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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Summertime is coming to a close. Hope your summer was super! Mine was fabulous, but fall really is my favorite season. On with the show.
There is serious business going on that will affect everyone, especially alternative health care providers.First the good news: The U.S. House of Representatives is considering HR 646, which would allow acupuncture to be covered by Medicare. This is probably a very positive step. But why isn’t massage part of that bill? Where are our lobbyists and our associations on this?
As for the less than good news, our health care system is being overhauled as I write this. The debate may be in full swing, or may be over, by the time this article hits the public. The ruling party is being very careful not to reveal details of their plan. They are also being careful to restrict access and input into what the plan will be. There are only two groups who will be affected by this plan: patients and providers. Both are being excluded from its design and development. Yet, they are the ones who will suffer from its results. Instead of the stakeholders of health care reform (i.e., patients and providers) being involved, it is the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical drug cartel providing the input. The health of the insurance companies is the primary debate at this writing. We have people who have never provided or performed health care in their lives and who will enjoy unlimited health care for life (politicians – our ruling class) who are deciding how health care is going to be rationed to the rest of us. This is scary.
This is not about health care; it is about gaining control over you and your life. It is about managing “human resources” for the good of the State. It is about securing the cash flow for insurance companies and the pharmaceutical cartel. I have been concerned about who is representing the alternative providers in this debate. It doesn’t matter. Even the allopaths are complaining about being locked out of the debate. Our president told the AMA to basically shut up and accept what’s coming during a speech to them in Chicago. If the AMA can’t get in the room, we probably can’t get in the building. It is all about power and money for the politicians. Who gives them the most contributions? Insurance companies and the drug cartel by far. Providers and patients just don’t give enough to the politicians to be worth including. Hopefully once the framework is passed, we can influence the rule-making process. Time will tell.
This is how it will be until we have term limits and get rid of the ruling class that lives very well off of us. Sadly, they will never impose term limits on themselves. Our only hope is to vote out every incumbent, regardless of party, at every election until the ruling class is gone. Not until working citizens are elected for one term only and then have to go back and make a living under the laws they pass will we have a Democratic Republic again.
Understand that the current health care debate is not about health care at all. Nothing proposed will significantly change the immoral system we have at this time. Who has the most power and who gets the cash flow is all that will be changed. That is what is being fought over; control of money and power over your health and wealth. The government that controls the health of its people, controls its people. The laws being passed lately are all about controlling the population’s health care. For those of you who think you want and deserve free health care, wait until you see how much “free” costs in both dollars and freedom lost.
The problem is, we do not have a health care system. We have a sickness care system. The only way the current system makes any money is if people are sick or injured. To survive, the system is dependent on there being more and more sick and injured people. There is no money to be made on healthy people. Put your emotions aside and think about this: where is the financial incentive to get and keep people well in the current system? There is none! This is why they still put mercury in teeth and administer vaccines. This is why they have spent millions to discredit chiropractic. This is why they distort nutritional information and keep people confused about diet and exercise. This is why they dilute organic standards, force irradiated and other “Frankenfoods” with little or no labeling into stores, and try to suppress supplements, herbs, homeopathy and alternative providers. This is why they fight alternative providers getting licensure and decent scope of practices. None of this is by accident. The good of the patient is the least concern of the system, only what is good for the medical-pharmaceutical-government cartel matters. Mass wellness would be a disaster to the sickness care system and worse, healthy people are not nearly as dependent on politicians. It is not a huge conspiracy. It is the multiple facets of “the system” acting in its own self-interest. It conveniently comes together to create more sick and injured people. None of the above improves people’s health. They each prevent or destroy health. A sickness care system is immoral and exploits the poorest among us the most, as they cannot step out of it and turn to alternative wellness therapies.
True Health Care
If we really want to reform health care, how about we throw the entire system out and start over with a true health care system? One that puts the incentives on getting and keeping people well. Such a system would place massage therapy and other alternative/wellness providers at the top of the system, along with true education, starting in elementary school, about posture, movement, diet, exercise and stretching. An attitude of wellness awareness and responsibility for one’s health must be fostered from childhood. Health care is not a right; it is a responsibility.
Of course the allopaths would continue to handle the inevitable crisis management, especially during the transition, but under a paradigm of wellness and healing, not symptom suppression. As long as we have a system that justifies human suffering in the name of profit, our health and our wealth will continue to deteriorate, individually and as a nation. Sadly, nothing but forced term limits from the voters can bring this change about, other than a spiritual and moral awakening.
See you in November for turkey and Thanksgiving!
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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