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Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
Relieving the Diseases Associated with Aging
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC
Michael Morgan, LMT, CST-D, witnessed the harsh effects of Alzheimer's firsthand and he couldn't forget. His stepmother and sister-in-law each grappled with memory loss and disorientation before they died, leaving him with a burning desire to help his older clients minimize the diseases of aging.
The Alzheimer's Association, which considers itself the "leading voice in Alzheimer's disease advocacy," claims that more than 5.2 million Americans 65 years and older have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.1 According to Michael, his determination to help that growing population spawned a 12-week pilot research study called "Craniosacral Still Point Technique: Exploring Its Effects in Individuals with Dementia."2 As part of the study, he coordinated the therapists who performed five to 10 minutes of the still-point technique every day, on nine elderly patients in long-term-care facilities who'd been diagnosed with dementia.
"Halfway through the program, about two-thirds of the patients started improving," Michael said. "They became more interactive, more cognizant, and their verbal and social behavior improved. We had one 100-year-old woman begin speaking in complete sentences and feeding herself again." Those are promising results for what amounted to a few minutes of daily hands-on help. So, what is it about CranioSacral Therapy that seemed to work so well? Michael believes that answer lies largely in the patients' prior medical conditions. "When I examined their medical histories, I saw a pattern of what looked like decades-old inflammatory processes that manifested in conditions like diabetes, arthritis and a whole host of problems commonly associated with aging. Our subjects seemed to be sitting on a mountain of accumulated issues." Add to that the drugs that suppress immune-system function and, over time, the immune system's ability to counteract inflammation begins to fail. "That's when the stage is set for an opportunistic invasion of the blood-brain barrier by factors that increase toxicity in the brain, like heavy metals."
Increasing the Flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid to Counteract Inflammation
As a long-time instructor for Dr. John E. Upledger, who's best known for his developments of the biomechanical approach to CranioSacral Therapy, Michael is well acquainted with the benefits of strengthening the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to help relieve inflammation. "Cerebrospinal fluid can help wash away toxins that may have crossed the blood-brain barrier and accumulated in the brain." As people age, their natural production of cerebrospinal fluid decreases, Michael explains. "The body can go from producing as much as 800 milliliters a day down to 400 milliliters a day." The still-point study goes on to state that cerebrospinal-fluid levels in individuals with senile dementia can be as low as 200 milliliters a day. So it makes sense that a hands-on therapy known for increasing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid would have a beneficial effect on aging.
In classes he now offers through his company, Michael teaches therapists and caregivers how to use CranioSacral techniques to counteract diseases of aging. "The techniques that seem to help the most are the still point, direction of energy and cranial pumping."3,4,5 Each one is gentle, yet the benefits are rich. According to the research study, the most challenging aspect of caring for dementia patients is their general state of agitation, because they don't remember that their caregivers are trying to help. At the end of the study, the staff reported that six of the nine participants were more cooperative during their daily caregiving activities.
"In my own experience using CranioSacral Therapy with early-onset dementia, a common first response is that the patient feels more relaxed and less anxious," Michael said. "Caregivers notice this as well, and they often enjoy easier, more meaningful interactions and conversations." Not all dementia-like conditions are caused by inflammation, Michael concedes. "Some people just don't want to remember anymore." But for others, the research indicates that CranioSacral Therapy may be very helpful at relieving common diseases of aging.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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