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Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
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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