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Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
The Benefits of Reconstructive Proliferant Therapy
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Millions of people live in pain and don't know what to do about it. Something profound changes for these sufferers. The pain makes it hard to think, work or play. It saps energy and enthusiasm for life. Frequently, depression sets in. Many of these clients come to us for help. Some we help and some we don't.
For many years, I felt helpless to ease the pain of clients that I and all my colleagues could not help. As my practice grew, I saw people from all around the country who had tried every conceivable therapy, from surgery, to physical therapy, to chiropractic, to osteopathy, to massage therapy, to structural integration and movement modalities like Alexander technique and Feldenkrais practitioners. These people had also tried medication, exercise and meditation. Every treatment had failed for these individuals. Many of the people I saw had been in pain for 15 to 20 years.
When I discovered reconstructive proliferant therapy, I felt like I'd found the golden key to helping many of the clients with intractable pain that I, and everyone else I knew, couldn't seem to help. In my experience, 85 to 90 percent of those for whom nothing seemed to work got well with this therapy if treated by an experienced and skilled physician.
What is reconstructive proliferant therapy and how does it work?
Reconstructive proliferant therapy (also called prolotherapy) is a technique that stimulates the body's ability to repair itself when that process does not occur naturally. Just as a cut or scratch initiates the skin's regenerative processes, a proliferant causes the production of new tissue by stimulating cell reproduction in the connective tissues. Until proliferants were discovered, it was believed to be impossible for connective tissues to regenerate in this way.
The proliferant is injected into the affected ligaments, tendons or joints, and causes local inflammation. This controlled inflammation triggers an accelerated wound-healing process, resulting in new collagen and fibroblastic proliferation (fibroblasts are the cells that actually grow the ligaments and tendons). The new collagen shrinks as it develops, which tightens the structure and makes it stronger.
What kinds of cases respond best to prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy has been shown to be very effective at reducing or eliminating chronic pain in cases where injuries have resulted in painful adhesive scar tissue and/or laxity or weakness of ligaments, tendons or joints. This treatment is especially effective in treating chronic pain in the neck, low back, thorax, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. It also strengthens weak joints by shortening and thickening the ligaments supporting those joints. For example, if a ligament in the knee is damaged and permenantly stretched, it cannot effectively hold that joint in place, and therefore leaves the structure more vulnerable to further injury. The proliferant strengthens the integrity of the joint by tightening the ligament so it can do its job more effectively.
What can a client do to get maximum benefit from prolotherapy?
During proliferant therapy, it is vitally important for the patient to do gentle exercises several times a day, to ensure that the healing and new tissue development take place in the presence of a full range of motion. This can make or break the effectiveness of the treatment. Each area of the body requires particular exercises to make sure the healing is effective. When clients do their exercises daily and don't return to stressful activity too soon, the results are usually excellent.
How long does the treatment process take?
Proliferants are usually slow-acting because they stimulate the body's ability to heal itself. They are most active in the first 3 to 7 days but keep working for months at a slower pace. The number of treatment sessions depends on the part of the body and the severity of the case, ranging from two or three sessions for a wrist to eight or so for the low back. Individuals heal at different rates depending on their age, strength, flexibility, level of stress and nutritional health, so there is some variation in the number of sessions needed by specific clients.
What are the side effects?
Unlike many medicines, proliferants have no side effects and have a lower drug content than aspirin. While there are many different proliferant formulas in use, the most frequently used solution (the Ongley solution developed in 1960) contains common chemical substances that have been tested for safety and effectiveness. The Ongley solution includes dextrose (a pure sugar that serves as the main irritant stimulating connective tissue production), Xylocaine (the numbing medicine your dentist uses), glycerine (to help in blood clotting), and phenol (a proliferant that prevents infection).
How can I connect my clients to prolotherapy professionals?
Since this is a relatively unknown treatment in the United States, it may be difficult to find doctors who are experienced in reconstructive proliferant therapy. Once you have located one, see if he or she has been doing it for at least 5 years. Ask if you can speak to several of the doctor's patients to learn what their experience has been. If you would like a recommendation to an experienced physician, feel free to contact me either by phone (617-576-0777) or email at .
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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