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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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
The New York Times recently cited a 2008 report which showed that birth rates for women over 40 years of age rose 4 percent over the previous year and a 2009 survey indicated that 14 percent of people in their prime childbearing years decided to delay becoming pregnant due to the economic recession. For some of these women, this decision may have dire consequences on future pregnancies.
For nearly 1 in 1,000 women (1 percent to 4 percent, or 250,000 to 1 million) between ages 15-29 years old who delay pregnancy, it may already be too late. These women may have a condition called premature ovarian failure (POF). It is also referred to as primary ovarian insufficiency, premature menopause, or hypergonadotropic amenorrhea.
When girls are born, we generally have enough eggs in our ovaries to menstruate monthly from puberty until the supply is depleted and menopause ensues. But in women with POF, there either aren't enough eggs at birth or there is something genetically wrong or dysfunctional with the ones they have. (There is also a possibility of surgical intervention, such as removal of the ovaries, and radiation or chemotherapy that can bring on early menopause.)
When this occurs at an early age, it is considered a natural, yet premature menopause and the symptoms are the same as in older women: cessation of menstruation, hot flashes, night sweats, decrease in breast size (or lack of breast development in puberty), vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of energy, dry eyes, low sex drive, painful sex, bladder control problems, and insomnia. While these symptoms usually accompany POF, some women with the condition have periods and hot flashes, or no periods and no other symptoms.
A simple blood test to check the levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) can indicate the presence of POF. High levels of FSH usually confirm the diagnosis. However, that same blood sample can be used to test for other genetic causes of POF, and these should not be overlooked. A positive result for any genetic causes may have a significant effect on the carrier's long-term health, if not her immediate fertility.
Genetic or chromosomal causes of POF may include: Turner syndrome (the absence of two functioning X chromosomes affecting 1 in 2,500 women), Swyer syndrome (a condition also called XY gonadal dysgenesis or the lack of functioning gonads), Androgen Insensitivity syndrome, or premutation of Fragile X (the most common inherited cause of cognitive impairment, global developmental delays, seizure disorders, carried by 1 in 259 women worldwide [and 1 in 800 men]. Approximately 20 percent of women who carry the defective gene have POF).
There may be a family history of early menopause or some enzymatic or metabolic defects such as galactosemia (when the body is unable to metabolize galactose), thalassemia major (an inherited blood disorder where the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin), or hemochromatosis (wherein the body cannot break down iron and blood levels escalate).
Autoimmune diseases may also be causative for POF: thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, polyglandular failure I and II, diabetes, pernicious anemia, adrenal insufficiency, vitiligo, and lupus erythematosus.
But missing a period and its fertility sequelae are only part of the concern with POF. Women with POF are at higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. And of course, infertility, although 6 percent to 8 percent of women with POF can become pregnant.
The current medical treatment for POF is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The dose generally starts out low to give the woman's body a chance to acclimate itself. Then the dose is gradually increased to a level higher than menopausal women. Sometimes birth control pills are prescribed in lieu of hormone replacement therapy. About 1-2 months after the start of HRT, a menstrual cycle may begin, accompanied by increased breast size, cramps, and even PMS.
Acupuncture and massage can have palliative effects on the symptoms of POF, helping reduce the discomforts associated with this condition. Points that support the reproductive system and hormone production are very useful.
Having a baby is still not out of the question, however. IVF with donor eggs may work for some women, while adoption may be the better choice for others. And while there is no current cure, support groups can be a great help and benefit. With so many young women experiencing this dramatic change in their lives, it's wonderful to know you are not alone.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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