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Building Kidney Yang and Jing
Kidney yang, if we include mingmen fire, is the energy and heat source for the whole body. Jing is the essence of yang, and is stored in the kidney, extraordinary channels, and in the bone marrow, which in TCM also includes the brain.
A Very New Year: It's Time to Track
As we enter 2017, we find "affordable care" is not so affordable for many individuals. They are discovering what employers learned long ago: Health care is expensive – and keeps getting more expensive.
Change on the Horizon? New White House Spells Shift in Health Care Policy
On the morning after Election Day, many in our country were surprised to learn that not only did the Republican nominee win the White House, but also that the House of Representatives and the Senate remain under GOP control.
The Key to Recovery
Starting in the 1970s and developing over a decade of assessment and improvement, the South Bronx's Lincoln Recovery Center staff refined the method of using five basic ear-points, which became the NADA protocol for the treatment of addiction.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion.
What Are Prebiotics – and Why Should You Care? (Part 1)
In previous articles, I spoke about the different kinds of fiber and their effects, and the potential risks of taking probiotics without also consuming prebiotic soluble fiber (PSF) in foods and/or supplements [see August & October 2016 issues].
Case Study of Benign Hand Tremors
Patients without degenerative diseases causing tremors are often given the diagnosis of essential tremors, for which treatment options are limited to lifestyle changes and medications.
Increase Your Practice Income With Retail Products
With only so many hours in a day, there is a cap on the revenue an acupuncturist can generate by way of appointments. Once your appointment book is filled, you can't really add more without burning yourself out.
The Mysterious Divergent Channels
The divergent channels are among the most mysterious entities in all of Chinese medicine. They are rarely mentioned, lacking reference in modern TCM study, and rarely used within popular Chinese medical treatment.
Losing Your Mind? Try Coconut Oil
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently the 6th leading cause of death in America according to the CDC. It affects over 5 million Americans and 50 percent of nursing home residents (2014), and is projected to spike to 16 million by 2050.
Top 2017 Health & Fitness Trends
We really did sign up for a career of learning and development. Now that you have built a strong foundation of your manipulation skills, nutrition base, movement assessments and business knowledge, it's time to keep up with the American College of Sports Medicine's 2017 worldwide health and fitness trends.
MD-DC Affiliations Under Fire
I am George P. McAndrews, lawyer for the chiropractors in the Wilk, et al., v AMA, et al., antitrust suit that resulted in an injunction against the AMA and others, banning them from interfering in lawful professional relationships between medical physicians and doctors of chiropractic.
Your Patients With Cancer Need You
It was a chilly Minnesota morning in March 1999 when she asked to speak to me alone. My then-busy chiropractic practice wasn't built for much privacy, but I quickly scooted the 60-some-year-old, white-haired patient to my exam room, as the open adjusting area was buzzing with excitement.
An Education in Stroke Risk and Chiropractic
Dr. Steven Shoshany's ninth appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show" may prove to be his most significant, as he addressed questions related to the death of Katie May, who suffered two strokes in February 2016, hours after her third visit to a chiropractor for what she described in a Twitter post as a pinched nerve in her neck experienced during a photo shoot days earlier.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Time for Change?
The University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic Student Government Association sponsored a panel discussion on Oct. 25, 2016.
Acute Locked-Back Syndrome: Cause and Correction
As we all know, occasionally a patient will present with acute-onset low back pain with or without a precipitating incident. A distinguishing feature of the presentation is visible lateral antalgia, both standing and walking.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 1)
Applied correctly, modern skin needling techniques can form part of a holistic treatment and incorporate the principles of Chinese medicine.
Clinical Outcomes & Safety for TCHM
The practice of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCHM) may appear archaic to those who misunderstand the theories and principals that guide it. In fact, TCHM continues to evolve and new systems are consistently being discovered and applied within the tradition.
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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