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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
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!
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
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.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
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.
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.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
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.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
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.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
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.
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."
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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.
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.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
Absorbing Essential Oils Through the Skin
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
I have always told students that an immediate and very effective form of aromatherapy is inhaling the aromatic molecules. It is a proven, powerful way to deliver the effects on body, mind and spirit.Even when body workers apply a lotion or oil product containing essential oils during a session, both the client and therapist are breathing. As such, both are receiving the effects of inhalation.
The question of absorption via the skin has been fairly mysterious and full of controversy for many years. Essential oils can and do affect the skin cells, but do they get into the body via lymph or bloodstream this way? Old research showing lavender in the bloodstream within a half hour after diluted skin application did not factor out inhalation.
The case against absorption through the epidermis begins at the uppermost layer, the stratum corneum that is designed to keep things from passing into the body. The other layers do not contain lymph or blood vessels, the reason why a cut needs to pass into the dermis and the subcutaneous layers to produce bleeding. How much of a product that will manage to reach the dermis has also been addressed. Aromatherapist and educator Robert Tisserand1 has said in his answer to whether a topical essential oil application could interact with a medication, "Only about 10% of that would be absorbed by the skin, so 10% EO applied becomes 1% EO absorbed." And any product containing true essential oils that has a detectable aroma indicates that an amount of the essence in the product is vaporizing, becoming a gas that is diffusing into the air (again, to be inhaled).
Medicinal products relying on skin absorption are frequently applied on areas of thinner epidermal layers, such as the axillary region. One might then assume that this would be true for essential oils, too. Some have suggested that fragrant molecules were more easily absorbed in openings in the skin, such as hair follicles and sweat glands. This gave rise to the idea that applying essential oils (often neat) to the feet, well known for their ability to sweat, was a potent way to deliver desired properties.
However, it appears that pores created by follicles and sweat glands have an exterior directed function and are not really a reliable delivery route. An article posted by Aromatherapy United2 titled, "Myth — Apply to Feet," listed some other interesting articles and research about dermal penetration including the following: "Absorption via the pores and follicles is considered to be insignificant because the orifices account for only 0.1% of the skin area and diffusion along sweat ducts is against an outward aqueous flow."
And these statements that also argue against the efficacy of dermal application to the feet and elsewhere: "The stratum corneum of the palms and soles is very thick (400-600 µM) whereas that of the arms, back, legs and abdomen is much thinner (8-15 µM)." "Normally, cells in solid tissues (for example, skin or mucous membranes of the lung or intestine) are so tightly compacted that substances cannot pass between them. Entry, therefore, requires that the xenobiotic have some capability to penetrate cell membranes. Also, the substance must cross several membranes in order to go from one area of the body to another."
More recently, researchers studying absorption methods have conducted an experiment to study dermal penetration via the feet. This study was not about essential oils, but sought to investigate an urban myth claiming people could become drunk by submerging their feet in vodka. (BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6812 (Published 14 December 2010)) The conclusion proved that this was false and alcohol was not detected in the blood when samples were taken every 30 minutes for a total of 180 minutes.
Despite the clinical approach to reflexology that uses no type of lotion or oil product, I have taught a CE course in the past on aromatic foot massage with reflexology. It combines soothing massage of the feet with aromatic oil, warm moist fragrant towels and some standard reflexology moves. While I agree with the clinical reflexology practitioners that their method is adequate and needs no additions, this class was designed as a spa treatment. Again, my primary idea was that the specifically chosen essential oil aromas would be inhaled by the client and affect desirable changes in that way. The soothing massage would enhance the receptivity of the client, increasing those effects. In practice, this seems to be the case.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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