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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
September, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 09
What About My Feet?
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
During a recent session with a regular client of mine, we ended up having a conversation about feet. I cannot remember how the topic came up - maybe he was having particularly bad pain in his feet that day - but we ended up discussing what kind of shoes we wear the majority of the time.
The conversation made me realize that for as much time as I spend working peoples' feet, I have not yet written exclusively about feet and massage, or self-care of feet for practitioners.
Massage therapists are one of the groups of professionals who spend most of their time working on their feet; in addition to pulling, pushing, bending, leaning and lifting. We have a rather "physical" job, and after giving five to eight massages in one day, I know my feet have frequently felt the effects of this.
I can also admit I rarely do anything more than stretch my feet out and give myself a mini-pedicure before I go to bed. The following morning, my feet seem to recover, and I go about my day as usual. However, after the aforementioned conversation, I started discussing footwear and lower body pain with colleagues, and I decided this topic would be extremely useful to write about.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), almost 75 percent of people experience foot pain at some point in their lives, and only one out of every six sufferers seeks help from a podiatrist. Research from the APMA also demonstrates that those who spend four or more hours a day working on their feet suffer from chronic foot pain more than any other group of people. Even more important is the fact that nearly 78 percent of Americans suffer from foot pain because they are wearing ill-fitting shoes. So now I'm wondering, have I recently been properly fitted for shoes? In fact, have I ever been properly fitted for shoes? Since we fall into the category of people who stand for more than four hours a day while we work, it is crucial that we pay attention to our feet, and what we are putting on them. Here are some tips from the APMA on how to purchase shoes that will both fit you well and serve you well:
There is one category of shoes that is so controversial I feel like we need to address it all on its own: flip flops. Just mentioning them in front of physical therapists and orthopedic doctors elicits snarls and frowns. At first, I was amused by the reactionary tendencies these summer shoes evoked in the health care community. But after reading up on them, it is clear that frequent use of flip flops can cause long-term foot problems for people, such as tendonitis, blisters, plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles. The more immediate consequences of wearing flip flops in place of other shoes include cuts, bruises and injuries because they do not offer your feet good protection or support. Visit the APMA Web site for their recommendations on finding a good pair of flip flops for the summer. I stress this, because all current research says they should not be worn for work, and should not be worn on a daily basis.
Strength & Flexibility Exercises
Now that we've discussed footwear, I would like to share some stretches with you that I came across on Runner'sWorld.com. They focus on your foot, ankle, and lower leg, and if done daily, will increase your strength and flexibility, which can help prevent injury in the future.
The Monopoly Game: Put 10 small objects on the floor (i.e. marbles or Monopoly pieces) and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Do two sets of 10 with each foot. Compete with your spouse or kids to see who can do 10 in the fastest time.
The Drunk Flamingo: Standing on stable ground, balance on one foot with your eyes open. Once you can do that for one minute, try it with your eyes closed. Master that and then move to an unstable surface such as: a mini-trampoline, foam block, wobble board or Bosu trainer.
Toe Tug: Loop one end of an exercise band around a sturdy table leg or bedpost. Sit with your legs straight in front of you, and loop the other end around the top part of one foot. The band should be anchored straight in front of you, and it should be taut when your foot is pointed away from you. Pull your toes toward you, keeping your leg straight. Go as far as your ankle will let you. Release slowly, returning to the starting position. Do two sets of 20 on each leg.
Bent-Knee Wall Stretch: Runners often forget to stretch the soleus - a muscle deep in the calf that attaches to the Achilles. "Doing a calf stretch with a straight leg hits the gastrocnemius, but that's only half the battle," Schneider says. Here's how to target the soleus: Stand with your palms against a wall, one leg forward, one leg back. Lower into a "seated" position with legs bent. Lean into the wall until you feel it in your back calf. Hold 30 to 45 seconds then switch legs.
Negative Calf Raises: Stand on a step with your toes on the edge and your heels hanging off. Push up with both feet into a calf raise. Lift one leg off the step, and lower your other leg so that your heel drops below the step. Take at least 10 seconds to lower it all the way down - that's the eccentric part of the move and has been shown to help prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Plantar Stretch: Sit down barefoot and cross your right leg so that your ankle rests on your left thigh. Hold your toes and bend them back toward your shin, stretching the plantar fascia. A study showed that people suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77 percent chance of returning to full activity within three to six months after performing this stretch. Researchers suggest that you do the stretch 10 times at least three times a day (once or twice a day doesn't produce as strong of an effect).
I've always been selective when it comes to buying shoes, and after researching for this article, I am certainly happy for that trait. I am also looking forward to staying up on current research regarding footwear and foot health; I will continue to be careful before I stand on my own two feet!
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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