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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09
Embracing the Future of Integrated Care
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
There is no shortage of complaints about the health care system, whether in this country or abroad. Unfortunately, we don't get as much press attention for those things that actually are innovative and working well.There is a movement afoot where practitioners are looking at ways to offer the most optimum means of treatment in a patient-centered healthcare approach. This method of integrated care is an exciting departure from what we have seen previously as the dominant model in our health care system.
While there are many situations in clinics where health professionals in different fields work together, as a general rule, our professions work and exist in separate silos. Each of our professions has a unique culture, literature, attitude, and perception. We tend to view the other professions through the lens of bias created by our own profession.
Yet, for any patient or client to derive the best care, in many situations the skills of different professionals are needed. For this to work we must get out of our silos and learn more about each other as healthcare professionals. I have had the great fortune to work with two different organizations that are doing this in very inspiring and unique ways and there is much that we can learn from them in providing the most effective patient- or client-centered care.
Several years ago, I began working with the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). This is one of the most passionate and interesting groups I have ever worked with. I first met many of these individuals prior to ACCAHC's formation at the National Education Dialogue (NED) held at Georgetown University in 2005. The purpose of NED was to bring together physicians and deans of academic medical centers with leaders in the alternative health care professions, to talk about educating future practitioners so we could learn more about what we do in each other's professions. It was simply amazing to sit at the table with physicians and mainstream medical academics who were eagerly interested in learning about what we do in massage therapy and alternative healthcare.
ACCAHC grew out of the NED and is an organization of representatives from alternative health care professions. The primary focus of ACCAHC is to encourage a patient-centered healthcare model that includes integration of all healthcare modalities to find the most effective and appropriate care for each individual. In order for this to occur effectively, the practitioners, educators, and researchers from each of these professions must first learn a great deal about what others in different fields do. While I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the other alternative healthcare professions, it became very clear early on that there was so much I didn't know about how care was delivered in these other fields.
One of the major projects currently underway for ACCAHC is a focus on interprofessional education (learning about what other professions do). When you think about referring a client to someone else for care, it is really essential that you have a thorough grasp of the treatment approaches used for that individual. We must understand how massage interfaces with those other treatments. Similarly, when a client is referred to us from some other practitioner, we need to understand the approaches that have been used previously and why they may or may not have been effective. Interprofessional education is at the core of this understanding and the initiatives of ACCAHC are highly valuable in bringing massage therapy forward.
Unfortunately, not all of the organizations in the massage therapy profession have recognized the crucial importance of ACCAHC's work. We have had good representation from educators, clinicians, and researchers, but in order to move forward as a viable profession within this organization we must also have a strong and proactive participation from our accreditation and certification bodies.
The second group that illustrates a great model of integrated care is one that I've very recently become involved with. It is called TRIARQ and is headquartered in New York. TRIARQ was started by a number of physicians and physical therapists who recognized that they were both working with the same patients, but in many instances not benefiting from a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the treatment approaches they were each using. As the TRIARQ website states:
"Healthcare for patients with musculoskeletal injuries is fragmented among physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and patients. Historically, there has been limited communication or coordination of care amongst these groups. We are seeing fundamental changes in the philosophy of patient care including stress on continuity, quality, scientific-based treatment and performance of healthcare professionals. The success of treatment, measured by patient satisfaction, needs to improve."
Because musculoskeletal injuries make up a huge segment of healthcare expenditures, it is essential that we encourage greater collaboration between those professionals who treat musculoskeletal injuries. TRIARQ has recently opened up their membership to massage therapists and actively encourage the participation of massage professionals in this interprofessional dialogue. After speaking at a recent symposium with them in New York, I was once again thoroughly impressed by the degree of respect and mutual collaboration amongst all the individuals representing their own unique perspectives. It is this type of integrated healthcare that will provide clients and patients the most effective opportunities to enhance their health and well-being.
I would encourage all massage therapists to seek out not only these organizations, but any opportunities to enhance your own understanding and awareness of what people in other healthcare fields do so you can best understand how to integrate those practices with your own. We are at a place in our health care system where we must get out of our individual silos and find ways to deliver optimal integrated care. The more we learn about each other the better we will be in our own approaches.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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