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News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 11
Economic Crisis: Be Aware, Get Prepared
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Many businesses and industries have run aground because they had the wrong perception of their place and purpose in the market, especially during times of economic change and crisis. For example, at one time railroad companies thought they were in the railroad business.They didn't realize until it was almost too late that they were really in the transportation business. Once they adapted to that larger paradigm, the ones that survived did much better.
The massage profession faces a similar situation. I think we, as a profession, believe we are in the massage business. This is a very narrow, focused, myopic view. We are really in the people business and the health business. We serve the public with alternative health care not available from any other source in a manner to bring about better health, wellness, movement and relief of pain. Massage is the primary tool we use to accomplish that, but we also use related techniques, education and products.
We are confused about who our customers really are. Our customers are not the allopathic medical community, not the AMA, not the insurance companies, not HMOs and not the government, but the public, people, individuals. We must reach out and promote to these individuals in such a way that they demand that our services, techniques and philosophy be accepted and included by health care on our terms, not on the allopathic system's terms. We can do this, but we have to change our focus, and we have to be ready to state what our terms are and stick to them.
We are going through a time of economic change, and the turmoil during that change looks a bit scary. Be assured, massage has survived thousands of years and many elections, disasters, economic crises, wars, global changes, etc., and it will continue to survive. Massage will continue to be in demand because there is nothing that can accomplish what massage can do as efficiently, effectively and pleasantly.
The current economic crisis will present some challenges, but I assure you the answer is not to sell out to the failed traditional medical system. The answer is to provide a cost-effective alternative. People may not be able to afford insurance or traditional health care, but they will need pain relief and wellness care. It is cheaper to stay well than to get sick. It is cheaper to prevent/eliminate carpal tunnel syndrome with massage than to have surgery for it. Both people and businesses will be looking for cost-effective alternatives to unaffordable crisis medicine, and we are sitting pretty to provide it to them. Well, at least some of us are.
The small percentage of us who have invested in ourselves beyond entry-level and learned how to assess and treat specific conditions, relieve pain and, most importantly, prevent injuries and illness are very well-positioned. The general relaxation side of the profession will likely see a more serious downturn, except possibly chair massage, the most cost-effective version of relaxation. The good news about chair massage is that when given by a properly trained therapist, chair massage can also provide specific therapeutic treatment, especially for upper-body complaints affecting the shoulders, wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome), low back and neck.
Invest in yourself by acquiring the skills, knowledge, and techniques that enable you to help people in pain. Practice them until you are really good and you will most likely do very well in the coming years. You will be able to really help people, and people are really going to need help. Wouldn't you like to have people begging you to work on them instead of you begging for work?
Canada's Health Care Ship Sinking
Have you by chance heard of Claude Castonguay, the "Father of Quebec Medicare"? In the 1960s Castonguay chaired the committee whose recommendations became the glorious Canadian health care system of which we are told. He is now the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care. He has concluded that the Canadian system is in "crisis."
"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. This money would have to come from significantly higher taxes. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice." Freedom? What a concept.
Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, even going so far as suggesting public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He also supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, who once championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.
What would drive a man such as Castonguay to reconsider his long-held beliefs? Try a health care system so overburdened that hundreds of thousands in need of medical attention wait for care, any care. Try a system in which people in towns like Norwalk, Ontario, participate in lotteries just to win appointments with the local family doctor. Years ago, Canadians touted their health care system as the best in the world. Today, Canadian health care stands in ruinous shape, according to Canadian Dr. David Gratzer, MD.
If Castonguay is abandoning ship, why should Americans bother climbing on board a similar ship? Will we pass each other going in opposite directions? English economist Alexander Tyler documented that the downfall of democracy, usually within about 200 years, comes when voters realize they can vote themselves something for "nothing" from the public treasury. Once people become dependent on government, they are one step away from tyranny.
Someone gets the bill for free health care, and that someone is the average middle-class taxpayer. Sadly, no one is talking about getting government completely out of health care, which is too bad, since government is the problem.
Chew on This
Earlier this month in an unprecedented U-turn, the FDA dropped much of its reassuring language on amalgam (silver) fillings from its Web site, substituting: "Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses." It adds that when amalgam fillings are "placed in teeth or removed they release mercury vapor," and that the same thing happens when chewing. Mercury is the sacred metal of allopathic medicine. By placing it in our bodies through vaccines and fillings, they make billions treating the resulting conditions that manifest from the damage it does to our nervous systems.
The FDA is now reviewing its rules and may end up restricting or banning the use of the poisonous heavy metal, at least in fillings. It's about time. Want to bet that the law passed by the new Democratic Congress and signed by President Bush, giving drug companies immunity from damages caused by drugs and vaccines, includes mercury? If the drug companies can get off free, the FDA can tell the truth. Who are they really protecting? Both parties and the bureaucracy of government agencies are completely controlled by the giant corporations. By definition, this is fascism. They justify human suffering in the name of profit. How does it feel?
As we are soon approaching the completion of another trip around the sun, I want to thank you, the loyal readers of this column, for your support throughout the past year. I wish a Happy Holidaze to all and remind you that this time of year is about something far bigger than shopping. See you back here in January. Bring hot (dark) chocolate. We'll talk more about a paradigm shift in health care only we can provide.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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