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Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
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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