resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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