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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.
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...
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
November, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 11
Essential Oil Quality and Education
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
It is important to understand that since there is no regulation on essential oil production and sale in the U.S. and in many other countries, the buyer must find ways to assure to the best of their ability that the essences purchased are of good quality.And because this is important, there are also many claims made by certain companies that suggest exclusivity on quality which include misleading information about regulation. We'll examine some of those claims and discuss the best way to resource quality essential oils.
Claims and Misleading Information
The first "red flag" claim currently in use is the phrase "Therapeutic Grade". This idea is going to appeal very strongly to those in healing professions like massage. And, of course, it is best to work with essences that are of a high quality to get the effects desired. However, there is no grade system in the aromatherapy industry. An essential oil is either a pure product extracted from a plant in a traditional way ... or not. As leading aromatherapy experts point out, why would anyone want to purchase something that wasn't of high quality? Would there be a market for essential oils labeled grade B, C or D if that product actually existed?
It is true that essences grown in certain countries are considered more desirable. For example, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) can be grown in many places but the oils from France, Bulgaria and England are preferred and lavender grown in high altitudes gives its enhanced chemistry created by growing conditions and lower temperatures used in distillation a "preferred" nod. Also, unlike most essential oils, ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) can be purchased in four different qualities due to the distillation process itself, which pulls the oil at different stages. The first pull is called "extra" and has the most potent and pleasurable fragrance. Next is ylang-ylang I, which is slightly less expensive than the first pull but is still desirable for fragrance and properties. The two other distillation pulls, II and III, have had more heat exposure, are much less expensive, have a less impressive aroma and are used mainly to fragrance laundry powder and other cosmetic and cleaning products.
However, these two examples do not suggest there is a Therapeutic Grade in the aromatherapy industry. All of the lavenders and ylang-ylangs are either pure essential oil or they are not. The term "Therapeutic Grade" is a marketing term and nothing more. One company has advertising that includes the phrase "Certified Therapeutic Grade" but investigation reveals that is a trademarked logo. The Federal Trademark agency is not interested in the truth of the statement. One possibility that exists if the price of an essential oil is a lot higher than the average for the same product and there are exclusive and "Therapeutic Grade" claims for the essences, is that the claims are an attempt to justify the higher cost.
Another group of claims to watch out for is that the oils meet standards set by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or AFNOR (Association francaise de normalisation) or the idea that the essence contains the sanction of being designated GRAS ("Generally Recognized As Safe") by the FDA. The details to clarify this would require more space than the Aromatic Message column can contain, but I will be happy to send that information to anyone who wishes to contact me.
The use of the gas chromatography mass spectrographic analysis (GC/MS) and the component profile it provides is employed by many companies to test for purity. It is reassuring to know that a supplier is taking the time and spending the money to have this testing done. However, it is helpful when the provider has the test done by an outside company and is willing to provide the result sheets for each essential oil. Still, because this is a test that depends on the skill, experience and knowledge of the individual who does the analysis, we should not rely on this to exclusion of the personal olfactory experience and knowledge of the intent and reputation of the company.
Guidelines for Good Quality
So then, how can one pick a company to resource essential oils? The following are some suggested guidelines to find a company providing good quality:
Despite the issues around finding good quality essential oils, I am happy to say that the industry contains many good companies sourcing their product from reputable growers and distillers. Some are even concerned with sustainability, some with sourcing organic oils. It may take some time, certainly helped along by having a quality education with a registered aromatherapist who is not motivated by selling their own oils, to find the company that will work best for personal and practice needs. It is time well spent.
Along with taking a course with a qualified and objective professional aromatherapist, becoming a member of an organization such as NAHA (www.naha.org) gives access to e-journals, e-newsletters, tele-seminars with a large number of reputable authorities in the field. Advertisers, authors and speakers are in alignment with quality standards. This access broadens both perspectives and resources and helps create the confidence needed to use this wonderful art and science in a safe and effective way.
Editor's note: Shellie is currently creating a Professional Aromatherapy online training that will qualify the student for Professional Membership in NAHA and to meet the requirements of the Aromatherapy Registration Council and their exam leading to the title, Registered Aromatherapist. Please contact Shellie for details.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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