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A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
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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