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Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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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