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Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
CRREW Rallies for Ongoing Acupuncture Relief Effort in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made her way through the Philippine Islands, leaving in her wake at least 7,000 people dead, millions homeless and complete communities destroyed.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Deciphering the New CMS-1500 Claim Form
Q: I am confused about how and when to use the new 1500 form, particularly block 14 and block 15. What is required and how do I properly fill out these fields? And do I actually have to use this new form or may I continue using the old version?
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
"Doctor ... Always Do the Right Thing"
So says "Da Mayor" in the iconic Spike Lee movie. As a fresh grad questioning in-network versus out-of-network, it struck me that some doctors have explicitly skirted the issue, while others have argued adamantly for the latter and "sticking it to the man."
Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I always felt that the case of Meador v Stahler and Gheridian would have made a terrific case for the award-winning television show "Boston Legal." I could just picture Alan Shore (brilliantly portrayed by James Spader) eloquently and passionately representing his client while educating the rest of us about our legal rights as patients.
Not familiar with this case? Let me explain. In 2005, a Massachusetts woman, Mary Meador, sued and won a $1.5 million award against her obstetricians for performing a C-section she made clear she didn't want. She didn't claim that the procedure was negligently performed or that her postsurgical complications (which left her bedridden and unable to work for a number of years) were foreseeable. The merits of her claim were that the doctors had misrepresented the risks and dangers of her birth choice -- a vaginal birth after a prior C-section (VBAC) -- and that they ignored her repeated pleas and requests for a vaginal birth.
The doctors were brought up on charges that they failed to obtain Meador's informed consent, which constituted substandard, negligent medical care. The forensic psychiatrist who testified at the trial established a link between the lack of informed consent and the physical and emotional toll it took on the patient and her family by forcing her to undergo a procedure she did not want and did not medically need.
When it comes to labor and childbirth, a woman's emotional vulnerability and physical discomfort makes it difficult for her to stand up for her rights. She needs to focus on her labor and not be engaged in an argument about what she is entitled to. According to the Childbirth Connection's "Rights of Childbearing Women" brochure2 (www.childbirthconnection.org), "Every woman has a right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests, and treatments and to have her choices honored." (For a free copy of this important pamphlet, send a SASE to Childbirth Connection, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 10010.)
Fifteen years before the Meador case, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) as an amendment to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. It became effective in December 1991. Basically, the PSDA requires that Medicare and Medicaid providers (hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, home health agencies, and HMOs) give competent adult individuals, at the time they are admitted or enrolled in the program, information about their rights under state laws governing advance directives. These rights include:
The PSDA also prohibits institutions from discriminating against a patient who does not have an advance directive or a plan of care.
All hospitals that receive federal funding (nearly 80 percent of hospitals in the United States) must conform to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoP) which requires that hospitals honor patient rights as expressed by the PSDA, the Consumer Bill of Rights and the EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Advanced Labor Act) law to be fully informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives of any proposed treatment and to participate in all treatment decisions. Hospitals that fail to uphold this practice run the risk of receiving stiff fines and/or losing their right to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid funding.
In New York, we have the Public Health Law, Section 2503, passed in 1978 (see my March 2006 column "The Truth About Pitocin" ), that requires all doctors and midwives to fully disclose and require informed consent from laboring women, regarding the use of all drugs during labor and delivery. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO) accredits 80 to 85 percent of American hospitals, and one of their standards for accreditation is patient rights. Complaints about patient rights violations can be made to them at www.jacho.org or (630)792-5800.
In my May 2005 column "'V-Back' to the Dark Ages," I addressed the political environment surrounding VBACs and the increased medical denial of this choice, so I am not going to go into the benefits and risks of VBAC again. Instead, I want readers to know that we and our clients have choices and responsibilities when it comes to our health care. Informed consent can only be provided if the patient is truly informed, and by regularly conceding this right to our care providers, it proves how rare and improbable this practice is. The onus of education, the burden of learning the facts, options, alternatives and side effects of procedures and drugs must be the responsibility of the patient. That is the only way, regrettably, that the patient will learn all the facts. Patients don't have to be powerless about their rights.
This is neither a war against individual doctors, or hospitals and their care, nor a diatribe against the medical community at large. It is a wake-up call to those patients who have remained passive about their own health decisions for too long and who have merely accepted the choices that are made for them by others. Only when patients and their care providers can openly discuss, debate and compare options based on shared evidence-based information can we really have a partnership, a team, dedicated to a person's total health care. Alan Shore would have fought -- and won -- for these rights. We can too.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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