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In the Unlikely Event of an FDA Recall ... No News Has Been Good News
East Asian herb product manufacturers have practiced impeccable diligence by complying with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and providing the practitioner community certificates of analyses that detail laboratory testing results for things like heavy metals and toxic elements.
Safety First, Protecting the Patient: A Herbal Certification Program by the NCCAOM
The acceptance of acupuncture and Oriental (East Asian) medicine in the U.S. has made tremendous strides over the last 30-plus years. AOM/TCM is no longer "alternative or complementary" medicine. Yet, as acupuncture has become more mainstream, acceptance of herbal medicine has lagged behind.
The Opioid Crisis: "Let's Roll!"
Sept. 11, 2018 will mark the 17th anniversary of the horrific terroristic attack on the U.S. Whenever I think about that day, I am reminded of the heroes on Flight 93 who took action to keep the airliner away from Washington, D.C., by making it crash into the ground near Shanksville, Pa.
A Functional Approach to Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is recognized as one of the top chronic illnesses plaguing our society today. Here are some quick statistics on the prevalence of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes:
News in Brief
Chiropractic Takes Leap Forward in France; New ACA President Named; Sherman College Responds To "Choosing Wisely" Recommendations; R.I. DCs Speak at Medical CE Event.
The Veteran's Choice Program & Your Claims
Q: I have recently begun treating veterans under the Veteran's Choice program. I am getting paid just fine for acupuncture codes and evaluation and management services but have been denied all physical medicine codes including infra-red heat 97026, massage 97124 and manual therapy 97140.
Preparing for the Opioid Patient: The Future of the Acupuncture Profession
In the future there will be many more clients with opioid addictions in acupuncture practices. Acupuncture is being promoted as an excellent resource to help with recovery from opioid addiction.
Fixing a Major Practice Hurdle in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed Assembly Bill 834, legislation repealing the requirement that DCs wishing to practice in Wisconsin score higher on Part III and Part IV of the NBCE examination than is required in most other states.
Lancet LBP Series: Relevance to the Chiropractic Profession
The Lancet Low Back Pain Working Group consists of a team of leading international experts on back pain from different professional backgrounds and from countries around the globe. The group published a series of three papers in The Lancet on March 21, 2018, and have subsequently received significant media attention. Here is a summary of the relevant data from these three important papers.
The Pain of Chemotherapy: A Case Study
The primary reason for presenting this case study and patient is to review the pain relief response she experienced from micro-current electro-acupuncture for taxane induced neuropathy.
Standard Process Unveils Nutrition Innovation Center
The North Carolina Research Campus, a 350-acre research center in Kannapolis, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte, is a research collaborative that includes university, corporate and community partners.
Renew Your Passion: The National
It's another August day in Florida with temperatures reaching almost 90 degrees. The sun is shining through the tall windows of the Hyatt Regency Orlando on all the attendees at The National by the Florida Chiropractic Association.
Corporate Chiropractic (Pt. 2): The Dark Side
In a previous DC article (May issue), I tried to make the case that the trend of corporations and franchises delivering chiropractic care might actually be positive.
Practicing Tai Chi Between the Seasons: Balancing the External and Internal Environments
Each morning for the past week, I have found myself to be a bit more tired than usual. There were nights when I went to bed a little late and nights I went to bed early, but it didn't make a difference.
The Spirit of the Points: The Pericardium Meridian (Part 2)
As indicated in part one of this series, the vast majority of our patients, regardless of the presence of physical symptoms, are also imbalanced at the levels of mind and spirit. The ancient Chinese knew that to treat the whole person, all levels must be taken into account so that complete balance and harmony can be achieved.
Leave Acupuncture to Acupuncturists
Colorado acupuncturists are desperately fighting to reverse a recent decision — the passing of HB18-1155 — that adds dry needling to physical therapists' scope of practice. You can support Colorado acupuncturists by signing their Change.org petition here.
