resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
Curbing Label Overwhelm
By Jaclyn Chasse, ND
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming; natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free-range ... you get the picture. Massage therapists can serve as the healthy living experts for their clients, so having a good understanding of what a "healthy" food looks like can allow you to provide your clients with information that adds even more value to their visit with you. Here are some of the most important terms used on labels and what they really tell you about the food you eat.
Let's begin with the most sought-after term on a label. Many consumers are switching to organic food and for good reason. Organic foods are free of antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering and genetic modification, radiation, synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Many of these food additives and practices have demonstrated harm at high levels, and avoidance is by far the safest option for the health conscious consumer. In 2000, after 10 years of development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented its rules surrounding the use of the term "organic" and the USDA organic seal. You will see a few versions of "organic" on a label.
The first, and best, is "100% Organic." This means, as you would expect, that the product contains only organic ingredients. The second is "Organic." Now, you may expect that this would be the same as 100% organic, but in fact, it only requires 95% of the products ingredients to be organic. The remaining 5% can be non-organic as long as they are on the USDA's approved list. These two categories may display the USDA logo. You may also see "Made with Organic Ingredients" on a label. This is the third regulated term by the USDA and requires that at least 70% of ingredients be organic. The package must label at least three of the organic foods on the label as organic so the consumer can know which ingredients are organic.
All-Natural & Natural
According to the USDA, foods labeled "natural" do not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives and the ingredients are only minimally processed. However, these foods might contain antibiotics, growth hormones and other natural (yet often undesirable) additives. You also might see "all-natural" on a label. This is an unregulated term, so while it usually follows the same guidelines mentioned for "natural," it doesn't technically have to.
Free-range & Cage-free
In order for a product to be labeled with "free range" or "cage free," the animals must have some access to the outside and not be contained. Unfortunately, this term is not well-regulated. There are some food producers who will keep animals very closely confined, but without cages, and still use the term "cage free." Ideally, this label should mean that the animals cannot be contained in any way and have access to freely roam and forage on open land. That's what they show us in the label's picture, right?
With California's vote this year on Prop 37, to label genetically modified foods, there has been a growing awareness on what genetic modification is and the risk it may pose to your health. According to the Non-GMO Project, genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are plants or animals created through gene splicing techniques or biotechnology that merges DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. While GMO food producers tout the equivalence and safety of genetically modified (GM) foods, little published research is available to demonstrate safety, and so conscientious consumers are left questioning whether they should be consuming these foods and the majority of consumers don't even know they are consuming them.
You are probably seeing more foods labeled GMO-free. This is currently an unregulated term; however, some non-profit groups, including the well-known Non-GMO Project are certifying and labeling foods that can be verified as GM-free.
The most common GMOs are soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets and Hawaiian papaya, with around 90% of the U.S. crop being genetically modified. Alfalfa and squash (zucchini and summer squash) are also frequently genetically modified. The non-GMO label on products can assure consumers that the product does not contain any genetically modified organisms. Organic foods also can not contain GMOs, although they are not required to test for the presence of GMOs to be labeled organic.
Gluten Free And Other Allergens
Gluten is a protein contained in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut. It is one of the more common food proteins triggering allergy and sensitivity in humans. Foods labeled "gluten free" must be below 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. To put this in perspective, if you were to eat a 1 oz slice of gluten free bread, it could contain up to 0.57 milligrams of gluten, which will not cause symptoms in most people with a sensitivity. I commonly see gluten free patients come to me with questions about whether a product labeled "wheat free" is also "gluten free." The answer is no, it does not have to be. It could still contain spelt or another gluten containing grain. So, be sure to read labels carefully.
Regulations around declaring allergens is taken very seriously in this country, and food companies are required by law to declare if a food contains a major food allergen including wheat, milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts or soybeans. Labels are clearly marked, in bold at the end of the ingredient list, with allergens that they contain. Failure to disclose allergenic ingredients could leave a manufacturer subject to an immediate mandatory recall.
In today's day and age, it can be difficult to be an educated food consumer. There are so many food choices available and slick marketing can easily fool a consumer into thinking that a food is healthier or more natural than it really is. Even educated consumers can be fooled. The best way to ensure you're eating healthfully is to choose foods with only one ingredient-usually, these are things without a nutritional label at all (like apples). But, if you are choosing processed foods, hopefully this guide will allow you to more easily understand what it is that you are buying. Make sure you choose wisely!
Dr. Jaclyn Chasse, ND, is a practicing naturopathic physician in New Hampshire and is the Medical Director at Emerson Ecologics. She also holds an adjunct faculty position at Bastyr University, teaching courses on reproductive endocrinology. Dr. Chasse is a graduate of Bastyr University and has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. For additional information, visit www.emersonecologics.com.
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