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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
December, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 12
Working With Women, Part 1
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
Over the years, this column has covered a host of information on the way to use essential oils in massage practice. Earlier columns have covered the basics of aromatherapy and important safety issues, working with specific problems as well as profiling sedative, stimulant and known skin-sensitizing essential oils.It is good to have that information in mind whenever you are adding aromatherapy to a massage practice. (For more information on this topic visit www.massagetoday.com/topics/aromatherapy.php.)
This article focuses on specific essential oils for women's physical and emotional needs. (The special concerns of working with pregnant women were discussed in a previous article: www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13593.) Part 1 will give a brief profile of five essential oils in relation to their effect on women's issues. Part 2 will cover other essences including important flower oils of jasmine, rose, neroli and ylang-ylang. Essences for working with women's special needs are those that deal with amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, PMS, childbirth and menopause, certain common complaints in the urinary and digestive systems and those that address confidence, desirability, life cycles and self-image.
Here again, it is important to combine the physical effects of essential oils with the subtle effects on the mind and emotions for the best result. It is best to treat each client as an individual, listening to the issues that are uppermost in their lives. To do so results in a specific, custom blend that will have a more powerful influence than a standard "PMS blend." For example, as it could well include an essence not mentioned below that resonates with a different type of specific need. Mindfulness and knowledge combine in choosing the essential oils that will enhance the massage session and offer a long-lasting effect.
Five Essential Oils That Address Women's Needs
CHAMOMILE: There are three varieties of chamomile used in aromatherapy. All have similar properties in the sense of their physiological ability to aid digestion, boost the immune system and relieve pain and inflammation in the body and mind. Aromatherapist Gabriel Mojay says that the key to understanding the "psychological effect of chamomile" is its energetic influence on the solar plexus where issues of control and desire to nurture are located. A buildup of tension here results in frustration and irritability, "over-controlling" or losing control. (These qualities make it one of the oils that is most used with children, too.) Chamomile is also an emmenagogue, which means it aids in bringing on menstruation. Historical use of this plant for female reproductive complaints is shown in the botanical name of German chamomile or chamomile blue, Matricaria recutita, which is derived from the word "matrix" or "womb." German chamomile also has remarkable skin and wound healing properties as well as a relaxing effect on spasms that cause pain during menstruation and it is beneficial for urinary tract infections, such as cystitis. Because of its great power and strong aroma, German chamomile might be seen as the "matriarch" of the chamomiles.
The word chamomile is originally derived from the terms chamai - "on the ground" and melon - "apple." The most commonly used chamomile is Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) which has the softer, familiar apple-like smell. It is gentler in action, used to treat red, irritated, sensitive and dry skin, and is helpful for insomnia, digestive complaints, nervous tension and headaches.
Moroccan chamomile (Anthemis mixta) is the least commonly used and has a more camphoraceous aroma. Some aromatherapists choose this for menstrual problems where there is also depression, irritability and digestive issues, such as colitis.
CLARY SAGE: The botanical name for clary sage, Salvia sclarea, refers to healing and clarity. The euphoria for which this essence is known is also grounded. It relaxes while providing a mental-emotional uplift. Clarity helps dispel illusion, fluctuating emotion and despondent worry. Salvatore Battaglia tells us that clary sage is one of the most important women's remedies as it addresses all three phases of life: menstrual, childbirth and menopause. Its antispasmodic and analgesic effect relieves cramping; it is a uterine stimulant and emmenagogue, and studies have shown that it is one of the best pain relievers during labor. During menopause, clary sage has an estrogenic effect that is probably the result of pituitary/gonadal stimulation. It is known to ease hot flashes. Some aromatherapists caution that this essence should not be used with women who have a history of estrogen-dependent tumors, a contraindication that would be more of a factor with continual use than using a few drops in a massage blend during an office visit.
CYPRESS: This tree originates in the eastern Mediterranean and is exceptionally long-lived. Some are believed to be 2,000 or more years old, a fact reflected in its botanical name Cupressus sempervirens (from the Cupressacea family - "always living"). While all evergreens give a reassuring sense of persisting life, making them a comfort in times of bereavement, Mojay tells us that cypress helps us cope with and even accept difficult change, both inner and outer. It is useful in times of transition such as career change, ending of a close relationship or empty-nest syndrome. Cypress unearths fears that block change and strengthens in time of self-doubt. Physiologically, cypress is a circulatory decongestant, used for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is a menstrual regulator that relieves painful periods, heavy bleeding during periods as well as severe hot flashes during menopause.
SWEET FENNEL: The botanical name (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce) describes a common herb with a dried hay-like aroma; this variation is "sweet." A diuretic and lymphatic decongestant, Mojay says this essence helps free repressed and toxic emotions and encourages confident self-expression and creativity. It is indicated for simple fluid retention, cellulite and weight control. Fennel is helpful with urinary tract infection and is recommended to help regulate the menstrual cycle. During menopause, fennel helps balance symptoms of fluctuating hormonal levels. Due to levels of the ketone fenchone and the estrogen-like action of trans-anethole, contraindications for the use of fennel include epilepsy, pregnancy, estrogen-dependent tumors and breast-feeding. Sweet fennel has less of this ketone constituent than bitter fennel.
GERANIUM: The fruit of this bushy shrub is thought to resemble a stork's bill, and so the botanical name (Pelargonium graveolens) contains the Greek word for stork, pelargos. In the same way that the stork can balance easily on one leg, Geranium essential oil is known for its ability to bring balance to the body and emotions. Mojay tells us that this essence conveys calm strength and security, relieving chronic and acute anxiety, particularly due to stress from overwork. Because of its aphrodisiac quality, it reconnects those with an overload of mental energy to sensuality, spontaneity, and pleasure. Citing the work of several aromatherapists, Battaglia tells us that geranium oil may stimulate the adrenal cortex, increasing hormones that are essentially regulating and balancing. This makes geranium good for situations of fluctuating hormone levels such as PMS and menopause. As both a diuretic and lymphatic stimulant, this essence is helpful with cellulite, fluid retention and simple edema of the ankles. The aroma is familiar from skin-care products, which use this essence for its ability to balance the production of sebum, making it useful for all skin types.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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