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Treating LBP the Right Way: Think Natural
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive, non-drug therapies as first options for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, rather than pain medications, as stipulated in the original 2007 guideline.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Why Now Is the Time to Expand
In my January article, "Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Is It Time for Change?" I discussed the use of the term primary spine care practitioner, the loss of privileges to diagnose in Texas, and the fact that the definition of "chiropractic" varied from state to state.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Family Practice
Every practice has a personality style. A practice that caters to athletes, PI cases or adults, for example, projects differently to patients than a family wellness practice.
Integrative Cardiology: The Heart of TCM & Western Medicine
Patient centered therapy is a growing trend in hospitals that are expanding to boutique services.
News In Brief
A "Modern" Business Model. Acupuncturists may have a new professional atmosphere to consider, as a new concept is on the horizon - at least for one business.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter (Part 2)
Now let's discuss the clinical approach to reducing WC and implementation in today's chiropractic practice. The primary intervention centers around dietary modification and lifestyle habits aimed to reduce adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately, diminish systemic metabolic dysfunction.
Good Works at the Canandaigua VA
Faculty and students of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (FLSAOM) of the New York Chiropractic College have provided acupuncture to veterans at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Canandaigua, New York since September of 2007.
Chiropractic: A Great Fit for the White House
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a New York Chiropractic College alumnus; a No. 1 best-selling author whose books include Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator; a chiropractor for professional sports teams and elite athletes; and even served as an advisor under the Clinton Administration to the President's Council on Sports & Physical Fitness.
What's Bugging You? Probiotics and Your Health
An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
Treating the Terrain of Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections can be stubborn to treat, but the therapeutic path forward can be simplified when utilizing three distinct treatment principles which take into account the terrain of the body, and the way in which microbes grow.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Heliotherapy
I can't imagine anyone not feeling good strolling in the sun on a beautiful spring day. The sun is responsible for all life on earth and is best illustrated along the equator touting the richest biodiversity on the planet, in stark contrast to the Arctic Circle and South Pole.
Making Sense of Liver Regulation
In Chinese medicine, the liver has the function of moving and storing qi and blood. In its moving function, the liver smoothly distributes qi and blood to the tendons, muscles and flesh through microcirculation.
NSAIDs No Better Than Placebo for Spine Pain
A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain concludes that among 6,065 spine pain patients, "NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo."
Toxicity & Kids: The Importance of Environmental Intake
The old adage is true that children are not little adults. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long known that the physiology of children is unique, as are the diseases that plague them.
Caring for Refugees in Greece
At the beginning of 2016 I had no idea what was in store for me, but I was looking forward to a personal retreat on the Greek island of Paros; a graduation gift to myself after 22 years of motherhood, and four-plus years of Chinese medicine school.
The First (Only) Choice for Spinal Pain
The study on NSAIDs for spinal pain summarized on the front page of this issue is intriguing on a number of levels, the most obvious being the conclusion that "compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide a clinically important effect on spinal pain, and six patients must be treated with NSAIDs for one patient to achieve a clinically important benefit in the short-term."
Insomnia Treatment Based on the Yu Theory
In recent years, acupuncture has risen in popularity as a form of alternative or supplemental medicine for the treatment of many different types of disorders.
The Chiropractor's Guide to CRISPR
Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2015 was described as "the gene-editing tool called CRISPR." CRISPR stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats."
The Qi Focus: A Guide to Managing Stress
Stress, are you experiencing heightened stress levels? Your own, and your clients? Is Trumpitis getting to you? I recently polled a cluster of acupuncturists, Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) and psychotherapy colleagues on the issue.
Help Save an Important Chiropractic Landmark
The chiropractic profession has a splendid and varied history. Sadly, many landmarks have been lost to bulldozers and wrecking crews, such as the Ryan Building, Little-Bit-O-Heaven, Spears Chiropractic Hospital, and Clearview Sanitarium.
Give Your Patients the Ergonomic Advantage
Prolonged sitting contributes to low back pain and is a health risk. When I discuss my POLITE technique practice recommendations with patients, ergonomics may be last, but not least!
November, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 11
Are You Magnesium Deficient?
By Rita Woods, LMT
Many of our clients come to us because of muscle soreness, spasms, cramps and even twitching. In addition to the physical pain they may experience, they often say they just can't relax. We may work diligently on the muscles, but the client continues to experience the same nagging symptoms: stressed, muscle tightness, can't relax, headaches, anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability and even chest tightness.The problem may not be their lifestyle, but rather a magnesium deficiency.
I recently read a magazine article in the waiting room of my chiropractor's office. (The truth is, I "borrowed" the magazine and brought it home to read.) The article triggered my research button, and I've now learned more about magnesium than I could possibly share in one article. Today I'll share with you how a magnesium deficiency can have a direct impact on muscle tissue. But first, some basic facts.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is essential to good health. Approximately half of the magnesium in our body is found in bone. The other half is predominately inside the cells and only about 1 percent is found in circulating blood. Magnesium is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, as well as cardiac health, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and helps keep bones strong. Magnesium is even involved in energy metabolism (production of ATP) and protein synthesis. Simply put, we must have it to have good health.
Specific to our profession, magnesium plays an absolutely vital role in allowing muscles to relax. One role of magnesium is much like a gatekeeper at the cell wall. There are channels on the cell membrane that allow some things in at certain times and at specific levels. Magnesium is responsible for allowing calcium into the cell when a muscle needs to contract or a nerve needs to fire. Calcium helps it contract. Magnesium helps it relax. Magnesium is responsible for pushing the calcium out of the cell when the job is done. This allows the cell to return to normal and await its next command. If there is insufficient magnesium, calcium enters the cell and never leaves.
When this happens, the muscles and nerves continue to contract or fire. They never relax and the cell stays on alert status. This is akin to the fight-or-flight stress response. Remember that cells make up tissue, and tissue makes up organs. The whole body gets involved in this process. The result of magnesium deficiency is excessive muscle tension (which can then lead to muscle weakness), muscles spasms, cramps, tics, restlessness, anxiety and irritation. Stress has been known to further decrease magnesium levels, so a vicious cycle begins. In this case, the only way to break the cycle and restore a healthy state is to increase magnesium.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency also include loss of appetite, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, poor memory, reduced ability to learn, apathy, worry and confusion. Brain function can be reduced because almost 20 percent of all the ATP in the body is in the brain. When magnesium is not present to help make ATP, the brain doesn't get what it needs to function properly. As the magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, ringing of the ears, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms and continued muscle contractions can occur. Severe deficiencies can result in low levels of calcium in the blood. It's easy to see why a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium is so important in preventing osteoporosis.
One report I read said as high as 80 percent to 90 percent of people may be magnesium deficient. There may be medical reasons why magnesium is not absorbed in some people, but that would be the minority. The main problem is that our diets tend to lack the green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and fruits high in magnesium. Our soil has also been depleted of many natural minerals, so our foods are also lacking the minerals. Thus, the need to supplement is necessary for many people. Supplementation of magnesium must be balanced with calcium. Too much supplemental magnesium can result in loose stools or diarrhea, so stick with the recommended dosage. Toxicity can occur, but is rare and mostly due to taking excessive amounts, rather than following the directions on the bottle. I asked my chiropractor what products they offer their clients for relaxing. When they showed me the three products they offer, I was not surprised that all had magnesium as a main component.
I think a common complaint we hear from our clients is that they just can't seem to relax. They catch themselves with tensed shoulders and have to consciously make themselves relax, just to find that the tension is back in a matter of minutes. They may think it's just the stress of their job, family or busy schedule. In trying to be helpful, we might suggest meditation, yoga or a nice walk in nature. But let's face it, all of our clients don't have the best diet and some obviously lack nutritional knowledge. While it may not be within our scope of practice to recommend supplements, it's OK to share things you have learned. If you think they could benefit from knowing more about magnesium, give them a copy of this article or suggest they Google "magnesium deficiency." You should look it up, too. While you're at it, look up how muscle pain can be associated with a vitamin D deficiency.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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