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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.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
June, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 06
Glimpses of the Big Picture: Leptins
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
The topic covered in this article is relevant to practitioners of all disciplines, particularly those who are providing health care services to people who suffer from conditions as diverse as chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, neuropathic pain, obesity, diabetes, thyroid hormone resistance (e.g., unexplained hypothyroidism), many cardiovascular diseases, syndrome-X, food cravings ...and more. Before getting to the unlikely link that can connect these apparently unrelated diseases and conditions, a background setting is called for.
An image I like to use when explaining contextual issues in relation to health is that of an iceberg floating in the ocean. The visible portion of the iceberg - perhaps 20 percent of its total mass - simplistically can be seen to represent those aspects of the patient that we observe, palpate, assess, discuss and evaluate. These divinations result in a greater understanding of the unseen inner workings of the patient - equivalent to aspects of the unseen, underwater portion of the iceberg.
And then there is the ocean itself, in which the ice mountain floats. In relation to the iceberg, this would include elements such as the relative salinity, temperature and pH of the water, as well as the weather, currents and more. In relation to the patient, the context includes multiple influences - environmental; psychosocial, biochemical and biomechanical; past and present; intermittent and constant; acute and chronic - that affect the individual from cradle to grave.
The complexity of such interacting influences, overlaid on the person's genetic and acquired characteristics, as well as the symptoms being manifested, often seem too daunting to make sense of. Hence, the reductionist approaches of so much of health care, whereby modifications of single aspects of this confusing edifice are attempted in order to nudge it toward more normal function. This may be done via diet, medication, nutritional supplements or herbs, needles, manual treatment, exercise, hydrotherapy, better breathing or posture, homeopathy, and many other options. Any of these interventions might modify etiological features sufficiently to encourage the self-regulating functions and systems of the body toward better health.
Lifestyle changes might be suggested that appear to offer more fundamental health-enhancing possibilities. Here, treatment is not a feature, but rather the initiation of changes that aim to align the individual more closely with evolutionary imperatives - offering a chance for homeostatic functions to operate more efficiently. Such changes might involve reforming nutritional, exercise, sleep and other basic behavior patterns.
Many such changes are common sense. Practical lifestyle modifications have been demonstrated to lead to profound influences on well-being and health enhancement. These suggestions range from more exercise, adequate sleep, balanced/reformed dietary habits (avoiding or modulating intake of high-sugar, high-fat junk food and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol), as well as better breathing and relaxation methods. Other simple choices also are now available, backed by solid scientific evidence; much of it relating to hormones produced by white adipose tissue (fat), such as leptin.
The Leptin Story
I am grateful to Judith DeLany, LMT, with whom I have happily co-authored three books, for drawing my attention to the rapidly-evolving area of leptin research and putting together a summary for use in one of our revisions. Credit for collating a great deal of the information outlined below belongs to her. Recent research points toward basic lifestyle changes that can have profound influences on the evolution of diseases. Due to space constraints, I will outline only some of the most pertinent information, with appropriate references that can be used to expand on the summary below:
A simple plan has been devised8 to help regain normal leptin levels and thereby, balance the hormonal cascade discussed above. Although this plan may not be ideal for every one, it is presented here for the majority who it is suggested should benefit from its use. The foundation of the plan contains five basic rules. Breaking any of the rules or guidelines (below) can lead to setbacks.
Rule 1: Never eat after dinner, not even a snack or glass of wine or juice. Allow 11-12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Generally, finish eating dinner at least three hours before bed. This rule is designed to allow leptin, melatonin, cortisol and other chemicals to balance during the night. Individuals with night-eating syndrome have abnormal hormonal patterns apparently associated with nocturnal eating.9
Rule 2: Eat three meals a day. Allow 5-6 hours between meals. Timing is crucial, so that insulin levels can drop, glucagon (produced by the liver) can rise, and fat metabolism can kick in. If this occurs a couple of hours before more food is eaten, fat stores can be utilized until the next food is eaten. Snacking between meals sends the insulin back up and fat stores remain untapped. Therefore, snacks are to be avoided. Protein and carbohydrate portions are the size of the palm of the hand and most vegetables can be eaten as desired. Peas, carrots and corn are taken in moderation.
Rule 3: Do not eat large meals. Eat slowly and, if overweight, always try to finish a meal when slightly less than full. Eating slowly allows time for hormonal signals to reach the brain before overeating occurs. Smaller meals allow for better digestion. Do not overstretch the stomach and reduction in overall caloric consumption can be achieved.
Rule 4: Eat a breakfast containing protein. This helps set the hormonal cycles for day and night. Compromising this can have hormonal effects during the day and into the night, disturbing sleep. Weigle, et al.,10 showed that an increase in dietary protein from 15 percent to 30 percent of energy produced significant weight loss, presumably "mediated by increased central nervous system leptin sensitivity."
Rule 5: Reduce the overall amount of carbohydrates eaten. Unless one already is on a low-carb plan, chances are that too many carbohydrates are routinely consumed. Regarding carbohydrate influences, Garg, et al.,11 note, "Compared with the low-carbohydrate diet, the high-carbohydrate diet caused a 27.5 percent increase in plasma triglycerides and a similar increase in [very low-density lipoprotein]-cholesterol levels; it also reduced levels of HDL cholesterol by 11 percent."
This brief summary suggests that eating regular, balanced (low-sugar, for example) meals, including a protein breakfast; avoiding snacking between meals and reducing overall carbohydrate intake; and getting enough sleep can beneficially impact a huge range of diseases, including those that involve excessive inflammation.
If you or your clients are overweight, suffering from inflammatory conditions and/or any of the long list of conditions mentioned by researchers investigating leptin, these simple changes could offer a way of beneficially influencing health. When they do, this represents an example of contextual health care, as discussed at the start of this article.
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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