Mineral Nutrition for Athletic Performance and Recovery
Research on sports, exercise, and mineral nutrition has been ongoing for decades. It is widely held that strenuous exercise can increase the need for minerals.
VA and Medicare Billing: Case of the Missing Modifier
Indeed, the Veterans Administration is paying directly to chiropractors for care under the VA Choice or PC3 Program. There are currently two administrators for this program: Health Net for the northeast and TriWest for the southwest (approximate geographic regions).
Text Neck: Assess and Adjust
A common presentation in a chiropractic clinical practice is the patient with neck pain and stiffness. Patients usually report limited range of motion on rotation of the head and neck.
Legos Lead to New Patients
It's time to examine a different way of envisioning the marketing and promotional flows in your office. This 10,000-foot perspective I like to call your practice's "marketing Legos." Much like the Legos we all played with as kids – now you get to sort them out in practice!
A Report From the 3rd Annual ASA Council Congress
This past March the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) was proud to hold its third annual ASA Council Congress in Denver, Colorado.
The Gut/Brain Relationship: Exploring Brain Diseases
Several thousand years ago ancient Chinese doctors stressed the importance of a healthy diet, and leading a healthy lifestyle as the primary ingredient to maintaining health.
Art of the Associateship: Success Is in the Finances
Finances are an important part of any business relationship. Money serves as the fuel for all business operations and ultimately the long-term success of owners, employees and customers. This is especially true in the world of health care.
Give Obesity the Attention It Deserves: Practice Pointers
During my earlier years in practice, I first became aware of the obesity problem in New Mexico because of an offer to star in a movie.
Low Back Rehab: Hip Mobility
The strength of chiropractic physical rehabilitation is first and foremost CMT, closely followed by our appreciation of a whole-body approach to balancing the entire kinetic chain.
K2: The Supplement for Your Anti-Aging Treatments
While aging as a whole is inevitable, some aspects of aging may actually be caused by a simple vitamin deficiency. That's right – wrinkles, stiff muscles and decreased athletic performance can all be symptoms of just one micronutrient deficiency: vitamin K2.
NIH Agenda: How Will More Drugs Help?
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced in April that his agency will be partnering with drug manufacturers to address the opioid and pain crisis. The project is known as the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative.
A Five-Step Plan for Marketing the Sale of Your Practice
We spend so much time and energy educating ourselves to be successful practitioners that many of us never stop to consider what comes next. What happens if you have a great practice but you need to move, are getting burned out, or are simply ready to retire and try something else?
A Model for Integrative Health in the U.S.
This past March I met Dr. Benjamin Kligler, national director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center of the Veterans Administration (VA), at an Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus briefing, where he presented on the VA health care system.
March, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 03
What About My Brain? Part 2
Bulking Up Your Brain
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
There is so much we can do to keep our brains healthy, I had to create a part two to share the wealth of the information I came across when researching this topic, including such diverse activities as volunteerism, the study of foreign languages, working with essential oils and meditation.While each of these separately do not have a lot in common, research now shows us that they can help the brain to function at optimal levels.
I discussed some of the many ways we can attempt to delay Alzheimer's in my previous article (MT, December 2010). This information complements those ideas, and proves that the brain is not static. It can be shaped, and it can change for the better; even in senior years, the time when most people (let's face it) give up on change of any sort. Well, I'm here to tell you: DON'T! Doing fun, simple things can really help keep your brain stay young and active longer than anyone might have thought possible.
More Chatter = Brain Matter
We've all been told that being or becoming bilingual is beneficial for job hunting, but it also makes us smarter, literally. Not only are people who learn a second language before the age of five more fluent than those who learn later in life, but they also have denser gray matter in their brains. In 2004, researchers at University College London conducted a study on gray matter in three groups of people: those who learned a second language prior to turning five, those who became bilingual between the ages of 10 and 15, and those who only spoke one language.
