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Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
August, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 08
A Wrinkle in Time
By Rita Woods, LMT
Anyone wanting to get involved in the anti-aging boom must understand wrinkles. While wrinkles certainly are not the only thing with which we should be concerned in any good anti-aging regime, it's what most people think of first.It's what we see everyday. I suppose if we could see our liver or intestines, we probably would approach anti-aging with a new focus. Be that as it may, we see our skin so our "looks" take on greater importance.
As massage therapists, we see all types of skin - from young to old and from healthy to sick. We also know we can tell a lot about a person's health simply by putting our hands on their skin and feeling the underlying tissue. We know if they are properly hydrated, if they smoke, if they are active or inactive, and if they have sun-damaged skin.
Changes in the physiology of the skin dictate the development of wrinkles. Heredity plays a big role in skin health as well. If you've been blessed with good skin genes, congratulations! If your mother, grandmother and great aunt Mildred had no wrinkles when they died at the ripe old age of 93, you're in luck. But for most of us, we have to look at the factors that contribute to wrinkles and try to avoid them. Your clients probably have asked you about this already.
To form a wrinkle you need loose skin. Loose skin comes from physiological changes, toxic influences and from shrinking bones. For instance, after age 70, the bones of the skull begin to shrink, causing even more sagging skin. Wrinkles appear to start in the dermis as changes in the elastin structure cause the elastin to lose its snap. Fibrils of elastin running through the layers of our skin are what help hold the skin and muscles together. When this system can no longer do its job, you will begin to see wrinkles form. Decreased production of both collagen and elastin play key roles in the formation of wrinkles.
If you are doing any facelift massage work, there is some crucial information you need to know to assist you in releasing some of the expression lines. Wrinkles form perpendicular to the long axis of facial muscles. Forehead furrows run horizontally to the vertical axis of the frontalis. Wrinkles around the circular muscles of the eyes and mouth form in a spoke-like fashion; specifically, the crow's feet and upper lip vertical wrinkles in the orbicularis oculi and orbicularis oris.
As with any other muscles in the body, working the fibers in a gentle cross-friction fashion will help to release adhesions and working in the direction of the muscle fiber will help re-educate the muscles for proper positioning and function. Next time you look at a face, really look at it and I'm sure you'll be able to see how the wrinkles have formed. Folds in the skin that run parallel to the underlying muscles are natural crease lines and are not technically wrinkles. They might come from the loss of fat in the underlying dermis or result from severe sun damage. These actually are referred to as "crinkles" by some skin care experts.
These changes are going to happen whether we like it or not. After all, we're only human. However, we can slow these changes and reverse some of the damage. Age isn't the only culprit; research shows the following key factors to aging skin. They all appear to damage the cellular structure in such a way as to alter its ability to perform.
First and foremost is sun exposure. It's the number one "bad guy" on the list. Every sunburn you have ever had damaged your skin, and it might take 15 to 20 years before you see visible signs of that damage. Ouch. The sun's rays denature proteins and enzymes through a cascade of events; even the DNA is changed and the cells undergo profound structural changes. Preventing damage from sun exposure is easy with sunscreen, hat and long sleeves. Remember, a tan now will become a wrinkle in time.
Smoking cigarettes is number two on the list. Surely you have noticed that people who smoke have a lot more wrinkles than people who don't. The damage comes from free radicals. There is growing evidence in the dermatology field that free radicals are one of the major causes of abnormal proteins in the body. These abnormal proteins produce damage to the various tissues of the body. It's estimated that with every inhale of cigarette smoke, there are more than 10 thousand trillion free radicals. That's many times more free radicals than there are cells in the body. I'm sure you've noticed the dull yellowish hue and lack of luster in the skin of a smoker. It is aging at an accelerated rate. Trying to get rid of wrinkles in a smoker is wasting time and money. Telling that to a client might not endear them to you, but you need to know it's a losing uphill battle unless they quit smoking.
Alcoholic beverages also produce a complex set of problems for body tissue. It's toxic to the body at a certain level. Heavy drinkers have a dull, yellow skin tone that is very dry. This shows the ravaging taking place on the underlying tissue. Once again, this situation makes it difficult to achieve good skin care.
Soap-based cleansing products are no doubt a contributing factor to the formation of wrinkles. But why and how much has not been determined. Soap is, however, consistently cited as contributing to dry and prematurely aging skin. Soaps must remove oil and dirt to clean. The drawback is they also can strip the skin of its natural lipids. Natural lipids are essential for maintaining skin integrity and for protection of the dermis. Most soap adversely affects the pH of the skin. That's why a toner is traditionally used after cleansing - to balance the disrupted pH. Just stay away from toners with alcohol. Soaps also adversely react with keratins in the skin, resulting in a dry, tight feeling. There are good cleansers that don't strip the skin but actually hydrate as they clean.
Good luck with your next face massage. Perhaps you'll view it with a different perspective. And when your clients ask for suggestions concerning their skin, remember it's what they don't do, rather than what they actually do.
Share your knowledge.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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