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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
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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