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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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?
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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