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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.).
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.
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?
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.
June, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 06
Dealing with Painful Foot Injuries, Part 2
By Ben Benjamin, PhD and Karen Ball, LMT
In part one of this two-part series, published in the April issue, we began talking about foot pain and discussed several different injuries that affect that area of the body.Now we're going to move on to give you practical tips for soothing the feet. (Remember that any recurrent, persistent or severe pain should first be thoroughly assessed and checked out by a physician.) We invite you to share this information with clients who suffer from aching feet, as well as using it yourself. With the amount of standing we do in our line of work, many of us could benefit greatly from better foot care.
Self-Care Routine for Aching Feet
Many people have reduced or completely eliminated their foot pain by following a dedicated self-care routine. Below are some key actions that get results.
First of all, rest. Stop doing whatever it is that aggravates your pain. If a certain pair of shoes causes you pain, stop wearing them. If daily runs on pavement end in pain, find another way to exercise. Listen to your body's cues and discontinue any activity that interferes with the healing process.
You should also consider ice massage. This is a simple way to reduce inflammation. Fill a small paper cup with water and freeze it. Gently move the cup over and around the injured area, stopping when the tissue begins to feel numb. Keep the motion constant, so you're not holding the cup stationary in any one spot.
You might also try stretching. Start by stretching your toes. Bring all your toes into extension and then grasp one toe and stretch it slowly into full extension for a moment or two. Do this with each toe four or five times. Next, take each toe and bring it into flexion all the way. Then grasp two toes at a time and gently stretch them apart for a few seconds. Repeat with all the toes. Then go on to stretch all the joints in the foot and ankle, the extrinsic and intrinisic muscles of the feet, the muscles of the lower legs, the hamstrings and the quadriceps. Use a towel, rope or stretching strap if you need to.
Another important step is strengthening. To strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your foot, toss a dozen large marbles on the floor, sit in a chair, and pick up a marble with your toes. Then cross that leg over the other, tailor-fashion, and remove the marble. Repeat until you have picked up all the marbles and then switch to your other foot and pick up all the marbles again.
It is also important to develop better footwear habits. Many of our foot-related woes are caused, either directly or indirectly, by the shoes we wear. Consider taking some of the these simple steps:
If you live near a beach and take barefoot walks, you can invite the muscles of your feet to strengthen in a healthy, natural way. Walking or gently running on sand is excellent for the health of your feet. You can also establish morning and evening routines for your foot health. Before getting out of bed in the morning, remember to stretch and massage your feet. Then, when you're relaxing in the evening, try a combination of the following:
Evening Reflexology Protocol
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary modality involving the use of alternating pressure applied to reflexes in the feet. Reflexology reduces tension in the muscle tissue and improves circulation of the blood, lymph and neurons, resulting in reduced pain and better functioning.
Following your foot soak, fully extend, flex and separate your toes. Take each stretch as far as you can. Invert and evert your foot. Range-of-motion exercises will increase blood flow to the feet, loosen up the joints and relax the connective tissue.
Use a knuckle to "walk" the plantar surface of the calcaneus. Stop on any sensitive points and apply slow micro-friction to break up adhesions of excess nerve and/or scar tissue that has been laid down in response to trauma.
Use your thumb to apply rhythmical, alternating pressure to the remaining plantar surface of the foot. Imagine your thumb as a little inchworm, taking small "steps" over the entire surface of the foot. Stop on sensitive points and apply micro-friction.
Use your fingers to walk the dorsal side of the foot and work on any points that get your attention.
Finish with ice massage, followed by massage with a lubricant made with unprocessed castor oil (which has proven analgesic properties ), infused with organic essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. (Examples include German chamomile, peppermint, ravintsara, helichrysum, and lavender.)
Drink some water, turn off the light and go to sleep! Remember to wear footwear with arch support if you get up in the middle of the night and stretch your feet and calves before rising in the morning.
Remember, when you treat your feet well, they tend to return the favor.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
Karen Ball, LMT, Certified Reflexologist and Aromatherapist has been working as a manual therapist since 1983. Through the Academy of Ancient Reflexology, Karen offers the 315-hour Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Professional Certification, and a growing roster of weekend workshops and classes in conventional reflexology, Thai reflexology and allied subjects. For more information, visit www.academyofancientreflexology.com.
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