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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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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 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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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