The results showed those who spoke a second language had denser gray matter than those who did not. Specifically, the younger a person was when becoming bilingual, the more advanced their gray matter was. So it really does make a difference when children start learning a foreign language in school. It also means that it is never too late to learn a new language, as the study also shows that gray matter was denser even in those who were adults when they became bilingual.
Good Samaritan = Good Brain
Research recently published from Johns Hopkins University demonstrates that seniors who participate in volunteer activities can improve their brain function. This study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, followed two groups of senior women: one who signed up for Experience Corps - a national program in which older adults volunteer to tutor school children - and another group who was put on a wait-list for Experience Corps. After six months, fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain were performed on both groups. The fMRIs showed enhanced abilities in the regions of the brain dedicated to planning and organizing daily activities in the volunteer group. While preliminary, this research supports the idea that volunteering and being socially active is necessary in order for seniors to maintain their mental health.
Since retirees are the largest growing group of people in the United States, it is crucial that we take their well-being seriously. On a personal note, I was excited to learn about the results of the volunteers in Experience Corps, since most of my professional work revolves around the aging population. I know how common it is for them to suffer from depression and Alzheimer's, and I am always looking for ways to help address those issues. While none of this information will "cure" ADD or Alzheimer's, it does give hope that we will continue to find ways to help us make choices that will lead to healthier, more satisfying lives.
Good Smells = Good Smarts
Smell this! As practitioners, most of us are familiar with the benefits of using essential oils and aromatherapy during massage. What I found interesting was the fact that essential oils can also be used as a treatment for ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder). This is a growing problem in the U.S., with an estimated 20 percent of children suffering from one of these two conditions. For those who seek an alternative treatment to prescribed medication, certain essential oils have proven to calm people down and increase concentration. In 2001, Dr. Terry Friedmann conducted a study, in which he treated three groups of children with ADD/ADHD with three different essential oils: lavender, cedarwood and vetiver.
According to the reported study, "Vetiver was found to be the most effective in observations and brain wave scans - showing improvements in 100 percent of subjects. Cedarwood essential oil was 83 percent effective, and lavender 60 percent." Even if one does not have ADD or ADHD, using some of these oils that can cross the blood-brain barrier can help brain function.
Focus: It Does a Brain Good
Richard Davidson, PhD, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, conducted a study in 2004 that confirms meditation alters the chemistry and physical makeup of the brain. Using students who were not trained in meditation as the control group, and Buddhist monks with years of practice meditating as the experimental group, Davidson used brain scans and electroencephalographs (EEGs) to examine the brain while meditating.
In particular, Davidson was interested in the activity of gamma waves, important electrical impulses that produce the highest frequency. The gamma wave activity of the monks was some of the highest ever recorded, showing a correlation between years of meditation practice and strength of gamma waves. Gamma wave activity increased slightly in the control group of students, but movement of the waves through the brain in the monks was far better organized and coordinated than in the students. The monks also had more gamma wave activity than the students prior to starting the meditation.
Davidson believes this illustrates that meditation can permanently change the way the brain functions, and hopes future research will confirm this belief. His research confirms that the brain is "elastic", and can be trained to function more efficiently. It also supports the saying, "It's never too late to learn"!
Of all the fascinating articles I read on recent research on brain function, I found Davidson's article on meditation the most promising. After all, meditation does not require you to buy anything or go anywhere; it can be done wherever you are, whenever, and without money or wearing any particular outfit.
As long as you can find a place to sit quietly - or at least somewhere you can focus - you can practice meditation.
To maintain acuity - keep your brain stimulated. Involve new approaches in as many of the senses as possible. "Mental muscle" improves with exercise, so put your brain through its paces as often as possible. Select brain exercises that are challenging and fun, and try 20 minutes of exercise three times daily. Brain exercises can be found at Web sites such as Braingle.com or Billsgames.com/brain-teasers.
With these suggestions in mind, this is just a gentle reminder to take care of your noggin as well as your body.
Click here for more information about Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT.
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