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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
Touch Matters: Massage for Children With Cancer
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Receiving a thank you call is one of the biggest compliments you can receive from your client, post massage. Even better though, is when the call comes from a parent after you have massaged their child.However, the thank you changes and becomes even more meaningful when the parent calls to thank you for massaging their child so they could finally be free of pain, fall quietly to sleep and pass while they rested. This has been my experience, time and time again, as I work with children with a variety of medical diagnoses, in hospice and palliative care.
Initially reading this, many people will feel sad or have grief at the loss of a child. However, there is a very positive side. What would be better, a child passing comfortably or in agonizing pain?
Not Necessarily a Death Sentence
Not all children with cancer will die. The American Cancer Society states that approximately 12,060 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012, with an estimate of one in 330 children to develop cancer by age 20.
Due to the major advances in treatment and care, 80% of diagnosed children will survive five years or more. This is a significant increase from the survival rates of the 1970's when the five year survival rate was less than 50%. Although the five year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die within five years from the time of diagnosis. Different types of cancers have different rates of survival, and cancer kills more children each year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.
Luckily, childhood cancers are rare, making up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. However, childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades. Despite its rarity and the major advances in treatment and supportive care, cancer is still the second leading cause of death, after accidents, in children younger than 15 years old. Approximately 1,340 children are expected to die from cancer in 2012.
Complementary therapies are increasingly integrated into mainstream cancer programs and centers. According to Harvard Medical School researchers, almost 12% of children and adolescents in the United States use complementary or alternative medicines, known as CAM. About 66% of children with cancer use some type of CAM. Although most studies have reported the effects of massage in adult patients, pediatric cancer patients also experience reduced pain after massage therapy. Massage is one of the most commonly used pain management strategies for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia.
Research has suggested that massage therapy can ease both physical symptoms, as well as emotional discomforts associated with pediatric medical conditions. Studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine show that massage can alleviate pain, anxiety and depression in pediatric clients. No one likes to think of a child being in pain, let alone having anxiety or depression. However, it is a reality for these children and their families.
For cancer patients, especially pediatric cancer patients, even just a little relief can mean a lot. In general, about a third of all cancer patients experience significant pain. According to the National Cancer Institute, 15% to 25% of cancer patients become clinically depressed at some point during their illness. And of course, the very nature of possible hospitalization, isolation and the treatment for this very serious illness often makes things worse.
During massage, levels of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine spike, oxytocin (nurturing, cuddle hormone) is increased, while measures of the stress hormone cortisol drop. Massage can be just the supportive therapy a pediatric oncology client needs.
Massage therapy can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated pediatric massage therapist.
When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential. Most types of massage (i.e. Swedish massage, light nurturing touch) result in various levels of symptom relief for patients; however, those patients receiving Swedish or light touch massages report significantly greater reduction in symptoms.
Not only is it imperative that you are trained in pediatric oncology massage prior to working with this population, but you must also consider all of the emotional and physical aspects associated with illness.
When working with children, you must always ask their permission to provide massage and nurturing touch. You are never to provide touch "to" a child, but rather with their absolute permission. As you are providing care to a minor, their parent's and physician must also be involved in this consenting and permission process.
Parents may be under an enormous amount of stress and anxiety, which causes the task of relating accurate information to be clouded. It is possible that they may not fully understand all of our questions, or may answer them incorrectly. They may give the wrong medication names, or even fail to mention something that we need to know to make the best care plan for the child. So, it is always a good idea to do a professional assessment and get further consent from the child's physician with express permission from the family to discuss private health information.
Working with the Healthcare Team
Communicating with physicians is not always easy. Many massage therapists feel their credentials are not comparative to that of a medical doctor. This can create tension during a conversation, as the massage therapist may doubt their ability to communicate in a manner familiar to medical personnel. This is why it is even more important to take the time needed to adequately asses the situation, diagnosis, possible indications and contraindications and write up a detailed care plan based on your assessment. When you present a physician with clear, concise information that has been well thought out, you can more effectively communicate the need for the noninvasive care pediatric massage therapy can provide.
Even just the act of holding a sick child's hand, communicates they matter. Finding your passion and believing that what you are doing is making a difference, makes getting up and going to work each day possible. When I started Liddle Kidz Foundation, I began with the thought that one person can truly make a difference and I have found this to be true. We all have the ability to make a difference everyday and should practice with this thought: "Children are our greatest gift, and should be treated with extraordinary care!"
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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