resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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 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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
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.
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.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
Healing with Simple, Healthy Food
By Aimée Gould Shunney, ND
When it comes to your health, there is no better way to take control and create positive outcomes than by focusing on diet and lifestyle. As massage therapists, you know the power that regular self-care has for your clients.When they make time for stress reduction, keep to their exercise regimen and eat well, they report less pain, better energy and deeper satisfaction with their lives. Yet these simple dietary and lifestyle measures are often overlooked in conventional medicine.
Nutrition, for example, has somehow become "alternative medicine" to many. What could possibly be more fundamental to health than the food we put into our bodies? As a naturopathic physician, diet is an integral part of every treatment plan I create. Whether a patient comes in for aches and pains, hormone imbalance, depression or elevated cholesterol, proper nutrition is essential to helping them reach their unique health goals. While there are many "super foods" available to us, I find that there are five food groups I repeatedly recommend for their stellar nutritional performance. Be sure your clients (not to mention you and your family) eat plenty of these foods to feel great today and reduce the risk for chronic disease tomorrow.
Eat a Rainbow
You can actually follow the rainbow on your plate to the pot of gold at the end. As luck would have it, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is your best bet for reducing your risk for virtually every chronic disease. In addition to the vitamins and minerals in these foods that provide nutritional support for optimal function, research has shown they also contain phytochemicals that include pigments such as carotenes, chlorophyll and flavonoids, which have potent health effects including protection against cancer.
By filling your plate with a variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, you'll be giving your body the full spectrum of pigments, each with their own powerful antioxidant effects and health benefits. Some highlights worth mentioning are sweet potatoes, berries and dark-green leafy vegetables.
Sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, a safe-to-consume version of vitamin A. Higher dietary intake of carotenes have been shown to reduce the risk for certain cancers, heart disease and eye issues. Unlike many other starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes have actually been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and are, therefore, a delicious treat for those trying to control diabetes or lose weight.
The reds, blues and purples of berries indicate their high flavonoid content. In addition to their potent antioxidant effects, flavonoids have impressive anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiviral and anticancer properties. Berries are a great way to make your morning smoothie delicious (try adding organic frozen berries) and, like sweet potatoes, are a healthy sweet for those watching their blood sugar.
Dark-green leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, in addition to containing both carotenes and flavonoids. Many of these – kale, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens – are also part of the cruciferous vegetable family. These foods are worth special mention because they have more phytochemicals with demonstrated anticancer effect than any other food family.
Preliminary studies suggest the average person would need to eat about 2 pounds of broccoli (or other cruciferous veggies) per week to see significant cancer risk reduction. Since the cancer-fighting compounds are more concentrated in the less-mature plants, the same reduction in risk theoretically might be seen with just a little over an ounce of broccoli sprouts each week.
Look for them at the farmer's market or next to the alfalfa sprouts at your local health food store. Cruciferous vegetables are also formidable antioxidants that improve the body's ability to detoxify, support estrogen metabolism and help eliminate toxins.
The Power of Fish
Fish contain long-chain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA. These essential fats must be taken in from our food, as we don't make them ourselves. As it turns out, these omega-3s are incredibly important for every aspect of our health, especially when it comes to decreasing chronic inflammation in the body and therefore, reducing our risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer – the top three killers in the U.S. Omega-3s have also been shown to support mood and memory, reduce allergies and decrease pain.
When I was in medical school, I was taught that omega-3s could be supplemented as fish or flax (walnuts, hemp, chia, etc.). Research in the past 15 years, however, has shown that we don't reliably convert the short-chain omega-3 fats found in plant sources to the long-chain EPA and DHA that have been so well-studied for their health benefits. To get a reliable source of EPA and DHA, you need to eat fish or take a pharmaceutical-grade fish or algae oil supplement.
In addition to the omega-3s in fish, it is an excellent source of protein and dense nutrition including the minerals iodine and selenium. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel and Arctic cod are among the fish that pack the best omega-3 punch.
Most people need at least one serving of fish daily to balance their omega-6 fat intake (another essential fat with equally important, but pro-inflammatory effects that is found in meat, dairy and vegetable oils); and frankly, many people require more. In this case, supplementation is often necessary. I generally recommend 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg combined EPA+DHA daily, although I often dose higher amounts based on the person's diet and general health issues.
These foods provide live CFUs (colony- forming units) for the gut. These beneficial bacteria help prevent bacterial and yeast overgrowth, support digestion of fiber, promote bowel regularity and enhance immune function. Recent research even suggests balanced gut flora positively impacts mood. You can consider taking a probiotic supplement, but eating fermented foods like yogurt (look for those containing live cultures), sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, tempeh and kombucha can also add a delicious twist to your diet while promoting optimal health.
Do you know that we don't make a single mineral in our bodies? That means we have to get them from our food. Sea vegetables or seaweed have many times more mineral content than land vegetables, offering the broadest range of minerals of any food. They also contain lignans that have anticancer and hormone-balancing properties and fucans, which can reduce the body's inflammatory response.
Easy ways to get sea vegetables include eating sushi or buying nori sheets and eating them as snacks or as a "tortilla" to wrap hummus, black bean dip and/or cut veggies. You can also cook beans, soups and stews with kombu and then discard it when done. The minerals will get infused into the food (which will also make beans, etc., easier to digest). Lastly, you can use kelp flakes as a condiment to sprinkle on your food instead of salt.
Cooking with spices to improve the taste of your food can also provide potent health benefits. Cayenne is an effective pain reliever, helps digestion and supports a healthy heart. Cinnamon has been shown to help reduce fasting blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Ginger is a powerful digestive aid and a potent anti-inflammatory. It has also been shown to decrease nausea and alleviate menstrual cramps.
Turmeric packs a hefty antioxidant punch and has been shown in many studies to reduce inflammation. It holds promise for both the prevention and treatment of various cancers, as well as in the prevention of heart disease and as a brain-protective agent. And of course, don't forget garlic and onions, which reduce inflammation, support heart health and promote healthy detoxification. Figuring out how to integrate these foods into your daily life is key.
Dr. Aimée Shunney is in private practice in Santa Cruz and Campbell, Calif., where she blends conventional medical diagnosis and treatment with the use of natural therapeutics. Dr. Shunney specializes in women's health, functional endocrinology and family medicine. She is also co-host of "Green Tea & Honey," a podcast about integrative medicine, delicious food and the joys of eating; and co-creator of Cleanse Organic, a 28-day fully supported whole-foods cleansing program designed to optimize health and create sustainable healthy living choices. She currently serves on the Nordic Naturals Advisory Board. Visit www.drshunney.com to learn more.
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