is pain while nursing, the new mother should try a different nursing position and speak with her doctor, midwife or a lactation consultant for more advice. Avoid using soap while bathing and express a few drops of milk on the nipples to keep them supple. Or, rupture the veins of a cabbage leaf and wear them in the bra. Old tea bags also work, but they can stain your clothing. One drop of rose oil is very effective, but the nipples must be cleaned before nursing. Lansinoh, an over-the-counter product, also is a wonderful remedy for sore or cracked nipples, but cannot be used by women with lanolin allergies. After each feeding, the nipples should air dry before mom gets dressed. Make sure the wet nursing pads are replaced to avoid discomfort.27
For Those Who Can't or Won't
This seemingly instinctive behavior is a learned behavior. Not every new mother can or chooses to nurse and not every baby can easily nurse. The important concept is that the baby is fed, loved and nurtured. While it commonly is accepted that "breast is best," the choices a new mother makes about her body and her child need our support and respect.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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