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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Your Services Are Sorely Needed
With so many suffering from chronic pain and dissatisfied with allopathic treatment, is a new era of pain management on the horizon?
By Julie Engebretson
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its 30th annual report on the health status of the nation, Health, United States, 2006.This document, prepared by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the President and Congress, frames a general picture of health and trends in health care utilization, resources and expenditures. While the overall health of the nation seems to be improving or holding steady in many areas, results from the National Health Interview survey highlight the need for appropriate management of one particular condition: pain. Pain was such a prevalent complaint among those interviewed, researchers devoted a special section of the 2006 report solely to this condition. Titled "Special Feature: Pain," this section of the report focuses on pain as it affects various anatomical locations, including the low back, head, neck, face and joints.
As noted, the health of the nation continues to improve in several respects. This kind of improvement is attributable in part to the significant resources devoted to public health programs, research, health care and health education. All in all, life expectancy in this country is continuing a steady, upward trend. But as Americans are living longer, the question remains, "Are they living well?" Between 1999 and 2002, more than 25 percent of Americans over the age of 20 reported suffering pain, of any kind, that persisted for longer than 24 hours. Nearly 60 percent of adults older than 65 who reported pain indicated their pain lasted for an entire year or longer.
Adults 18 years and older were instructed to report whether they had experienced any of four types of pain during the three months prior to interview: low back pain, migraine/severe headache, neck pain, and facial ache in the jaw or joint in front of the ear. Respondents were asked to report only pain in the above-listed regions that lasted an entire day or more, excluding minor aches and pains. Low back pain was the most commonly reported of the four types of pain, the most common cause of job-related disability, and a leading contributor to missed work and reduced productivity. Though the percentage of adults reporting low back pain has remained stable in recent years, women of all ages, race and ethnicity groups and income levels reported experiencing low back pain more frequently than men. According to a 2003 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, more than 100 million people suffer from low back pain and approximately $25 billion a year is spent in search of relief. This study showed that massage therapy provided better results and reduced the need for painkillers by 36 percent, as compared to other therapies.
The second most frequently reported chronic pain type in the CDC survey was severe headache and/or migraine. "In 2004, 15 percent of adults reported migraine/severe headache and 15 percent also reported neck pain. Adults 18 to 44 years of age reported migraine/severe headache pain almost three times as frequently as adults 65 years and older." The survey also revealed that severe headache pain was particularly prevalent among women still in their reproductive years. According to an August 2006 study in the Annals of Behavior Medicine, people receiving massage therapy exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received the therapy, as well as three weeks following their massage therapy treatments. Study participants who did not receive massage therapy did not fare as well in finding relief for their migraine headaches. Massage also is believed to increase serotonin levels, which help to regulate sleep, mood and appetite.
Overall, the prevalence of severe joint pain increased with age. The knee was the site of joint pain most commonly reported, followed by the shoulder, fingers and hips. According to the report, "almost one-third of adults age 18 years and over and one-half of adults age 65 years and over reported joint pain, aching, or stiffness (excluding the back or neck) during the 30 days prior to interview." Results varied also by race and income. On a related note, the number of hospitalizations to replace painful hips and knees has increased substantially since 1992 and 1993.
The prevalence of pain among U.S. adults also was measured by the use of prescription narcotics. The numbers are quite shocking. According to the report, "Between 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, the age-adjusted percentage of women reporting narcotic drug use in the month prior to interview increased by almost one-half, from 3.6 percent to 5.3 percent. During this period, use of narcotic drugs rose by almost 75 percent among women 45-65 years of age, to 5.7 percent; and by more than 50 percent among women 65 years and over, to 6.8 percent."
The impact of pain, particularly chronic pain, is far-reaching. It can affect everything from one's day-to-day activities and quality of life to the level of employee productivity at America's most powerful corporations. Conventional treatment of chronic pain is time-consuming and often very expensive, particularly over the course of several years. In a recent survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, 98 percent of Generation X respondents believed massage was an effective way to relieve pain and 37 percent of those already have used massage therapy to ease and relieve chronic pain. In fact, pain is such a prominent health care issue that the 106th U.S. Congress passed Title VI, Sec. 1603, of H.R. 3244, declaring the period between Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2010 the "Decade of Pain Control and Research."
As Americans are living longer, frustration with conventional approaches to pain management is evident. In fact, the CDC report speculates that pain among older adults often goes unreported due to many simply giving up, "and skepticism about the beneficial effects of potential treatments." With so many Americans in pain and dissatisfied with conventional treatment options, massage therapists may have a real opportunity to take the lead in a new era of pain management.
For a copy of Health, United States, 2006, including the section, "Special Feature: Pain," please visit www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. For a copy of the 2006 AMTA Consumer Survey, visit www.amtamassage.org.
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