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News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
February, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 02
The Heart of the Matter
By Rita Woods, LMT
February is famous for matters of the heart, and I couldn't think of a more appropriate time to share some interesting information with you. The heart is viewed in a variety of ways; from a muscle that pumps blood, to the seat of the soul and the emotional center of our being.In reality, it probably fills all of those job descriptions, but there are some fascinating facts about the heart that I feel are especially important to us as massage therapists and healers. The premise of this article is that the heart regulates far more activity in the body than previously believed, and there is a continuous two-way dialog between the brain and the heart that allows each to influence the other. The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system); biophysical communication (pulse wave); biochemical communication (hormones); and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields) .
The body always is adjusting to maintain homeostasis. One term used to describe the synchronization and balance within the central nervous system is coherence. Simplified, it means that the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the central nervous systems are working together in a healthy and balanced way.
The Institute of HeartMath (IHM) measures cardiac or heart rhythm coherence by looking at heart rate variability (HRV). This includes shifts and changes that happen between heart beats that help regulate the body. Stress can offset this balance quickly and drastically. When stressed, your body can soon feel like it's driving with one foot on the gas pedal and the other foot on the brake. When this happens, it is no longer coherent. Anger, worry, fear and anxiety are all emotions that contribute to the production of stress chemicals that degrade and break down healthy tissue and interrupt psychological wellness. On the other hand, positive emotions such as gratitude, love, peace and contentment contribute to the production of life-building chemistry and promote a sense of well being.
You heart has the ability to both send and receive information. This is the part that gets really interesting for us as healers. The heart's electromagnetic field, by far the most powerful rhythmic field produced by the human body, not only envelops every cell of the body, but also extends out in all directions into the space around us. The cardiac field actually can be measured several feet away from the body. The brains waves naturally want to synchronize to the heart so various emotional states will affect brain patterns and processing. The brain-heart patterns are more synchronized during states of positive psychological and physiological coherence. As individuals learn to sustain a heart-focused, positive emotional state, their brain can be brought into entrainment with their heart.
As individuals increase their psycho-physiological coherence, they appear to be more sensitive to the subtle energies and electromagnetic fields generated by others. This unseen exchange of information between people occurs every time they interact and is influenced by their emotions. Think of the implications of this information. Not only does your emotional state affect your own brain and all of your bodily functions, it also affects those whom you touch and are in close proximity to. You are a walking, talking beacon of energy that influences all with whom you come in contact. There are many healing modalities that use some form of energy. Understanding that we can and do influence others with our own energy field can be a valuable asset in learning to use new healing techniques.
I encourage you to visit the Institute of HeartMath Web site (www.heartmath.org/research), look at its research and read "Science of the Heart." The Institute has been instrumental in providing clinical data on heart-based living. They published the following report: The electricity of touch: detection and measurement of cardiac energy exchange between people, by McCraty, et al.
This report states, "When people touch or are in proximity, one person's heartbeat signal is registered in the other person's brainwaves. ... The fact that the heart generates the strongest electromagnetic field produced by the body, coupled with our findings that this field becomes measurably more coherent as the individual shifts to a sincerely loving or caring state, prompted us to investigate the possibility that the field generated by the heart may significantly contribute to this energy exchange. Signal averaging techniques were used to show that one person's electrocardiogram (ECG) signal is registered in another's electroencephalogram (EEG) and elsewhere on the other person's body.
"While this signal is strongest when people are in contact, it is still detectable when subjects are in proximity without contact. Evidence that the cardiac field changes as different emotions are experienced, combined with this study's finding that this field is registered physiologically by those around us, provides the foundation of one possible mechanism to describe the impact of our emotions on others at a basic physiological level. One implication is that the effects of therapeutic techniques involving contact or proximity between practitioner and patient could be amplified by practitioners consciously adopting a sincere, caring attitude, and thus increasing coherence in their cardiac field."
I am reminded of a quote I heard years ago: "People don't remember what you say. They remember how you made them feel." And with that perspective on healing, I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.
Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.
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