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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
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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