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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
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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