resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10
Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
This brief review of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) management suggests that there are possible biomechanical, behavioural, as well as dietary strategies, that can commonly be helpful. IBS has been defined as abdominal pain, experienced more than once a month, associated with bloating and altered bowel habits.(Moore & Kennedy 2000) By definition, IBS is functional, that is, there is no infection or pathology associated with it. (Abrams et al 2002) It is more common in women than men, and is often associated with other chronic pelvic pain (CPP) symptoms. When IBS is chronic, core muscles (e.g. pelvic muscles) may become hyperalgesic with multiple trigger points. (Fall et al 2010)
Tak & Rosmalan (2010) discuss the role of the body's "stress responsive systems" in what has been termed functional somatic syndromes, such as IBS, as involving a "multifactorial interplay between psychological, biological, and social factors." Therefore, there is a need to move beyond a search for single causes of most conditions such as IBS, since, like many other complex and difficult-to-treat conditions, they commonly have multi-factorial aetiological features - possibly interacting with predispositions and altered stress-coping functions.
Beales (2004) has described a scenario that highlights multiple contributory factors to functional somatic syndromes: "Too much sustained, [stress] leads to the loss of internal balance, and results in reduced performance and a mind-body system in overdrive. In this state, the metabolism is struggling and cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are often raised, resulting in ill health ... for instance, sufferers from irritable bowel syndrome may also commonly experience back pain, fatigue and loss of libido. Negative emotions, such as frustration and despair, can trigger exhaustion, which in turn can trigger breathing pattern disorders, as a consequence of the perceived threat to survival eliciting fight, flight or freeze reactions."
Massage offers a highly suitable stress modulating approach. (Moraska et al 2008)
Overbreathing & Colon Constriction
Ford et al (1995) have reported on the high incidence of increased colonic tone and dysfunction in hyperventilating individuals. Hypocapnic hyperventilation (low CO2 blood levels) produces an increase in colonic tone, and phasic contractility in the transverse and sigmoid regions. These findings are consistent with either inhibition of sympathetic innervation to the colon, or the direct effects of over-breathing on colonic smooth muscle contractility, or both.(Chaitow 2007)
Prather et al (2009) expand on these relationships, in review of the anatomy, evaluation, and treatment of musculoskeletal pelvic floor muscle (PFM) pain in women.
They note that persistent muscle contraction of the pelvic floor, related to noxious visceral stimulation, such as that deriving from endometriosis or irritable bowel syndrome, can lead to splinting and pain, with reduction of normal PFM function. Specifically, they report that viscerosomatic reflex activity may be responsible for increased resting tone of the pelvic floor with reduced ability to fully relax the muscle group as a whole. As a result, they suggest, adaptation occurs via recruitment of global muscles in the region (e.g. psoas and iliacus) leading to symptoms such as posterior pelvic and low back pain. Prather et al also point out that: "Proper breathing techniques, while performing exercises and activities, are essential for pelvic floor relaxation ... pelvic floor contraction during exhalation allows for synergy between the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms."
This is also a key to assisting IBS dysfunction.
In a comprehensive review of the subject Heizer et al (2009) suggest that dietary changes are worth attempting in an effort to relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. It is recommended that dietary restrictions should be introduced one at a time, beginning with any food or food group that appears to cause symptoms based on a careful patient history or review of a patient's food diary. The most effective duration for dietary trials has not been well studied, however 2 to 3 weeks is commonly suggested. A modified exclusion diet, followed by stepwise reintroduction of foods is likely to be more effective in finding problem foods, but it is more time-consuming.
General dietary recommendations for patients with IBS, based on clinical experience and anecdotal reports (Heizer et al 2009) include:
Research suggests that use of peppermint oil, particularly in cases of relatively mild IBS is likely to be of benefit in symptomatic treatment of IBS. (Capello et al 2007)
While some studies have shown potential benefit for use of turmeric (curcumin) in treatment of IBS (a member of the ginger family of plants), no placebo-controlled studies have been conducted. (Heizer et al 2009)
The conclusion of a review of the evidence for use of probiotics in both IBS and inflammatory bowel disease are cautiously positive.(Iannitti & Palmieri 2010) Two meta-analyses (Nifkar et al 2008, McFarland & Dublin 2008)) and two comprehensive narrative reviews (Wilhelm et al 2008, Spiller 2008) on the use of probiotics in the treatment of IBS. All concluded that probiotics may be useful but there are many variables affecting the results such as the type, dose, and formulation of bacteria comprising the probiotic preparation, the outcome measured, as well as size and characteristics of the IBS population studied.
IBS is common. Patients with this condition may respond well to stress reduction, better breathing patterns, biomechanical normalisation (pelvic structures) and trigger point deactivation. For more on the topic of pelvic pain in general, enhanced breathing strategies, and manual therapy, go to: www.leonchaitow.com, or blog: http://chaitowschat-leon.blogspot.com.
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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