resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Obesity and Childbirth
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
It's a sad fact that Americans are growing fatter every year as obesity rates are increasing faster than originally estimated. I am not referring to a few extra pounds or the pleasantly plump silhouette, but rather the serious health risks involved in carrying excessive weight.More than one in four Americans (72.5 million) were obese in 2009 and nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) reported 30 percent of their population was obese in 2009. In 2007, there were only three states that made that unfortunate claim. The highest rate was 34.4 percent in Mississippi. (Only Colorado and Washington, D.C. had obesity rates under 20 percent.)
The medical costs of obesity are estimated to be $150 billion a year. Obese people are more likely to die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer than thinner people. The American Institute for Cancer Research projects there will be more than 103,000 cases of cancer caused by obesity in 2010. Forty-nine percent are expected to be endometrial cancer, 35 percent esophageal cancer, and 28 percent will develop pancreatic cancer. Nearly 112,000 deaths are caused by the complications of obesity every year.
The reason is simple enough: not enough exercise and too much of the wrong kinds of food. This epidemic is affecting our children too: one out of three children in the United States is now overweight or obese. This puts them at a higher risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer during their lifetimes. One-third of children born at the beginning of this millennium are expected to develop diabetes and the current generation is expected to have a shorter life span than their parents due to obesity rates. In addition, girls as young as seven or eight are developing breasts and reaching puberty much earlier, in part due to increasing rates of childhood obesity. I wrote for a PBS-TV show years back, and we did a segment on childhood obesity. I learned that for most six year olds in this country, the only 'vegetables' they ate were French fries.
And for pregnant women who are overweight or obese, the risks to them and their babies are of great concern. Obesity contributes to the increase in Cesarean section, more birth defects, and more maternal and neonatal deaths. Cesarean section rates increase tremendously the fatter the woman is. The National Institutes of Health reports that women with a 30-35 body mass index (with 20 BMI being the equivalent of a woman 5'6" weighing 124 lbs) have 25 percent more C-sections on average, 35-40 BMI equates to a 33 percent increase in C-sections, and over 40 BMI results in a 43 percent increase in surgical deliveries. (Body mass index is a calculation of body fat based upon an adult's height and weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 percent is considered underweight; 18.5-24.9 percent is considered average; 25-29.9 percent is considered overweight; an index of 30 percent or more is considered obese.)
In addition, obese women have few choices where or how to have their babies. For most, natural childbirth is not an option. Their heightened risk factors disqualify them from having home births or opting to have their babies in birthing centers. So a hospital birth is their only option. Hospitals have also had to adapt to the increase in maternal weight by purchasing longer surgical instruments, larger beds and gurneys, and increasingly more sophisticated fetal testing machines.
The birth experience for many of these women (and their babies) is far from ideal. Local anesthesia is difficult to administer because the additional bulk makes it nearly impossible to feel the spine and find the right place for an epidural, so general anesthesia has to be given. Doctors also find themselves in awkward, uncomfortable positions since they often have to stand on stools or platforms to reach over the patient's abdomen.
And the babies don't fare well. Babies of obese mothers are almost three times likely to die within the first month and obese women are almost twice as likely to have a stillbirth, which is the death of the baby after 20 weeks gestation. In New York State, between 2003-2005, 2 out of 3 maternal deaths were attributed to obesity.
Within New York City, a consortium of hospitals is considering creating specialized centers just for obese maternity cases. The maternity care the patients would receive would also include nutritional counseling and weight loss programs and would be staffed with sufficient medical personnel to handle emergency C-sections and intensive neonatal care. The cost of caring for these women and their babies can reach more than $200,000 as compared with $13,000 for a normal delivery.
From a massage point of view, these women are considered high risk for pregnancy and labor complications. And if they already have diabetes, signs of hypertension or blood clots, excessive swelling, thrombophlebitis, or cardiovascular disease, massage may have to be ruled out entirely.
Although the costs of obesity and its sequelae are staggering and add an unnecessary burden to health care costs, the bottom line isn't the bottom line. And it certainly isn't about fat-bashing. It's the health and survival of these women and their children that has to be of paramount concern. Making smart food choices and learning to eat nutritionally sound meals are small prices to pay for a long, happy, and healthy life with your child.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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