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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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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