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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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
June, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 06
Key Nutrients for Maintaining Musculoskeletal Health
By Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS
As a chiropractor, I fully appreciate the amazing potential of manual therapy. Whether that therapy is a chiropractic adjustment, therapeutic massage, or some of the many other effective body work options; people generally have a wonderful response.From time to time though, we all run into an individual who doesn’t respond to our therapy as we would expect. This can be very frustrating as you are providing something to them that you know should be making a big difference, but for some odd reason they just don’t respond and they may think that massage or body work is just not the right option.
In my clinical experience, I have come to realize is that these "non-responders" are the people who need the most help, but the problem is that their body is so malnourished, there is no support for the underlying biochemistry to respond to the exact therapy they need. When their bodies are supported with appropriate nutritional supplementation, the newfound results are, at times, amazing. Think about this for your own health as well.
Nutritional support for musculoskeletal health may target many physiologic functions due to the multifactorial nature of pain, inflammation and tissue abnormality underlying musculoskeletal conditions. Sometimes, optimal support focuses on addressing a unique factor involved in someone’s disease, such as chronic inflammation underpinning rheumatoid arthritis or providing targeted nutrition for joints affected by arthritis. For this article, I will be focusing on a more general approach to musculoskeletal health support that can be beneficial to the majority of your massage clients.
One of the first concepts to consider is generalized support of the tissues. Within my practice, I have noticed that without base nutrition people cannot respond to the more specific therapies. Through the proper application of a high quality multi-vitamin mineral complex, it can be nearly assured that your client will be receiving the proper base nutrition to have an appropriate response to any manual therapies you perform.
Fish oil is another general recommendation that will benefit most of your clients. While research has shown a myriad of positive health benefits, there have also been some fairly specific benefits to overall musculoskeletal health. In regards to fish oils being beneficial for musculoskeletal health, many people understand that they promote an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, but do you really know why and how effective they can be? A study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry from 2010, discusses the endocannabinoid signaling system and its role in musculoskeletal health and osteopenia. This system is activated and suppressed by the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The standard American diet (SAD) today is extraordinarily high in harmful omega-6 fatty acids and is almost devoid of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids (which are primarily found in fish oil, but can also be found in cod liver oil, krill oil, flax and others). This system has been found to be more active under the presence of high levels of arachidonic acid (omega-6), which will ultimately result in muscle atrophy and osteopenia. The researchers found that when omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are balanced, this problem is corrected and healthy muscle development and bone modeling occurs.
Vitamin D supports many functions throughout our bodies, but has some significant effects on musculoskeletal health. People with adequate vitamin D status seem to benefit from a protective effect against muscle weakness and bone fractures. There are a variety of additional nutrients that support the health of the musculoskeletal system. Two which I have come to use quite regularly in practice are bromelain (from pineapple) and proteolytic enzymes, which both have a systemic effect. When used away from food (30 minutes prior to eating or 90 minutes after), the systemic effect is one that helps to break down the exudates that our cells release following any type of injury or insult. Some studies suggest that use can reduce swelling, pain and inflammation. The mechanisms that have been proposed to support this activity include a reduction in PG-E2 production and through the modulation of adhesion molecules and supporting appropriate cytokine balance.
Vitamin C is another nutrient that can be very beneficial in the support of soft tissues throughout the body. This is essential for the adequate formation of collagen and L-carnitine. Collagen is a major component of all of our connective tissues and therefore is an essential component to maintain to ensure the integrity of our musculoskeletal systems. Carnitine is also very essential as it plays a key role in the transport of fatty acids into our mitochondria. Without this nutrient our body would have a very difficult time utilizing our fat stores to produce energy to initiate muscle contraction. Research has found that vitamin C can help to decrease muscle soreness after exercise and speed up our muscles recovery to full strength.
When you successfully combine nutrition and manual therapies (such as massage therapy), the results for your clients can be absolutely amazing. Remember to stay within the limits of your scope of practice for your specific state. Suggest a client might need to see their medical provider or a chiropractor who can counsel them on proper nutrition. Nourishing the bodies of the people that you work with will provide them the extra advantage of having adequate levels of the proper nutrients to ensure an appropriate response to the therapy that you have been providing them.
Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS, is currently in clinical practice in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as a 2007 graduate of Northwestern Health Sciences University. Upon graduating, he started a private practice with a focus on using a functional medicine to approach tissue health, adrenal health, GI health, weight loss, and optimizing sports performance. Along the way Dr. Oswald has learned how to effectively address many of the underlying concerns with chronic health problems with a combination of chiropractic care, lifestyle changes, and specific nutritional protocols. He can be reached at
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