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Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
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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