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New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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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