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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
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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