resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.