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AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
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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