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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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.)
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
The Current Emphasis on Clinical Research and Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
The use of essential oils to benefit body, mind and spirit greatly predates the modern era, the term "aromatherapy" and the current emphasis on clinical research. Empirical evidence and information passed down through generations and occasionally recorded in books was the norm.Despite the advent of the microscope and aromatherapy research pioneers such as Rene Maurice Gattefosse, scientific investigation into the affect of essential oil components was not common. And of course, the recipients of essential oil blends responded in a positive way, even before the chemical components were identified and classified.
But as we massage therapists know, today it is important to have evidence backed up by scientific studies to create agreed upon facts and practices. Those branches of the healing arts that are given the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) designation are working hard to present these facts. For aromatherapists, especially when they are hoping to teach this modality to other health professionals, the need to produce verification through research is paramount. The scientific community just won't respect this field without evidence that meets their criteria.
In the aromatherapy community, the idea of research and even the emphasis on the chemistry of essential oils has produced widely divergent points of view. Just as it would seem odd to have to prove the soothing effect of gentle effleurage, to some aromatherapists the historical evidence for the relaxing affect of lavender is enough. Some even fear that going the scientific route is an attack on the basic human element which is so important in both the selection and blending of essential oils. Some are in favor of the clinical case study as a middle ground for proving the reliability of their art. But, there is a growing movement in the aromatherapy community to investigate the chemicals on their own and find personal justification and acceptance through studies proving effects.
Salvatore Battaglia tells us that while research can help create clients who need this proof and that it can also provide recognition and legislation in favor of essential oils there are some basic problems when approaching research in this field. In my opinion, the most important is this: "The essential oils are complex pharmacologically active chemicals. The whole essential oil will have different properties from that of any single constituent alone. Most pharmacological studies involve the use of individual chemical constituents." (The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, 2003.)
A principle that describes this is called the "quenching affect," wherein the presence of all chemical components may reduce the potential intensity of one component. An example would be the chemical limonene. Considered a strong skin irritant, limonene is present in many citrus and citrus note oils where it is brought to a manageable level due to its amount relative to the other chemicals present. However, the focus on the effect of limonene on its own has resulted in legislation in Europe that leaves perfumers with the great problem of no longer being able to use the essential oil of lemon (Citrus limon) in their formulas because it contains limonene. Many of these perfumes have been worn for hundreds of years without ill effect.
Another issue for research in the field of aromatherapy was simply lack of funds. Much of what we knew about physiological and skin care properties of essential oils came from research conducted for the cosmetic and food industries, where the funds and the need for specific research on affects have been vital to ensure public safety. But, as the need for more effective methods of treating chronic pain, anti-biotic resistant bacteria and other health related problems has grown, more research has been going into the relevant properties of essential oils.
If there is a need to find research regarding essential oils, there are some online resources that will yield results. PubMed is one: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. And there are good texts that provide research information as well. These include the Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Natural Aromatic Materials – Odours and Origins by Tony Burfield, Essential Oils 2008-2011 by Dr. Brian Lawrence. Aromatherapist Jane Buckle, PhD, RN teaches clinically based aromatherapy and has two books, Clinical Aromatherapy and Clinical Aromatherapy for Nurses. She has also authored an article on how to conduct clinical research for aromatherapy that can be found in a special e-book, published in 2012 by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy on the topic of research and essential oils.
On a happy research note, it can be said that the scientific conclusions about the dangers of lavender oil used by young boys has now been disproven. The New England Journal of Medicine had run an article some years ago concluding that the development of breast tissue in two pre-pubescent boys (gynecomastia) residing in the same town (not in the same family) was a result of minute amounts of lavender and tea tree essential oils in personal care products from the health food store. This prestigious scientific magazine was unwilling to publish letters from well known aromatherapists refuting this notion. Robert Tisserand, one of our foremost colleagues, posted a link on Facebook this week with the note, "Nice to know that Lavender oil is conclusively not estrogenic." (This hormone like effect was said to be the cause of the gynecomastia.) Read the whole story here: http://roberttisserand.com/2013/02/lavender-oil-is-not-estrogenic.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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