resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
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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