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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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
January, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 01
Getting the Name Right Gets the Right Essence
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
When I was teaching professional level aromatherapy to a small group of cosmetology and aesthetics students at a technical college, I happened to see the catalogue all the students were likely to use to purchase supplies.Glancing at the essential oils section, I discovered that only one variety of chamomile was listed and it did not include its full common name. The catalogue was good enough to supply the Latin binomial, Matricaria recutita. That truly surprised me since this is not the chamomile most often used in facials and skin care.
Anyone who purchased this variety of chamomile would have had quite an expensive and unpleasant surprise. That experience clearly demonstrated the importance of getting the name right - both the common name and the one that truly identifies the plant. Without understanding this, a person exploring a different catalogue might also discover more than one type of chamomile listed. That catalogue would surely use the full common names, along with the Latin binomial: Roman Chamomile (also known as English Chamomile) with the Latin binomial Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile, German Chamomile, Matricaria recutita or Matricaria chamomilla and Moroccan Chamomile, O. mixta or A. mixta. But, without knowing the difference, how could a wise purchase be made?
Common names for the same essential oils can also vary, so its best to know all the ways an essence might be called. For instance, Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) is the name given by the French who discovered this holy oil during the crusades. It shows the importance placed on this plant by the Arab culture as it means "true incense." In the Middle East, this essence was and still is known as Olibanum, the name it was called for thousands of years. Some texts, catalogues and articles will also use this more ancient name. Another essence, Helichrysum angustifolium, has three common names, Immortelle, Everlasting and simply Helichrysum. When looking for this essence in an alphabetical listing, all three might need to be searched before it is found.
But it is the Latin binomial, also called the "botanical name" that will truly identify the plant itself. Just like anatomical terms, the universal language of Botany uses Latin. The botanical name consists of two Latin words, one of which designates the plant family and the other the specific variety of that family. It could be likened to putting a person's surname first followed by their specific first name, which differentiates them from the others in the family with that same surname. The Latin binomial or botanical name is always written in italics with the first letter of the first name capitalized and the second all lower case.
The botanical name may be close to what the essence is commonly called, or it can be quite different. For example, the common name Thyme has the botanical name Thymus vulgaris while Geranium's botanical name is Pelargonium graveolens. All professional level texts on aromatherapy will list the botanical names for each essential oil described. These binomials are also commonly seen in articles by professional aromatherapists that are aimed at their peers. Gradually, this standard is reaching into the greater marketplace. Knowing the botanical name is a matter of simple memorization. Until that full memorization occurs, when shopping for essential oils, it is good to have a list of common names and Latin binomials handy for consultation.
Going back to the chamomile example, we must know Latin binomials because this commonly used essential oil has different varieties that vary in price and are used for different purposes. This is true for many essences where some varieties available also have toxic properties and are not desirable for use in aromatherapy. And unfortunately, you can't always rely on a catalogue to have only the variety you want.
For example, here are three chamomiles you may find listed:
For massage, any of these chamomiles could be used. German, Matricaria recutita, could be chosen for a severe spasm with inflammation. Roman, Anthemis nobilis, is helpful for stress related muscle pain and tension in the body due to insomnia. It is also very helpful for facial massage for TMJ. Moroccan would be quite helpful in massage for clients with PMS and menstrual issues.
The ever popular lavender also has three common varieties that may be listed in a catalogue: Lavender, Lavender Spike and Lavindin. The lower prices of the other two names might attract a purchase, but you need to know what you would be getting and how it is best used. A less expensive lavender variety is well suited for cleaning purposes, for instance. And one may even be helpful in massage.
Lavender, Lavandula offcinalis, L. angustifolia, is considered "true lavender" and is the most expensive of the three varieties. Spike Lavender, L. spica, L. latifolia, is more camphoraceious in aroma and has a chemical composition that makes it very helpful for protection from respiratory infection (via inhalation), muscle aches and pain, and as an insect repellent. It is less expensive than true lavender because it yields more essence and has a less "flowery" bouquet. Lavandin, L. fragrans, L. burnatti, is a hybrid of true lavender and spike lavender. In this case there are three varieties or clones, Abrial which is closer to spike lavender in property and application, Super, which is more similar to true lavender and Grosso, with the least desirable aroma and rarely used in aromatherapy but could be used for cleaning purposes.
Maritime lavender, L. stoechas, has a high level of ketone content and must be used in caution with children because of possible toxicity. It has mucolytic and antimicrobial qualities that could help with infrequent inhalation in respiratory infection but due to the toxic potential, it is not commonly used in the U.S.
Another thing we may see in the proper listing of an essential oil are words that indicate a particular "chemotype" of the same plant. Rosemary, Rosmarinus offcinalis, is a good example of this differentiation. Sometimes the chemotype is indicate after the designation "ct." There are three principle chemotypes of Rosmarinus officinalis: camphor (Spain), 1,8 cineole (Tunisia) and verbenone (France). Simply put, the camphor type is the one most desirable for massage, the 1,8 cineole for respiratory infection and the verbenone for detoxification and fragrance.
I hope this topic will spur the reader on to learn more about the essential oils, their true names, properties and specific uses. I highly recommend getting a good, professional level education in aromatherapy before embarking on using essential oils in a massage session. This will help not only the therapist, but importantly the client, to receive the perfect essence for their specific needs.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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