resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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.
February, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 02
Supplementation: Is It Necessary?
By Keri Marshall, MS, ND
Your need to supplement or fortify your diet depends on many factors. If everyone ate a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, organic dairy products and cold-water fish every day, there may not be a need to supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals.If everyone got plenty of exercise outside with regular exposure to sunlight, there may not be a need to supplement the diet. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case. Our busy lives prevent us from eating the diet we wish we could and from getting exercise outside, often leaving us depleted of vital nutrients.
Keeping your immune system strong and resilient by maintaining a proper diet, nutrition and exercise can be hard for any massage therapist, as well as for their clients. For those whose dietary needs are not being met, supplementation can be of great support to maintain optimal health. If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you may also be able to benefit from specific supplements.
The question is, just how many people are using dietary supplements regularly to maintain health? According to an October 2012 survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), 68% of American adults now take dietary supplements, with multivitamins being the most popular. Forty-nine percent of all adults report taking multivitamins, with 71% of supplement users reporting that they take a multivitamin in general, and 53% report taking a multivitamin daily. While the majority of supplement users take a multivitamin, at least 23% are taking a fish oil supplement.
What Do We Really Need?
Our bodies require essential nutrients and vitamins every day in order to function normally. Without them, our bodies begin to accumulate molecular and biochemical byproducts, such as free radicals, that may cause damage to our cells. The human body is hardwired with innate mechanisms to repair itself and return to homeostasis if fed a variety of nutrients to keep the engine running. Giving the body the nutrition it needs to carry out these functions can have a significant impact on delaying the aging process and achieving a longer, healthier and happier life.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. In fact, you should aim for between seven to nine servings a day. But ... not everyone eats even close to this amount of healthy plant matter and, as a result, may have difficulty obtaining all of the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain optimal health.
Many of us have heard the cliché that we should eat from the rainbow, but may not really understand what it means. Fruits and vegetables come in a wide range of colors and each of those individually colored foods has a unique phytochemical profile with an array of nutrients. For example, blue and purple foods are rich in an antioxidant nutrient called anthocyanins, which help support heart health and optimize immune function. Orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, which help the eyes, heart, mucous membranes and promote healthy joints.
Most Americans are not getting enough fruits and veggies and follow more of what we call "The Western Diet," which is high in "bad" fats, sugar, white flour products and fried foods. It does not provide a variety of foods nor does it provide nutritionally dense foods. And, for some with lactose intolerance or other food intolerances, vital nutrients may be limited unless there is dietary supplementation.
Conventionally grown foods today are also to blame for providing fewer nutrients than they used to due to poor soils and growing processes. So, you may be trying to eat all the right things, yet still come up short because the foods are not as nutrient-dense as you might assume.
Even more worrisome is 100% of the vitamins and minerals we eat, either through food or supplementation, are not absorbed by the body. The excess gets removed via urine and other means of excretion. Because of all of these factors combined, I would absolutely recommend to my patients that they take a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
What About Fat?
The typical Western diet is highly deficient in omega-3s, or healthy fats, in large part because people choose to eat foods — often unknowingly — that are concentrated with omega-6 fats. And omega-3 rich foods are often difficult to find. Refined and processed foods, many cooking oils, dressings and overconsumption of corn and soy are the main culprits for increased levels of omega-6 fats in the diet. In and of themselves, omega-6s are not unhealthy, they're just over-consumed, and omega-3s, found primarily in cold-water fish, are under-consumed.
Omega-3s are considered "essential" because they are required for optimal health but cannot be produced by our bodies and, therefore, must be consumed daily through diet or supplementation. All fatty acids we consume reside in our cell membranes, where they impact every biological process in our bodies — such as cell division, circulation and blood pressure. Omega-3s are clinically proven to support the body's natural anti-inflammatory response, which in turn optimizes heart, brain, metabolic, joint and tissue health. With adequate intake of omega-3s, cells function properly, and overall health is supported.
Achieving balanced intake of these fats is important because omega-6s are pro-inflammatory and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. It is vitally important to ensure balanced intake by limiting omega-6 foods and taking a quality omega-3 fish oil supplement, along with eating a healthy diet including fish. The typical Western diet works against this goal and, as a result, most people do not obtain the suggested daily minimum of 500 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Consumers are searching for a solution to correct this deficiency and purified fish oil supplements are a safe and effective source of these essential omega-3s.
Key to the success of any delivery system for supplementation is palatability. Fishy smell, taste or aftertaste are common deterrents to continued daily use. Research shows that fish oils only smell unpleasant when oxidation has started to degrade the oils' lipids, causing rancidity. Rancid lipids may also contain free radicals that can damage proteins, DNA, and ultimately the cells in the body. Utilization of oxygen-free processing methods, such as the patented systems used by some high-quality companies, protects the oils from oxidation and guarantees an exceptionally fresh product that tastes great and will encourage continued use.
Vitamin D is another nutrient that many people lack, in part because of excessive use of sunscreen, but also because people tend to spend less time outdoors than they used to. Most people can make enough vitamin D by spending at least 15 minutes a day outside, without sunscreen, with a good amount of skin exposed. What this means in practical terms is going for a walk outdoors in shorts and a T-shirt or tank top, without first applying sunscreen. Not everyone can do this for a variety of reasons, although with the exception of seasons and inclement weather, everyone should try to spend at least 15 minutes a day outdoors, weather permitting. The fresh air and bonus of getting exercise are also vitally key to optimal health.
The reality, though, is many of us live in places where we cannot wear shorts year round. For people who live in the beautiful Northwest, sometimes the sun does not shine for weeks on end. In cases such as this, Vitamin D can be a very important nutrient to supplement. I recommend getting a baseline test done by your primary care physician before beginning supplementation, because you then have a baseline number to track for progress. A baseline number also allows you to determine how much you may need to supplement. A recent CRN survey indicates that up to 22% of people take Vitamin D supplements daily to fortify their diet.
How To Choose
But, more than anything, people are easily confused as to how to choose the best quality dietary supplement. Products that are third-party tested are superior to those that aren't. When taking a supplement, you want to be assured that what it says on the label is, in fact, what is in the supplement. Be sure that the company is adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure compliance with industry quality standards and required testing.
Finally, review the ingredients. With a small amount of education, you can spot which are quality products and which are not. Avoid unnecessary binders, fillers, preservatives and additives. Most company websites will help you discern if they have gone out of their way to produce a superior product and if you don't see it, don't be afraid to ask the company for proof of quality. Quality and absorption are key to making sure you get your money's worth to optimize your health!
Dr. Keri Marshall is a licensed Naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women's medicine and chronic disease management. A published author and media favorite, Dr. Marshall appears regularly as a scientific and nutrition expert on national radio and TV. She is Chief Medical Officer for Nordic Naturals.
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