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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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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!
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.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01
A Pivotal Year in Massage Therapy
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! It's the year of the Earth Rat and it appears to be a pivotal year for our country and our profession. The massage profession often serves as a microcosm of our country; we are fighting turf wars with other professions, we have border control issues as to who is in or out of our profession, and we have very selective, whitewashed reporting of current events by our associations and the majority of the massage media.
As you listen to the politicians of our country, as well as our profession, remember that they are saying only what needs to be said (partial truth), and expressing themselves in such a way as to achieve a desired result. Politics and propaganda are, for the most part, the same - partial truth. Usually, the desired result(s) is in the best interest of the politician(s), not the people.
Pay attention during this national election year, especially to health care. This issue has the potential to significantly affect and possibly dramatically alter our profession. Politicians want control of your health. Always remember that the government that controls the health of its people - controls its people.
The massage profession and all alternative providers must position themselves to survive if socialized medicine is enacted. Spa and relaxation massage probably have little to be concerned about but, if you do therapeutic (clinical) massage, your ability to practice could face extreme challenges. Lately, the presidential candidates are in Iowa (my home state) on a daily basis and what I hear them proposing for "health care" is rather frightening, as my practice is 100 percent clinical. Wellness and alternative therapies are not even being mentioned. It's all about forced shots and tests, surgeries and drugs - in other words, all allopathic. These do not create health and it's debatable if they even prevent sickness. Most politicians are for sale and some of the highest bidders are the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. They work for whoever pays them. Be careful what you wish for with your primary vote.
My biggest disappointment with my profession is that it has probably missed its opportunity to become an alternative health care/wellness profession. The clinical side is leaning more and more toward an allopathic - insurance model of symptomology (identification and reduction of symptoms). The relaxation side is leaning toward branded routines. Neither really is about creating wellness, although the relaxation model actually comes closer. Massage should be about a wellness-based lifestyle, not just pushing lubricant around, generally or specifically.
An incredible amount of common symptoms are the result of sugar consumption. Low-cost, starchy foods that become sugar in the body are easy to transport and have a long shelf life. They are the highest-profit foods to sell. They also provide the highest profits for the medical profession. Note how the medical profession urges a low-fat diet; they know what is good for business. Sadly, the dietary education given to most allopathic practitioners is carefully controlled and minimized. Most only know what they have been allowed to know so they believe they are giving good advice, when in reality they have been brainwashed into giving advice that is good for pharmaceutical and medical profits.
A real cure is to get insulin levels (blood sugar) down. High cholesterol and low insulin don't go together, they repel. Low insulin generally is a hallmark of health and longevity. High insulin indicates a sugar-burning metabolism. In "sugar burners," when not enough sugar is present, the body converts muscle and bone into sugar to burn. And it becomes a vicious, destructive cycle. How much soft-tissue pain is the result of this? I don't know. Too bad only sickness is researched and studied. If health were the focus of research, the alternative health care professions would thrive. The government, pharmaceutical-allopathic cartel won't allow that. They want dependence, not health, which gives independence.
About 10 percent of our health care resources are spent on wellness and 90 percent on treating and suppressing symptoms. This is justified because of the profit it creates. Wellness and alternative therapies and lifestyle just do not generate enough profit, so they are suppressed or co-opted. Massage is being co-opted, which is the better of the two. The public is kept sick, even made sick (get your mercury-laced flu shot), suffers and dies in the name of profits. What to do? Don't play their game. Become a living example of a wellness-based life style. A good place to start might be to reduce your sugar consumption and eat more omega-3 oils and healthy fats.
I riled the AOBTA with my July column. I have nothing against Asian massage/bodywork therapies; I receive them regularly. However, they are just part of the continuum of massage, nothing more and nothing less. They are not as unique as they would like you to believe. This is a problem with our profession. It looks for differences and separation instead of commonalities and oneness. This lack of unity holds us all back from achieving the recognition and acceptance massage deserves. As for the verbose response to my column, all I can say is that as a carefully observing participant in the leadership of this profession for 20 years, including serving on a state regulatory board for eight years, I have observed the actions of the AOBTA and other groups closely. Their actions have spoken loudly and more accurately than their words. Maybe their current leadership has changed directions; time and actions will tell. Until then, I stick by my observations.
I am noticing a high correlation of trigger points with twitch responses in the Achilles tendons of restless leg syndrome (RLS) patients. Are any of you finding this? If so, let me know. Maybe together we can build a better program to help these people. I'll be back in March. Bring your kite.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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