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News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
July, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 07
Upsetting the Health Care Pyramid
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
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, NCBTMB.
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