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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
November, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 11
To Supplement Or Not; That Is the Question
By Teresa M. Matthews, LMT, CPT
In my role as a personal trainer and long-time competitive athlete, I have often been asked about dietary supplements: "which ones should I take; how much, and for how long?" Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.Like all else health and wellness related, it will be a matter of meeting specific, individualized needs in the present circumstances.
First, let's keep in mind the term "supplements". The understanding should be that the product, whether vitamin, mineral, herbal extract, essential amino compound, enzyme or any other, would be taken to supplement some vital nutritional resource which may be missing from our regular diet. The FDA considers supplements to be food and not drugs. Each must be labeled as such and have a "Supplement Facts" panel. Doctors may prescribe supplements and in such cases, they are regulated as drugs. As always, if you have a particular concern, do not hesitate to contact another health care professional such as a registered dietician or other prescriber.
So, the place to start to decide whether or not to supplement begins with assessing our food choices. My favorite resource for all things nutritional is still www.MyPyramid.gov. Click on the navigation bar on the far left side at the link titled "Dietary Guidelines" and you'll find the best description of what current science holds as a healthy diet. Keep in mind: this is NOT a therapeutic diet to address any particular challenge or goal but a good baseline to help with nutritional decisions. In the descriptions of the fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and other groups and items are observations about how good a source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients these foods may be. If there are foods you cannot or do not include in your regimen which do provide these essential nutrients, you may choose to supplement.
During my childhood, and perhaps well before, parents were advised to feed their children a daily multi-vitamin. Most of these also contained an essential mineral compound and most were delivered orally, sometimes disguised as a cartoon character or popular candy. In cases where the child's diet did not reflect the ideal choices for delivering vital nutrition, at least most of what were once called "Minimum Daily Requirements" was met. This "healthy habit" is one which may have stayed with some of us, even to this day. If so, when was the last time you read the "supplement facts" on the container? Are you getting as much as you need of what your diet may lack or taking too much of what you don't need, at all?
Consider this; in the case of water-soluble vitamins (B's and C), your body will make immediate use of what it needs and excrete the rest, resulting in an enriched toilet bowl. With fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) your body will store what it cannot use immediately and those levels could, conceivably, escalate to become toxic. With minerals, some work well alone but others are only effective in the presence of a synergist. In the case of some herbal supplements, enough research may not exist to verify or dispute certain claims of efficacy for one condition or another. With amino acids and enzymes, supplementation without the benefit of detailed blood-work analysis may be, at best, a guessing game.
Where Does All This Leave Us?
Americans are eating their way to an early grave. The key is to know what foods to eat, which foods to eat in moderation, and which foods to avoid. There are many causes for unhealthy eating habits. But, we have many resources available to us where we can learn of the healthier choices. Use the Internet (MyPyramid.gov is a great start), library, book stores, or health care provider to gather information for your personal individualized dietary needs.
Let's not forget about water. Water is the most important nutrient for our bodies. It is involved in every bodily function. Some people never drink water. People who have joint pain may think they are Advil deficient. It could possibly be their body is just crying out for H2O.
By eating a variety of nutritious foods, you will likely get the adequate amounts of essential nutrients. If not, supplements might meet the need. However, there are no magic pills; taking supplements should never take the place of foods that are important to a healthy diet. Stay healthy.
Teresa M. Matthews, fitness expert and world champion athlete, has 30 years experience in the fitness industry. She is the president and founder of Health, Wellness & Fitness Professionals, Inc. and is the owner of Arlington School of Massage and Personal Training in Jacksonville, Fla. She is a sports massage instructor for the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and was awarded the FSMTA 2009 Sports Massage Therapist of the Year award. Teresa travels the country teaching self care and wellness classes. Contact her by e-mail at
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