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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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Rubefacient Essential Oils for Pain Relief
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
According to Mosby's Medical Dictionary, the word 'rubefacient' derives from two Latin words: ruber, red, facere, to make, and it is defined as:
This redness is caused by dilation of capillaries and increased blood circulation; a property that is useful for many client issues where pain or stiffness is present. An abstract published in Medline in 1982 reports the effects of a rubefacient commonly used by massage therapists and containing essential oils of cassia and clove called Tiger Balm. They tested application on rabbit skin to discover the effect of long term use and found that, "Tiger Balm Red (which contained 5% cassia oil plus 5% clove oil) caused irritation consisting of erythema, eschar formation and some oedema, to which a degree of tolerance developed. This irritation resulted in hyperkeratosis and sometimes inflammatory changes but no major damage to the skin. Tiger Balm White (no cassia oil and 2% clove oil) was better tolerated and produced less irritation and histological change than either Tiger Balm Red or a mixture of commercial waxes similar in composition to the wax base for Tiger Balm Red. None of the treatments produced any signs of systemic toxicity."
From this study, we learn two important things: rubefacients are well tolerated and don't cause permanent damage, and cassia oil is much more irritating than clove. Trained aromatherapists know this and also how important it is to dilute the rubefacient essential oils by putting them into carrier oil (such as almond, sesame, or my favorite, fractionated coconut) before use on the skin. And cassia (cinnamomum cassia) is listed in Sylla Sheppard Hanger's Aromatherapy Practitioner Manual, Vol. I as being a "DERMAL IRRITANT, avoid use on sensitive or damaged skin; use very highly diluted if at all."
There are many other essential oils that deliver the rubefacient property and which are more commonly used in massage application. They increase circulation in the skin and muscle tissue, creating relief from pain through an anti-inflammatory effect as well as helping to clear the tissue of byproducts of prior inflammation. They provide a comforting feeling of warmth as they accelerate metabolism in the area. Rubefacient essential oils are used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, back pain, bunion, bursitis (application to area without massage or manipulation), muscle cramps, sciatica, strain and sprain. Frequently, they are paired with essential oils that increase detoxification, such as juniper berry (Juniperus communis), carrot seed (Daucus carota) and lemon* (Citrus limon). This is especially helpful for joint pain and arthritis. They can also be blended with more relaxing anti-inflammatory analgesics like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula spica) or German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) where stress and tension is known to be a major cause of muscle pain.
The commonly used rubefacient essential oils are:
You can read profiles on some of those essences in an article on the stimulating essential oils published in the November 2011 issue of Massage Today. Nutmeg is less commonly used and has a reputation for having psychotropic properties. Studies have shown that this is true for whole nutmeg, while the essential oil is weak in the myristicin and elimicin content that metabolize to produce hallucinogenic effects. It is unlikely that non-oral use of the essential oil of nutmeg (the only safe method for delivering this and most essential oils) would have any such affects at all.
An example of a blend for chronic arthritis might be (in 1 oz of carrier oil):
An example of a blend for neck and/or back pain due to tension (in 1 oz of carrier oil):
Blending tip: Essential oils of higher aroma intensity require fewer drops.
*Expressed lemon essential oil is phototoxic. Avoid exposure to sunlight for 18 hours after use, or use distilled lemon essential oil.
Shellie Enteen resides in Greer, S.C., and can be reached at . Shellie will be teaching a three day aromatherapy CEU workshop at the AMTA South Carolina Chapter Spring Mini-Convention in Charleston, SC, March 16-18th, 2012. More more information, visit www.amta-sc.org. For a brief biography, a printable version of this article and a link to previous articles, visit Shellie's columnist page at www.massagetoday.com/columnists/enteen.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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