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Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
August, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 08
The Most Important Piece of the Nutrition Puzzle
By Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD
I was sitting in an airplane in Newark, New Jersey, awaiting take off for an 18-hour international flight to Singapore. Aside from the obvious need for a personal massage therapist to help me recover from my trip across the world, there was something else that stood out to me on that particular flight.
It had nothing to do with flying itself, but rather with something the flight attendant said during the safety speech before we took off. "In the unlikely event of an emergency, if you're traveling with an infant or someone who needs assistance, please put on your oxygen mask first, before helping them." The last part — "put on your oxygen mask first" — resonated with me.
When I think about massage therapists, this message can't be overstated. Your job is to make people feel better. Too often, you are so busy giving to others, you put yourself on the back burner and forget to take of yourself. We could go on about different ways of taking care of yourself, from regular exercise to eating well, getting enough sleep to benefiting from massages yourself. But there's another piece to this "health" puzzle that is often forgotten.
More specific than the blanket message of "eating well," is focusing on the quality of the foods you eat. People often demonize whole categories of foods saying, "carbohydrates are bad," or, "fats are bad." It's important to look at the unique qualities of individual foods, rather than categorize an entire food group as "good" or "bad." After all, soda is a carbohydrate. So are apples and broccoli. Shortening is fat. So are olive oil and fish oil. You get the point.
There are certainly big differences among all of them. The quality of the foods you eat is the most important piece to the eating puzzle. So let's focus on some details that will shed some more light on this topic. More specifically, let's put the focus on fat, a macro-nutrient that certainly has taken its fair share of hits.
A Primer on Fat
There are many different types of fats in the diet, so it's first important to provide a quick overview:
Let's start at the beginning. How much should we eat? Currently, the Institute of Medicine recommends eating 20% to 35% of total calories from fat, which means around 40 to 70 total grams for the "average" 2000 calorie-a-day diet that often is recommended. To boil that down even further, here is a short list of common sources of fat in the diet and how much a serving provides:
Looking at that chart, you'll notice the servings of food range from 8 grams of fat up to 14 grams of fat. Of course, other foods may provide more or less. With this particular example though, it doesn't mean since cheese is lower in fat than salmon or olive oil, it's "better." In fact, quite the opposite is true. While I think cheese is fantastic, salmon and olive oil are healthier sources of fat. Salmon, in particular, has a unique type of fat that may just very well make you feel better, think more clearly and be better at your job by lubricating your joints and keeping inflammation under control. Again, you're giving massages all day, so you need to keep those joints lubricated and hands and muscles feeling great. More on that in a bit.
Different Types of Fat
Saturated Fat (SFA): Saturated fats are easy to identify because they are solid at room temperature (butter, shortening, animal fats, coconut, coconut oil, etc.). Not all saturated fats are created equal. In general, it's good to keep your intake to about one-third of your total fat intake.
Monounsaturated fat (MUFA) (mono, meaning one): Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, etc.). These types of fats get a lot of attention because they're closely tied to health, particularly heart health. The Mediterranean Diet is high in monounsaturated fats, which is one reason most studies give it so much positive support. Like saturated fat, intake should be around one-third of total intake.
Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) (poly, meaning many): Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature (fish oil, fish, flax oil/seed, nuts, etc.). These foods contain omega-3 and omega-6 fats, known as essential fatty acids or essential fats. They are called "essential" because our bodies need them for optimal health. Because our bodies cannot make them, we must get them from the diet. To round out the three sources listed, total intake should be around one-third of polyunsaturated fat calories as well.
Essential Fatty Acids
I'd like to focus on the essential fats — omega 3s in particular. You'll want to pay close attention here, because as a massage therapist, including more omega-3 fats in your diet can certainly help you feel and move better. Remember, both omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats are essential. The best sources of omega-3 fats are from fish and a quality fish oil supplement. Omega-6 fats are in vegetable oils, like soybean and corn oil, and in most of the processed foods we eat.
Notice the difference. Though both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential, we typically get plenty of the latter (processed foods and vegetable oils), yet not enough omega-3s (fish and/or quality fish oil). This causes an imbalance between the two, which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation can affect your joints, your skin and your overall health in a significant way. The question then, is how to change this unhealthy balance of omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats?
The answer lies within the foods you eat each day. To simplify the question of what to eat, I created a basic table.
Time for An Oil Change
In addition to knowing what to eat, it's important to understand why. Feeling better and having better mobility with your joints and hands, which is, of course a necessary part of your job and lifestyle, are just the beginning. There are many other benefits to "changing your oil."
Can Omega-3s Boost Fat Loss?
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that when adding a daily omega-3 dietary supplement to an aerobic activity based weight-loss program, there was an improvement in health outcomes and fat loss. This is certainly an important consideration.
Will Omega-3s Help My Joints Feel Better?
Researchers at the Institute of Human Nutrition in the United Kingdom showed that the anti-inflammatory actions of omega-3 fatty acids might actually be therapeutic in conditions with an acute or chronic inflammatory component. Thinking about your chosen profession, massage therapy requires a lot of strength, flexibility and mobility in your joints. Of course, exercise is important for these benefits, too, but complementing the health benefits of exercise with essential omega-3 fats, may work together for optimal health and keep inflammation under control.
List of Benefits
Much of the benefit from eating omega-3 fats appears to be in reducing inflammation in the body. This can directly impact you, your recovery from your job and your overall health. Though there are currently 19,546 studies (and counting) to date about omega-3 fats, focusing on just a few of the benefits is important to highlight just how "essential" essential fats really are.
What Can You Do?
The American Heart Association's recommendations are to eat 12 ounces of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.) each week. In addition, there are certainly plenty of data, governing bodies and experts that support supplementing fish intake with the purest omega-3 fish oil available.
Remembering what the flight attendant shared with us on the plane, "In the unlikely event of an emergency, if you're traveling with an infant or someone who needs assistance, please put on your oxygen mask first, before helping them." You need to make sure you take care of YOU, so you can better help your clients take care of themselves.
Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, is a nutrition spokesperson and consultant to a number of media outlets. He is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour's TNP Training Council. His weekly health segment can be heard on WHAS radio in Louisville and he often appears on television as a nutritional guest expert. He is a sought out nutrition expert who has written more than 500 articles for consumer publications such as Men's Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men's Health and Fitness, to name a few. Dr. Mohr serves on the Nordic Naturals Board of Advisors.
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