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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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Endangered Plants: A Matter of Ethics and the Buyer Beware
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
In The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, by Salvatore Battaglia, membership in a professional organization is listed as an essential part of being an aromatherapist. I highly suggest this type of membership to my professional-level students.In Level II, they are required to prepare a written report about an article that appears in an aromatherapy publication. My reason goes further than having a credential to list on a business card or getting some interesting information from a one-time glance at a magazine. The truth is, no matter how wonderful a book might be, it contains only the information between its covers. The best way to stay in touch with what is happening in the field and find out about current research or important issues is to belong to an organization that provides this kind of up-to-the-minute information through journals, newsletters and teleconferences.
If I weren't a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, it could have taken me a very long time to find out about the endangered plant situation and how that is affecting essential oils. Even if I did hear about it, I might have been relying on someone who sells essential oils for their take on it and they would be relying on their suppliers in countries they might never have visited to give them the true picture. As with most things, the most objective viewpoint will come from those with no vested interest.
The issue of how to find good sources for quality, unadulterated essential oils in general, when there is no government legislation, has been discussed in earlier columns. However, I have the unhappy duty to tell you that, at this time, two of the favorite essential oils for both the aromatherapy and the perfume industry are endangered. They are frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and sandalwood (Santalum album).
For an aromatherapist, this amounts to a tragedy. It is their very popularity, their incomparable and irreplaceable properties on all levels and their historic application to the spiritual area that has caused overharvesting and exploitation to the point of extinction. Other endangered plants include rosewood (Aniba roseodora) and agarwood/aloewood (Aqullaria malaccensis). These latter essences are less widely known than frankincense or sandalwood, although rosewood is used in perfume, cosmetic and fragrance products and aromatherapy, while agarwood is one of the main essences in the Ayurvedic energetic healing tradition. Sandalwood, rosewood and agarwood trees must be felled to extract essential oil from the heartwood. Frankincense is a resin expressed by the tree, but overharvesting weakens the tree and causes disease and death.
What this means to the massage therapist is that the likelihood of finding unadulterated essential oils for any of these wonderful aromatic compounds is slim to none. The price will be high. The ethics of supporting unsustainable harvesting methods and even, in the case of agarwood, an illegal trade that resembles drug or gun running (complete with cutthroat gangs and prostitutes) is something we must each address as individuals. Suppliers may tell the well-intended wholesale commercial buyer that the oils are being sustainably grown, but without a visit to the actual place of harvest and distillation, these claims are hard to prove. Some propose that the essential oil of a similar plant, such as Australian sandalwood, or even the same plant grown in a different locale, can be substituted, but those with training know that different botanical varieties and different growing conditions produce oils that differ significantly from the original species.
Yes, you will still find frankincense and sandalwood for sale and even by suppliers who mean well but might not have the full information themselves. If the supplier claims sustainable harvest, the buyer must be the judge on whether this is true. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy does not promote or endorse the sale, purchase or use of endangered essential oils. This is a tough stance to take, but in the interests of education, integrity and a love for the plants themselves, it is the only one acceptable. So be aware when searching for essential oils and stay informed by joining a professional aromatherapy association. Another resource for information about what is happening in the world of plants is www.cropwatch.org, which has a free e-mail newsletter.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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