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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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
A "Second" ISPA
The International Spa Association (ISPA) held its annual convention at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nov. 8-11, 2004. If there is one adjective I can use to describe it accurately, it is BIG - very, very big. Humongous. Large.
There were over 3,000 people in attendance for the first time in the event's 13-year history. I have a unique perspective on the conference's present-day size because I was one of the 125 attendees at the first ISPA conference here in Miami back in 1993. I remember choosing up sides for the beach volleyball tournament at that conference, which most of the attendees participated in. We had a barbecue and got to know each other. The tradeshow hall was an echoing quarter-ballroom space with a few dozen purveyors of massage tables, natural products, architectural services and basic equipment. We felt like we were on a mission to educate the world about the life-transforming potentials at our facilities. It was a magical time of birth for this industry and as so often happens after a magical birth, rapid growth followed - massive growth.
Now, I suppose, the worldwide spa industry is like a "teenager" with all of the usual problems of the age (including a major case of acne) that seems can only be remedied by cosmetics companies, and yes - the cosmetics companies have arrived. The ISPA convention felt more like an esthetics convention than a massage or natural health convention, and while it makes me personally sad to report that, I realize that in order to grow at such a tremendous rate, we need to sustain ourselves economically. I encourage that, but is economic sustainability the only kind out there?
Thankfully, no. Another, deeper undercurrent at this year's convention - one that provoked a number of breakout sessions, discussion forums and expert panels - was the issue of sustainability. I attended talks on the "greening of the spa industry." I heard testimony from pioneers in the field of gray water recirculation and was impressed to learn that one such expert has created a self-sustaining spa environment in Taos, New Mexico, at El Monte Sagrado.
The industry is not only moving forward with big bucks and glitzy press; it is also moving deeper - deeper into its own mission. In fact, it felt to many of us that there were actually two ISPA conventions happening concurrently this year - one featuring all the latest cosmetics and surface-oriented trends, and another featuring small grassroots groups and individuals committed to the vision of a spa industry that runs itself in a manner congruent with its core values and its core message to consumers.
Natural. Stress-free. Spiritual. Holistic. Ergonomic. Ecological. We use all of these monikers and more to describe ourselves, but how do we actually go about our business? I am sure that you as a massage therapist or allied professional think of yourself in these terms, and you would hope that any spa you worked for had the same values. If you build your own spa one day, you'd like to commit yourself to this same vision, most likely.
So, I am glad to report that there is indeed a "second" ISPA, flickering like a shadow beneath the behemoth that our own success has created. And this other ISPA is still striving mightily to attain those lofty (some might even say idealistic) goals that we entered this industry with in the first place.
Sustainability. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to create something that is sustainable? That is what we are all about. I am still vastly encouraged by this spa industry. I am still of a mind that we as therapists can find a home here that makes sense and is consistent with who we are.
There is no need to turn away in shame from this industry simply because it is so successful and generates so many amazing profits with its emphasis on products and retail and beauty. Why not take advantage of that success to build a profitable place for ourselves in this industry and in doing so, also build a more sustainable place for ourselves to live out our professional lives, encouraging others and helping the planet along the way? Why not have the best of both worlds, while always striving for a world better than either? Why not have our low-fat, low-carb spa cake, and eat it too? I know of few other industries where it is even realistic to dream such dreams. Why not dream them?