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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
December, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 12
The Importance of Sleep
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
Let's be honest, when was the last time you heard someone say, "I got such a good night's sleep. I feel so energetic and refreshed!"? In my opinion, we should not even need to tell each other we are tired.I believe we have reached the point where being tired is considered normal. When we consider the implications of this fact, we should all be frightened. Missing a couple of hours of sleep here and there throughout the month is nothing to worry about, as long as we make up those hours in the future.
What is happening, and what is cause for alarm, is what researchers call "chronic sleep restriction" or "chronic partial sleep deprivation." These terms refer to people consistently getting less than seven hours of sleep per night, and people suffering from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia. The fact that these conditions have become so normal is what makes it hard for people to recognize that sleep may be impacting their lives in a negative way. According to the Institute of Medicine, 50-70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. There also is a relationship between long-term cumulative effects of sleep deprivation and increased risk for hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke. Especially for practitioners who devote their careers to the wellness of others, it is important to educate yourself on the role sleep plays on your physical and emotional well-being.
Sleep scientists could agree that children might have it right when it comes to the typical response to bedtime: "Why do we have to go to bed? I don't want to go to sleep." The truth is, no one can explain why we need sleep and what exactly sleep does to us. We know that it is necessary for people to function - a human being can go longer without food than it can without sleep - but research has yet to explain exactly what the purpose of sleep is. The field of sleep research is relatively new but even in the short time it has been around it has proven that without sleep, we suffer physically, emotionally and mentally. Some recent studies are shedding new light on what the brain might be doing while we are sleeping. Unlike previous assumptions that sleep is a time for the brain to rest and recover, it appears that the brain is very much active during sleep.
A small group of neuroscientists have been researching the effect of sleep on learning and memory in both animals and humans. Their findings support the theory that sleep plays an important role in helping someone remember new information, from learning new words to mastering a back flip. An article in The New York Times discusses how REM sleep (rapid eye movement), also known as "deep sleep," seems to improve pattern recognition, and the memorization of facts.
On the flip side of this is what scientists are learning about stage two sleep, which usually occurs as people are coming out of deep sleep early in the morning. Dr. Carlyle Smith of Trent University in Canada has found a strong association between improved learning of motor skills and the amount of stage two sleep a person gets. For example, musicians struggling with a particular piece of music performed it better when they were allowed uninterrupted stage two sleep (not waking up earlier than normal). Based on these findings, Dr. Smith believes it is more beneficial to stay up late practicing and sleep in the following morning, when trying to learn motor skills; which, unfortunately, contradicts the training schedule of most sports programs that have athletes rising early to practice.
As massage therapists, this means that when taking continuing education courses or practicing on clients for your licensure exam, you will better remember techniques if you practice in the evening and get a good night's rest the following day, rather than if you were to get up early to start practicing. Likewise, if you have a client who is a musician, designer or athlete that mentions they are struggling with a gross or fine motor skill, sharing this information with them might help them out.
Now that we are beginning to understand the role sleep might play in learning and memory, what can we do about it if we are sleep deprived? I think the first step is to try and get more sleep in your life, whether that is sleeping more at night or adding a nap. I know it is hard with our hectic schedules to guarantee seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but it is truly worth it. Not only will it help your capacity to learn, but it will also diminish your risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, among other things. It will also improve your technique and give you more energy to see more clients or do something fun during the day. On its website, The National Sleep Foundation has a "white paper" on the ten best things one can do to improve sleep. I have combined and paraphrased these tips for you below. Please feel free to consult the website for all ten tips, as well as any more information you are interested in regarding sleep and sleep disorders. I hope you find this information as useful as I did. Sweet Dreams!
Maintain A Regular Schedule
If you struggle with falling asleep at night or getting up in the morning, one of the most beneficial changes you can make is to wake up at a consistent time every day, regardless of what day it is. Sleeping-in on days off is one of the worst things one can do to help with sleep issues. Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a "circadian clock" in our brain and the body's need to balance both sleep time and awake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help with sleep onset at night.
Create A Sleep-Conducive Environment
One of the most universal indicators for alertness is the presence of light. Adjustments in light have an immediate effect on circadian rhythms, so diminishing the amount of light around you at bedtime naturally induces a more sleepy state. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep - cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions. Use your bedroom for only sleep and sex. The stimulating effects of TVs and computers in the bedroom hinder sleepiness. Make sure you have a mattress and pillows that are comfortable. If you have a sleeping partner whose sleep needs differ from yours, work together to create an environment that is as conducive as possible to your differing needs. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise," humidifiers, fans and other devices.
Avoid Alcohol, Nicotine, Caffeine And Eating Close To Bedtime
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually disrupts your natural sleep patterns. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants, which means they make you feel alert. Obviously, this does not help when trying to fall asleep, so refrain from nicotine and caffeine use three to five hours before bedtime. People who are especially sensitive to caffeine can feel the effects for 12 hours after ingesting it, so if you are one of those people, beware of caffeine! Eating and drinking close to bedtime can cause excessive nightime urination, which disrupts sleep. It can also cause heartburn, gas or physical discomfort, so it is best not to eat a substantial amount of food within two hours of going to sleep.
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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