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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
July, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 07
Upsetting the Health Care Pyramid
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Just to set the record straight, I want to clearly state that I am not anti-government. I do not believe in or desire anarchy, or an every-person-for-themselves mentality. I do not think everything the government does is bad or wrong.Government of some form and to some degree is necessary in a civilized society. The debate becomes, what type and how much. My issue is freedom of choice in health care. There is nothing more important to me than health. So if I may make one disclaimer when reading my columns: Try to remember I truly have the well-being and health of humanity as my primary goal.
The current "health care system" in the United States has nothing to do with health. It is strictly a sickness care system, a crisis management industry. We need it. There will always be sickness and accidents. We have the best crisis medicine system in the world. People from all over the world come here to receive treatments, especially from countries that have government run systems. Hmmm. However, the system is totally funded by human suffering. There is no economic incentive for our current system to get people well and keep them well. Has the overall health of the public improved recently? The lip service the current system pays to wellness is token at best and maliciously flawed at worst. Plumbers and engineers have done more to improve health in civilized countries than allopathic (conventional) medicine.
You have to set aside your emotions and become objective in viewing the system. When you can do that it becomes very clear that the medical-pharmaceutical-government cartel abhors health and does everything possible to prevent you from acquiring it, justifying human suffering in the name of profit for the allopathic drug cartel and population control for the government.
I know it seems a bit radical to say this, but if you observe their actions it is blatantly obvious. Actions do speak louder than words, especially from politicians and propagandists.
There is zero incentive in the current system to get you healthy much less keep you there. Are there any bonuses paid when a patient doesn't ever get cancer or doesn't have a stroke or heart attack? No. Money is only made when people are sick. The more sickness, the more profit. The system's ideas of wellness are tests and vaccines. I am not against tests and if you want to inject a live virus pickled in mercury into your arm or your fanny, you should be allowed to. However, I should be able to say "no thanks" and not be made a criminal. It is called freedom of choice in health care. What a concept. However, healthy people are not profitable for the industry and the government cannot have people living in good health into old age as politicians have already spent their social security taxes paying back their political contributors.
So where am I going with this, other than the educational value? We are at a sea change in health care in America. A new system is going to be put into place. There is a window of opportunity now open to include a wellness paradigm into the national system.
Economically and morally, alternative providers should be at the top of the health care pyramid. We should be the first door providers and gatekeepers. Health and wellness should be taught and practiced, from childhood on. Correct posture and movement, breathing, nutrition, exercise, and natural health/healing should be integral in education and health care. Of course when there is a crisis, patients would go directly to the allopaths for their specialty. When something borderline is beyond the scope or skills of alternative providers it should be referred to the allopaths. DCs, LMTs, acupuncturists and OMDs should be at the top of the system, allopaths at the bottom. The incentive should be for wellness and a job well done through safe, cost-effective, natural therapeutics. What a concept! Only a few, if any people have died from natural methods (herbs, supplements, homeopathy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.) in the past 5 years.
Currently, our health care system and our government rewards ineptitude, inefficiency, and failure. In health care this results in sickness and suffering. (250,000 people killed by mistakes and "safe" prescription drugs every year, plus the ones irreparably damaged by side effects and non-lethal errors.) No one seems to care; after all, medical deities have a license to kill. Additionally, this very expensive system makes people very dependent on the government, and politicians love that.
However, we have a new president. There is Hope and Change we can believe in. Maybe with some education and persuasion, the re-make of our health care system could bring about a true change that would help humanity and save tons of money from being printed. This will only happen if our elected representatives are constantly approached and reminded to include alternative providers in any new legislation as first door providers, and also allow us to exist outside the system legally. If only we could put freedom of choice, open competition, accountability, and rewards for personal responsibility, into the new system, we could actually have a health care system that saves money and improves people's health. There is always hope! Sadly, it is a fairly poor strategy as it lacks any effective tactics, but that is what most of us voted for, so let's get with it.
The question is, who is going to represent us, the alternative providers, as the new system is created? It appears it is going to have to be a grass roots lobbying effort of providers and patients, as our professional organizations are being slow on the uptake and not working together.
Yes, this would mean that our profession would have to improve our quality and consistency of entry-level practitioners. Most of our schools won't like that but it is time we had a serious upgrade in our educational system. I am trying to stay positive and optimistic here. For humanities sake, we need to make this change. All the alternative provider associations (chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, etc.) need to get together and start working very hard to take advantage of this window of opportunity, not for the profession's sake, but for the sake of the public.
I was hoping to provide more information on the Integrated Health Care Policy Consortium. However, they did not get back to me in time.
Happy Birthday America! From every mountainside, let Freedom Ring. Enjoy the fireworks. Think about what freedom means to you and what you would do to protect and preserve it.
July is my favorite column because I get to say, "See you in September!"
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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