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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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!
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.
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.
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?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 08
Massage Today Reader Discovers "Anything’s Possible"
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
Terri, a normally healthy 62-year-old woman, was recently scouring the Internet for help when she ran across a Massage Today article that she said "literally saved my life." She was suffering from severe anemia that doctors at two different hospitals couldn't explain.
Her health had started degrading a year earlier when she found herself dramatically short of breath. "I couldn't get dressed in the morning without having to sit down and rest," Terri said. "I couldn't even walk to the bathroom from my desk at the office."
Doctors suspected Terri had a rare form of asthma, but that didn't sit right with her. "I wasn't wheezing at all. I just had shortness of breath." Nonetheless, they put her on a steroid for six months to try to clear it up. "It didn't do anything except make me gain a lot of weight," she said.
Then last November, Terri's right foot and big toe went numb and turned blue. She immediately checked into the hospital, but this time she was told she probably had peripheral artery disease. The surgeons began preparing for an angioplasty. "In the process, they asked me to sign a release that gave them permission to amputate my foot!" she exclaimed. Fortunately for Terri, her intuition told her that something wasn't quite right with this picture. So against doctor's orders and pleas from her daughters, she signed herself out of the hospital and found her way to a different doctor, one she hoped would finally listen to her.
After a battery of tests ruled out plaque around the heart, doctors gave Terri a new diagnosis. "Your big toe is broken," they said. "What's wrong with that?" she asked. As it turned out, plenty. She was also suffering from something the other doctors hadn't mentioned: severe anemia.
Anemia occurs when you don't have enough healthy red blood cells, or when the red blood cells don't have enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the organs. For men, a count of less than 14g per deciliter is worrisome. In women, anything less than 12g is a problem.
By the time Terri went back to the hospital five days later, her hemoglobin was at an 8. But she still wasn't prepared for what her doctors recommended next: a blood transfusion. "I was shocked. I had no idea it was that bad," she said. "But it was all too much. I told them I had to go home and think about it."
Unfortunately, within a of couple days, her hemoglobin had dropped to the dangerous level of 6 and she collapsed.
Back at the hospital, Terri received four consecutive blood transfusions. "They say one every few months is the norm. But that's what it took to get my hemoglobin level back up to an 8," Terri said. Assuming she must have been bleeding internally, the doctors ordered another round of tests. Everything came up negative.
By January Terri's hemoglobin was back down to a 7, but the doctors still didn't know what was wrong. So they gave her another transfusion. Finally, they told her it was just too dangerous to continue doing that. They were going to wait until it got down to a 6 before giving her any more.
"I was playing with my life," Terri said. "I thought, at this rate, I might just not wake up one day." Her doctors agreed and actually advised her to get her affairs in order. "They still didn't know what was causing it. They even suggested chemotherapy just in case it was a cancer they couldn't find."
When Terri went home that day, she decided to take her health care into her own hands. She started by searching for clues on the Internet. The last time she had looked, she was reviewing the prosthetics she thought she'd need after her foot was amputated. But this time she was determined to "sit there for 24 hours if that was what it took to find some kind of treatment for anemia."
She began Googling. That's when she found a Massage Today article called "Unwinding Meridians to Reverse Anemia" by Dr. Kenneth Koles (April 2009 issue). In it, Koles talks about combining acupuncture with CranioSacral Therapy to treat a woman named Helen who was suffering from anemia like Terri was.
CranioSacral Therapy rang a bell with Terri. "I have a friend who's a massage therapist and she was trained in cranial work, too," she said. So she quickly called Laura Gomez, Ms.T. Coincidentally, Laura had just read the same article, and she immediately drove to Terri's for her first treatment.
"It didn't feel like any massage I'd ever had," Terri said. "It felt more like acupressure to me. It was strange, I remember hearing in my right ear the sound of blood flowing. It sounded like the ocean." Laura continued to work on her for two hours, coming back several times in seven days.
Terri went to her doctor to have her blood checked once again. "I was so depressed. If this didn't work, I didn't know what I was going to do." To her surprise, her hemoglobin count actually went up two-tenths of a point. "That doesn't sound like a lot, but normally I'd go down five-tenths every week. So to me, that was more like seven-tenths of an increase!"
Hopeful for the first time in months, Terri had two more CranioSacral sessions the following week. Her next blood test was even more promising. She was up to a 9.3. "It went up six-tenths of a point! And my iron levels went up one whole gram, and I wasn't eating spinach or anything. I had just started taking iron pills, but the doctor told me they wouldn't have started working for months."
"My doctor said it's a miracle," Terri said. And when she told him about CranioSacral Therapy, he commented, "I suppose anything's possible." Fortunately for Terri, with the help of hands-on therapy, he's right.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
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