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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
Positive Touch: An Approach to Stop Bullying
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Bullying has become an epidemic, not only has it caught the nation's attention, but it's continually part of our mainstream media coverage. Bullying happens more frequently than you might realize; in the U.S. alone, it's estimated that between 15% to 25% of students are frequently bullied.
Not only does research indicate that the amount of children being bullied has increased, but the type of bullying has changed as well. This shift in the way kids bully is partially due to children's exposure to increasingly graphic or aggressive media images which can cause desensitization to violence. Coupling this desensitization to violence with society's acceptance to criticize others, and our children are at great risk. When this type of insensitive behavior relates to children, it's commonly identified as bullying.
Bullying is any unwanted or aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. According to the website, www.StopBullying.gov, the behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
The Effects of Bullying
Victims of bullying can have many serious and lasting negative impacts. Numerous studies have demonstrated that children who have been bullied may be more withdrawn, depressed, anxious, insecure, shy, lonely, isolated and avoidant of social activities. Often times, they experience a host of health complaints including changes in eating patterns and sleep.
Short Term Effects
Children who are bullied are likely to skip school and may suffer academically. Bullied kids are often scared of facing those who bully them and would rather face the consequences of missing school. It's estimated that every day, more than 160,000 children miss school because of fears or acts of bullying. One recent CDC study states that 81% of students admitted to bullying their classmates, while 75% of adolescents nationally admitted that they had been bullied during their teen years.
Not only do children skip school due to being bullied, but they often report feeling sick more often than their peers. Studies have also found that the more frequently a child is picked on, the more severe common symptoms may become. The stress and anxiety a child may experience causes the body to produce or secrete more cortisol. Cortisol impairs immune system functioning, which leaves the children more vulnerable to illness. A common cough, sore throat, headache or stomachache can increase frequency and duration when a child's bully continues their taunting.
As we become more aware, it is beginning to make more sense that for some children, that saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," is not true. The effects of bullying vary from child to child depending on the severity of the bullying, length of time being bullying, individual coping mechanisms and a child's support systems. Bullying incidents that are not adequately addressed can continue to affect a child long after the act or occurrence of bullying. Psychology professor, Dr. Dan Olweus, found that kids who were bullied during the late elementary and junior high schools years (grades 6 –9), were more likely to experience low self esteem and depression by the time they were 23 years of age.
Why Do Children Bully?
There is no one single cause of bullying among children; individual, family, peer, school and community factors can place a child or youth at risk for bullying. Studies demonstrate that often bullies are aggressive children. They may have experiences at home that would be considered troubling, or for some reason feel that picking on someone else makes them feel better about their own circumstances. Commonly, bullies may look just fine, but internally they harm themselves and have difficulties with eating and sleeping.
A Time magazine article reported that while some bullies have higher self esteem they, "tend to be victims of physical damage as well." Many bullies live with parents who discipline them "inconsistently or through physical means."
There are also people who will applaud and award those children who bully others. This reward can come in the form of acceptance from their peers or being cheered on as they call another child names or mistreat them. They are often considered one of the "cool kids" by their peers which makes the reward of being the bully outweigh the feelings they may have about themselves or the compassion they could feel towards another. Not all bullies, however, are considered to be "cool kids," some are troubled children who may have also been the victim of bullying themselves.
Lack of Touch
Positive human touch is not only the kind of sensory children crave most, but it is vital for their healthy growth and development. Through observations and research, it has been demonstrated that children who are touch-deprived don't growth emotionally, physically and cognitively. When children are deprived of nurturing touch, they become numb to the fundamental need to touch and be touched. They become touch-phobic and can keep an emotional distance from others. This is not only harmful during childhood, but the effects carry with them throughout their lives.
The health impacts of touch deprivation are vast and include increased stress and body tension both behaviorally and biochemically, as well as an increase in aggression behavior and physical violence. The stress caused by touch deprivation might eventually change an individual's brain chemistry so as to cause depression. We may also see a noticeable drop in the level of serotonin which correlates to a strong relationship to touch deprivation and sleep disturbance.
Positive Effects of Touch
Children, parents and their caregivers are searching for solutions that make children feel safe, less vulnerable and create more compassion among peers. Knowing that each person's experience with touch can be influenced by their environment, including the way their family or culture views touch, the beliefs they have developed over time and their experience with their peers, it's imperative that all children receive a healthy dose of nurturing and positive touch throughout their lives.
The types of touch each child receives can have direct effect on the architecture of their brain. During the first five to seven years of life, it is extremely critical that we provide nurturing touch, as this is the optimal time for brain development. It's during this period of time that children are extremely responsive to sensory stimulation. Massage therapy research has suggested that touch therapies can have a direct effect on lowering cortisol levels, increasing serotonin, and thus lowering violent and aggressive behavior. Not only does nurturing touch benefit the child who has been bullied through effective, compassionate support, the child who bullies will benefit as well.
When providing pediatric massage, it is always to be given with permission to empower a child, and massage is never to be given as a reward or withheld as punishment. This nurturing and positive touch is good for all children, so the next time they have had a bad day at school it might be better to hug than punish.
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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