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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Straight Talk on Scoliosis
By Ken Piercy, MTI, CST-D; guest author for John Upledger, DO, OMM
Editor's Note: Dr. John Upledger has asked guest author Ken Piercy to write this month's column.
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the vertebral column, most often found in younger girls and women.It's generally considered either "fixed," as a result of muscle or bone deformity, or "mobile," usually as a result of unequal muscle contractions.
It's important to note that mobile scoliosis can lead to fixed scoliosis, since unequal muscle contractions can cause alterations of the internal architecture over time, especially in weight-bearing structures. This is known as Wolff's Law. As a muscle pulls on a bone, it can draw the bone in the direction of the strain. The longer this process continues, the more pronounced it becomes. Fixed scoliosis can be the result, which is why it's critical to catch this condition early.
Understanding the Underlying Architecture
As human beings, we essentially are upright bipeds. That's who we are and what we do. We stand up and walk. Hardly a news flash, yet understanding the architecture is important to resolving scoliosis. We each have two legs, hips, a sacrum and a vertebral column tethered together. Structurally speaking, look at the hips and sacrum as the top of an arch and the legs as the support; with the vertebral column or spine centered on top of the arch like a tower. We have a complex structure we generally take for granted.
Numerous muscles and ligaments attach the hips and sacrum to the vertebral column. In tower terminology, these would be "guy wires." They pull and hold the tower upright. If the base of the tower (sacrum) shifts or if some of the muscles get too tight, the tower begins to lean. As we get off-center, the wires attached further up the tower pull us back toward the center. The body is a self-correcting mechanism. It wants to be an upright biped, but now we have a curvature of the spine.
The bodies of young women go through significant changes preparing them for the future endeavors of the female anatomy. As teenagers, they're also having the time of their lives in gymnastics, dancing, cheerleading, volleyball and basketball, playing around with all kinds of activities that can be stressful to the architectural structure.
Think about dropping an arch on one support with the center tower balanced up one side, much like jumping up to spike a volleyball and landing on one foot. A structural engineer would say, "Oh no, you can't do that. If you drop an arch on one side, the tower will lose its structural integrity and collapse." But the volleyball coach would say, "Great job!" Add to this the fact that the hips are expanding and the attached ligaments (wires) are stretching and this might be a good time for structural concern.
Helping Amelia Avoid Surgery
A 13-year-old girl, "Amelia," came to my office after being diagnosed with scoliosis by her pediatrician. He indicated she might need surgery and would likely be wearing a back brace 23 hours a day. The doctors said she had a spinal distraction 20 degrees to the right and 10 degrees to the left. They told her she didn't need surgery just yet, but they wanted to keep an eye on her to see if the condition worsened. At 30 degrees, she'd be a candidate for surgery. They also referred her to a neurologist for her headaches and dizziness.
As a soft-tissue practitioner, I don't have an X-ray machine and I rarely carry a protractor. But I could see her lower thoracic spine was pulled laterally about 1.5 inches, and her cervical spine went about .75 inches the other way. For headaches and balance issues, it should be noted that the cervical spine connects directly to the cranial base, including the temporal bones that house the inner ear, semi-circular canals and vestibular system. Tension from the muscles attaching the base of the skull to the neck can impede balance and produce headaches.
After I performed a CranioSacral Therapy 10-step protocol, Amelia was visibly more relaxed. She reported her headache was gone. You also could see the lateral distortion in her spine was now less than half an inch. As the tower/spine begins to straighten and the muscles/wires release the tension needed to hold the body upright, the cranial vault functions improve, diminishing headaches and enhancing balance.
Amelia also was pleased to notice she could see the curve of her waist on her right side, something she could only see on her left before that session. The right side of her torso, which had been a straight vertical line, now had more of a tapered shape.
After a second session, Amelia took two weeks off to go on vacation and a week-long dance camp where she studied classical ballet. Upon her return, at the beginning of her third session, she reported she had a headache. I also could see a slightly increased lateral distortion of her vertebral column. At the end of that session, Amelia was headache-free once again and the lateral distortion of her spine was visibly diminished. Since then, her mom reports Amelia's self-esteem has soared. I think that's significant in a 13-year-old girl.
A few more sessions should alleviate Amelia's condition and a watchful eye will be far more productive than surgery. Before they brought her to see me, Amelia's family paid $23,630 to conventional medical doctors to treat her scoliosis and headaches. The cost of her CranioSacral Therapy: $300. A mother's relief: Priceless.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Ken Piercy, MTI, CST-D is a diplomate-certified CranioSacral therapist with a thriving private practice in Dallas. To learn more visit www.kenpiercy.com.
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