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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
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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