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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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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