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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 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.
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.
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.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
Walking or Hiking Your Way to Better Health
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
I was planning on beginning this column with, "Now that winter is ending, we can turn our attention to outdoor activities." However, considering the unusually mild winter most of the country experienced, it seems like there was not much difference between the weather last October and the weather in February.One of my friends in the midwest called this the "winter that wasn't" and I have to agree with her. But it does put a damper on the theme of this article, which was to suggest getting outside and walking now that the weather permits it. Rather, what might be more appropriate this year would be to say that if one has not already taken advantage of the mild temperatures, now is a great time to start, perhaps with some walking or hiking.
In my experience, people have been very opinionated when it comes to walking or hiking; either people enjoy these activities and believe they are a great form of exercise, or people roll their eyes and believe it is a complete waste of time. I've noticed that most of the folks in the latter category seem to be runners. They seem to get personally offended by the idea that walking could replace jogging as a form of exercise. After all, as practitioners we well know that the knees cannot "run" forever, regardless of how much one's spirit wants to. Personally, I have viewed walking and hiking as a good form of exercise for my older clients, and clients with injuries that prevent high-impact sports. However, now that I have researched the topics, I find myself reconsidering walking and hiking as exercises reserved solely for my older clients. While walking is one of the most natural activities we do - being able to walk upright is one of the defining characteristics of our species - when done creatively and intentionally, it provides an excellent workout for all who do it, whether one is 22 or 75. Considering the general state of health in the U.S., it is becoming critical that we take walking seriously.
For instance, in 2007 the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its original recommendations on exercise in order to maintain a healthy heart. It concluded that the minimum amount of exercise needed to stay healthy was 150 minutes per week. Unfortunately, the AHA goes on to say that only 15 percent of American adults actually achieve 150 minutes per week, which is not encouraging for us as a nation. In several places, this report specifically suggests walking as a way to meet these guidelines. In January, the AHA also implemented a national Walking Clubs initiative, in which anyone can start or join a walking club in their area to help them get more exercise. Notice that the American Heart Association did not begin a running club, or biking club, or a soccer club - it chose walking as an acceptable and accessible form of exercise to keep your heart healthy.
In "The Complete Guide to Walking," Mark Fenton mentions some basics to keep in mind when beginning a walking program:
The best thing about walking is that it is so easy to start. Experts agree that the only "necessary" item to begin a walking program is a good pair of shoes. This means that they should be new, or relatively new: any athletic shoe that has been regularly used for six months or more is no longer considered optimum for exercising. A designated walking shoe or a light hiking shoe is best, and the next best would be a running shoe. The important characteristics of the shoe include one that bends easily at the ball of the foot, is firm through the arch area, and has a low heel.
Speaking of hiking shoes, let's briefly discuss hiking for those of you who are more adventurous, live near ideal hiking environments, or want more of a cardiovascular challenge. Again, proper footwear ranks as one of the most important items for anyone who wants to hike. According to recommendations in "The Complete Hiker," this means shoes and socks. Socks should be thick and preferably a blend of synthetic and natural fibers. While the old standard was to wear two pairs of socks, sport-specific socks are now readily available, making one pair of socks sufficient. The socks should not have loose strands, or bunch up anywhere, both of which could cause blisters. Once you have your socks, wear them to try on boots (thick socks can impact your shoe size). When picking out boots, remember that feet swell when hiking, so one should not feel any compression in the toe area when trying them on. The heel should also fit snug enough to prevent your toes from hitting the front of the boot on a descent.
In addition to footwear, proper attire is also very important when hiking. The key here is layering: since weather can change dramatically throughout the day, or even over the course of a couple of hours, one needs to be prepared for a significant temperature change. A base layer that consists of wicking material is the most important, and if you have other layers that wick as well, that is even better. Make sure your clothing can be easily removed when you get hot, and can be put on easily when you get cold. It should also be able to fit in whatever type of pack you are carrying.
Regardless of whether you prefer walking or hiking, the point is that both options are great forms of exercise that our bodies are naturally designed to do. Just like cheetahs are designed to run and sharks are designed to swim, our bodies are designed to stand upright and walk. Molly Allard, an ACE certified personal trainer based in Davenport, Iowa, agrees: "I think walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It is a total body work out that can be done by just about anyone, anywhere, since it is gentle on your joints. Walking is a great choice for beginning exercisers, but can also be challenging to more experienced athletes when adding hills, varying walking speed, and swinging the arms more. Hiking is a great cardiovascular workout that also provides lower body toning. It is definitely more challenging that walking. Due to the fact that hiking usually involves inclines, descents and uneven surfaces, the chance for injury is higher than walking. Therefore, I would recommend it for people who are at intermediate or advanced fitness levels. Some people prefer the mind-body connection that hiking in nature provides, while others enjoy walking around the city. Either way, walking and hiking are excellent ways to start exercising, or to add something different to your normal routine."
So, put on some shoes and get going!
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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