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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
Your Clients’ Winter Skin
By Rita Woods, LMT
What can I do about it? In the winter months, this is the question most often asked by my clients. They are talking about their dry and sometimes cracked skin. The skin is the first barrier of defense against millions of bacteria, viruses, molds and fungus. The skin is like the walls of a fortress that protect the interior from invading armies. Intact, healthy skin is vital to our overall health. As a therapist, I always keep extra lotion on hand during the winter because the client's skin will suck it up like a sponge.
Skin is our domain. We see it and touch it on every client. We use it to get to muscles, ligaments, fascia and all that lies underneath it. Just think about it - we work muscles and soft tissue, but never actually get to touch it. We make contact with our target muscles by using the skin. It's important that we offer advice, suggestions and services that will assist our clients, as they depend on us for information. Let's face it, we probably see more skin on a person than their spouse or partner.
Let's first look at why the skin becomes dryer in the winter months. Low humidity is the main cause. The air around us is more dry, so the moisture is wicked out of our body and we receive virtually no moisture from our environment. Other factors contribute to dry skin but dry air will exacerbate an existing problem. When you think about dry skin, you should have two objectives in mind: first, getting moisture into the cells, and second, keeping it there.
One thing you can do is to work with the air around you. Add some moisture to it. When I was a kid I remember my mom putting containers of water on the vents in the floor. She was adding moisture back into the air. That was our humidifier. Grandma had a wood stove and always had a cast-iron tea kettle simmering on the stove. Again, moisture back into the air. In addition to keeping our skin moist and cutting down on static electricity, moist air retains heat better.
If you are dehydrated, drinking more water can help. However, recent studies suggest people who are adequately hydrated do not receive any additional skin benefit from drinking more water.
Now let's look at topical applications. We call these moisturizers, with hand and body lotions being the most commonly used products. There are three types of basic moisturizers. One puts moisture in, one prevents moisture from escaping, and one makes the skin feel smoother. Individual skin varies, so trial and error may be necessary to find the right combination. It's chemistry that make these work, so I'll give you ingredients to look for. There are many substances in each category, but these most often appear in over-the-counter lotions.
Humectants. This is a classification of moisturizer that penetrates the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin, and helps absorb moisture. Humectants are popular in anti-aging products since skin dries out more as we age. The common ingredients in this category include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, propylene glycol and sorbitol.
Occlusives. This category works by coating the top layer of the skin to decrease evaporation. Common substances with occlusive properties include lanolin, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, mineral oil and petrolatum. I can already hear the moans about using mineral oil or petrolatum. But keep in mind that for many people, their hands, fingers and feet will actually crack and bleed. This is a most unhealthy condition and can be quite painful as well. In this case, they may want to use grandma's beauty secret of smearing a white petroleum product, like Vaseline, on their hands and then donning a pair of white gloves before going to bed.
Emollients. Emollients soften and smooth skin texture. Common substances with emollient properties include cyclomethicone, dimethicone, isopropyl myristate, octyl extenuate, isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl isostearate and jojoba oil.
By knowing the action of different ingredients, you and your client will have the ability to make better decisions about winter skin care. But there is still more that can be done. The skin has a layer of lipids that is vital to healthy skin. This natural lipid component can be stripped away with soaps, harsh cleansers and even hot water. At the very least, try using warm rather than hot water for showering. After showering, pat dry and while the skin is moist, but not wet, apply your lotion; especially a moisturizer or lotion with humectant properties. This can draw moisture from the surface into the skin.
Exfoliates. A lotion or moisturizer works more effectively when the skin is free from dead surface cells. For best results in the winter, use a good nonabrasive exfoliator that contains its own moisturizing properties. A salt scrub may be helpful but can also be drying to winter skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and deserves quality care. For many people, winter care may require measures that go beyond their normal routine. Skin care problems should be viewed as any other acute or chronic health issue and be addressed accordingly. The use of products or ingredients that you may normally avoid could be your best defense. I had a friend tell me that when her hands start to crack, she uses grandma's Vasoline-and-gloves regime. She sees it as medicine: It's not to be taken all the time, but she is grateful for it when there is a problem.
Click here for more information about Rita Woods, LMT.
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