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How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
March, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 03
The Corruptibility of Facts
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had an interesting prediction where secondary knowledge, which is what we learn from books, the media, what we are told and taught, would replace experience as our basis for judgment.It appears his prediction has come true. Today, most people's opinions and beliefs come from what they are told (in some form), not what they have experienced first hand. Most people act on theoretical knowledge instead of their first-hand experience.
For example, we constantly experience that politicians cannot be trusted to do what they say they are going to do during the campaign. Yet election after election, we vote for candidates whose speeches and writings make us feel good or support the beliefs we have about some aspect of society, regardless of the politicians past actions and record. We vote for the candidate who promises the most from the government trough, find ourselves feeling let down post-election, but repeat the pattern.
When the secondary information we have accumulated contradicts our personal experience, we have been trained to ignore our experience. We decide we must not have complete knowledge of the subject so we should believe what we have been told or we think that our experience must not be typical. For example, the vast majority of people surveyed in the U.S. were very happy with their health care, yet they believed the system was failing most people. A total disconnect.
Sadly, we do not use our experience to judge the validity of facts and figures, which can be rigged to "prove" pretty much anything. Instead, we judge the validity of our own experience by them. It is easy to manufacture information. Research is a classic example of this. Anything can be proven with a research study or a poll. It just takes manipulation of the variables, asking the "right" questions the "right way," or omitting a few things. We all know that some people will do virtually anything to have their way. Yet most of us never make the connection between the corruptibility of man and the corruptibility of facts. It is frightening how well we have been conditioned to accept secondary knowledge unquestioningly. It is how we are controlled and manipulated to do things that are against our own best interests.
Remember, the art of politics is to get people to do what is against their own best interests. Good propaganda is 80 percent truth and only 20 percent lie, thus it is plausible, yet misleading and deceiving. Propaganda (partial truth) is bombarding each of us everyday. We all need to apply more discernment and have more confidence in our "gut" feelings. The massage profession is not isolated from the corruptibility of facts. Our associations tell us how good it is for us to accept and support laws that take away our scope of practice and saddle us with ridiculous, insulting taxes like establishment permits and background checks.
This is not to say we should not learn or trust secondary knowledge at all. Research can be valuable and accurate. We have to learn from books and teachers, as there is not time to learn everything by experiencing it. Unfortunately we live in a very corrupt society that justifies human suffering in the name of profit or power. Whenever either is involved in something, be very wary and skeptical. (Adapted from an article by Michael Masterson.)
A Moment of Opportunity
In 2000, MDs in Israel went on strike. The death rate dropped so dramatically that funeral directors protested the strike. Emergency care and other vital services were maintained during the strike. There were just less visits to outpatient facilities, no elective surgeries and fewer prescriptions written. A similar trend happened quite some time ago in California when doctors went on strike. There has never been another doctor strike in the U.S.
Joseph Mercola, DO, puts it very well in an article he wrote, stating, "There is no question that traditional approaches for acute traumas (heart attack, stroke, accidents, etc.) are valuable and should not be abandoned. However, overall, when drugs and surgery are used to address chronic illness, it is generally a prescription for disaster."
Hospitals and doctors are invaluable for traumatic injuries. But when it comes to maintaining robust health and preventing illness, healthy living and personal responsibility is the key. Both secondary and experiential knowledge demonstrate this to most people. Yet we continue to allow allopathic medicine to dominate our health care system.
The massage profession could be a bright light for the public. We are the perfect profession to demonstrate and teach healthy living and personal responsibility for one's health. This would, of course, include providing the number one wellness modality - massage.
Sadly, we are groveling at the feet of the medical profession and politicians, hoping to be integrated into their sickness paradigm. This is like trying to mix water and oil. Massage is missing its greatest opportunity for success by having a minimal entry-level education requirement, reducing itself to barely a trade, where we are is the ideal profit point for schools and associations, not for therapists and the public good. Massage and health are not equated. Generally, we provide only massage, not health care. That is not to say we should be treating disease or trauma. However, we should be trained in health, not just massage, and our practices should include a broader range of services, education and products that support people in achieving high-level wellness. Of course, we have to live it to promote it, and that is difficult to do as a profession when most therapists are unaware of the concepts of health, wellness and nature cure. There is so much potential for our profession to grow into this field and the new government-run, rationed-care system will create a huge demand for alternatives, assuming it does not outlaw them. Will we rise to this challenge or succumb to the allopathic monopoly?
May the awakening energy of spring and March Madness enliven your days. See you here in May with an interesting personal experience.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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