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East Meets West
Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations.
Ethics: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Kudos to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for creating a code of ethics for the nationwide profession and for deciding to make courses in ethics a requirement for certification renewal.
The Amazing Clinical Versatility of Milk Thistle (Part 1)
Most of us know that the standardized extract from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is probably the best-proven herb for protecting the liver from chemical and inflammatory damage.
News in Brief
A Winner in and Out of the Office; Ready for the "Have-A-Heart" Campaign? New Integrative Medicine Journal.
We Get Letters & Email
In the Dec. 1, 2015 issue, we have Donald Petersen reporting on "the adapting chiropractic practice," which includes multidisciplinary practice as an option; a ChiroPoll indicating 59 percent of DCs are seeing at least 21 patients per day and 27 percent are seeing more than 40.
The Future of Functional Neurology
Functional is the hot buzzword in health care these days; witness the rising popularity of functional medicine, functional testing and yes, functional neurology.
How to Humanize Your Content to Create Stronger Relationships
Content marketing is about building relationships, whether that is through updates on social media, offers on your website, blog posts, email campaigns, or even printed material. Now days a business needs to make a human connection.
Percussion Therapy: An Experiment
My study of qi began more than 20 years ago — long before my study of TCM, points or pathways. It all started with an awareness in my hands and physical manifestations in the way of blockages while working on clients.
Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published its annual fitness trend forecast in the November / December 2015 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal.
Billing and Coding for Moxibustion
Q: I am trying to locate a code for cupping and moxibustion, and have had various fellow acupuncturists indicate that they bill using the existing codes for heat, 97010 hot packs or 97026 infra-red for moxa and 97016 vasopneumatic device for cupping.
Spine Surgery: A Tale of Greed and Corruption
All too often, where there's substantial money to be made, greed and corruption inevitably follow.
Sell Out: Using Research for the Wrong Reasons
The above chorus is from the ska band Reel Big Fish's 1997 hit song, "Sell Out," from their album, "Turn the Radio Off." In the song, the singer sarcastically relates the plight of a musician who is tired of "flipping burgers" and is willing to get "lots of money" by playing "what they want you to hear" in order to get a recording contract.
Osteoporosis Isn't Always the Case
What is your diagnosis? The patient is a 58-year-old female with back pain. I am sure all of you see the compression fracture at L2; however, there are some findings that suggest this is not a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Integrative Medicine Can Shape the Profession
As the AOM profession struggles to define the role of "integrative" medicine within their practices their schools and organizations, students, faculty, alumni and administrators at schools wrestle with discussions of how much, where, how, and what to "integrate."
Interprofessionalism: What it Means and Why You Should Care
Interprofessionalism in education and in practice is a growing trend across health care in the United States. The idea that team-based care and collaborative practice can improve health care has been around more than 50 years.
Forgotten Options for Musculoskeletal Health
Challenges with musculoskeletal health are of tremendous concern for many people today.
The Roots of Insomnia
One of the most common clinical presentations is insomnia. Next to digestive disorders, sleep disorders are one of the most common complaints the clinician will encounter in daily practice.
Asking the Insurance Rep the Right Questions
One of the first or last questions a potential patient often asks is: "Do you take insurance?" An ill-informed or optimistic, "yes" can result in delayed or non-payment. Instead, just say: "Let me check if you are eligible first."
Preventing ACL Injuries in Female Athletes
For female athletes, the key to optimal athletic health lies in preventing ACL injuries. In medical terms, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the primary restraint to the anterior displacement of the tibia on the femur at all angles of the knee flexor.
Do You Teach Patients How to Breathe Properly?
Spinal manipulation often produces quick results in terms of pain alleviation and improved range of motion. Unfortunately, once the patient is no longer in pain, they may discontinue therapy, only to be plagued by the same complaint at a future date.
Yo San University Helps Make LA Communities Healthier
An element of healthcare training often overlooked is the residual benefit to communities served by Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) schools nationwide.
From Antiquity to Modernity: Huang Qin Tang at Yale Medical School, Part 1
Traditional Chinese medicine is a coherent medical system with several unique characteristics: it originated almost 3,000 years ago; in its area of origin, it has been practiced without interruption since its inception.
The MRI: When and Why to Order One
As I lecture around the country to both chiropractors and medical specialists, it's clear one of the main disconnects between the two professions is that of an accurate diagnosis.
Changing the Cultural View of Medicine
Many hospitals in the U.S. are incorporating integrative clinics that include Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cleveland Clinic has led the charge for adding a traditional Chinese herbal medicine clinic to their existing acupuncture program.
Window of the Sky Points
The acupuncture points known as Window of the Sky are a modern creation. There is no reference in Chinese medical texts for an acupuncture point category called Window of the Sky.
March, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 03
Sampling Self-Care Southern California Style
By Mia Miller, LMT
I am often in awe of how both built and natural environments stretch our sense of what's enjoyable, desirable and possible. Whether you're suiting up for a winter run in below freezing temperatures, packing up swim gear to hit the gym after a long day of work or perhaps you're disciplined enough to do some restorative yoga at home alone in the wee hours of morning before the day kicks off, we are incredibly adaptable creatures when we allow the places around us to suggest and shape our routines of self-care.I have found two different distinct, new ways to be take care of myself since my move West: long hikes and regular trips to the Korean day spa.
I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast, having spent 11 years in Brooklyn prior to my move to Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. The predictable 70 degree temps were a direct invitation to get outside and stay there. My new home was in the foothills against a wall of mountains known as the San Gabriel range, unique to the area as it runs East to West and enjoys various climatic influences. Los Angeles County hosts high dessert, coastal, moutainous and inland valley topography providing great odds for outdoor wandering, as nine times out of ten you'll be in dry conditions with pleasing, moderate temperatures. Southern California really is a unique place to explore hills, valleys, beaches and desserts on foot most days of the year.
Past my initial anxiety, I eventually got my bags packed and headed out to find a trail about 15 mins from my house and began my first hike. Right at the start, I saw a sign that announced "rattlesnakes are a vital part of the ecosystem, don't disturb" and I knew for sure I was on freshh ground and off for a different kind of walk than I was used to. My hike in the San Gabriels was distinct from former walks on busy city streets, where everyone and everything can mingle. In this setting, I was able to sense and commune with non-human existence and open space, possibly discover new life in the dirt and brush.
In case the effects of a slightly challenging hike are easy to overlook, let's review a few physical benefits here. When walking, we nourish our tissues with fresh oxygen and improve the flow of synovial fluids for joint health and lymphatic fluid for smoother, more effecient "plumbing." While hiking here, you hit inclines, some steady, some extreme, thus building stamina, increasing pulmonary and circulatory functions and building bone mass with each step. Back and forth along switchbacks at a nice clip, we have the opportunity to witness a literal widening perspective which always seems fresh when we look. We relax the nervous system promoting a nice calm, even while we are exerting ourselves, a very stabilizing combination of effects, I think.
Its been a few years since this intial sojourn and I have since ventured deeper into the Angeles National Forest for longer hikes, as well as places that required a little more planning and gas in the tank. While driving can be aumtomated and disembodied, once you hit that trail, the contrast is quite acute and the body gains in appreciation with each dusty push off. It's the promise of adventure, new terrain and intimacy with it, that really eases the mind and settles the misfires and chatter inside.
A second ritual of self-care I have discovered for mind/body restoration takes me indoors in Los Angeles. A contrast from trails at 5,000 feet, day spa's are environments in which to unwind and commune with the elements in a more passive fashion, often in a basement of a big office building. Searching Yelp, you'll find more than 6,000 hits for day spa's in Los Angeles. I am eager to share my impressions of Korean Day Spa's in Koreatown, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Some are small and for women only, while others are very spacious and filled with families. Others have co-ed saunas with heated jade floors and a communal nap zone with separate gender specific spaces in which to enjoy contrast bathing and unrobing to steam. The locations I've visited are all peaceful, clean, centered on client comfort and incredibly affordable, many with a fee of only $15 for use of the facilities.
Many folks expereince a spa environment for the first time when they are on vacation and decide to splurge on a body wrap or a high priced package deal. Logistically, what I appreciate most about these bi-monthly Korean day spa excursions is you are able to design the day for yourself, but not from that organized sort of place. It's much more casual and free form. You can pack your own supplies, such as a dry brush, home made body scrub and your own clay mask, possibly a bag of goodies you rarely make time to use at home and settle in for a few hours to experience the elements in a less controlled manner. At the spa, you peruse more, feeling how long to stay in each place. While there is no exact protocol you have to follow, there are suggestions for how to use the facilities and your safety in extreme temperatures is obviously important to pay attention to, so know limitations and listen to your body, the point of the day anyway! Drink lots of water throughout as well.
Choice activites and effects:
Heading out, again often paying $15 for my time, I hit the warm air and smile. My drive home is so relaxed and peaceful and whatever comes next is laced with pure joy and contentment.
There are no lack of spas in many towns and the big, bad U.S.A. has tons of trails and places to wander around outside. I am thrilled to incorporate these activities into my life as I call the West Coast home. I often encourage clients and friends to explore these options and they are always happy they did. As we care for others in a very tactile, physical way through bodywork, we too can learn to dial it back and take in the built and natural atmosphere and it's affordable little gems. I invite you to check out what's around you and be well. The world is waiting for you to check it out!
Mia Miller is a specialist in oncology massage and runs her private practice, Somatic Space, in Los Angeles, Calif. She is a passionate proponent of integrative medicine and a therapist at City of Hope and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Visit her website: www.somaticspace.com.
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