Differentiating Qi Under the Needle
In the marketplace, we hear of dry needling being talked about more and more. As professional practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncture, it is important that we do not lose sight of our passion, purpose and belief in what we are doing, both for the sake of preserving the full practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and for the sake of our patients.
Give the Overtraining Injury Epidemic Your Full Attention
Athletes are known for their competitiveness, their drive. That's why it's no surprise to learn that research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine has found a large majority – as many as 60 percent – of athletes regularly "overreach" or "overtrain" by working their bodies either too often or too hard.
Extraordinary Chinese Medicine
The very fact that we exist as complex, multidimensional beings at this manifest level, and get to experience—through our senses—others, the world around us, as well as our own selves, is a miracle.
News in Brief
Dr. James Badge, former president of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners who, among other accomplishments, played a key role in the development of the board's Practice Analysis of Chiropractic (a report issued every five years and based on a survey of the profession), passed away on Nov. 7, 2018.
Exercise Therapy Following Motor Vehicle Trauma (Pt. 3)
Keep the neck in retraction by pulling the chin back toward the spine. Some rehab instructors used to refer to this as "packing the neck." I really emphasize decompressing the head away.
Acupuncture: More Effective in an Integrated Health Care System?
Acupuncture has traditionally been used in the primary care setting as a supplemental stream of care for patients. Patients can seek out or be referred to outside acupuncture providers based on their patients need.
Repave the Road to Financial Ease With Cash Profit Centers
Remember the adage, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket?" Well, that's what you do when you count 100 percent on insurance reimbursement to sustain your practice.
The NCCIH is Seeking Acupuncture Researchers for a Chronic Pain RCT
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in partnership with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking acupuncturists for a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)—a Randomized Control Trial (RCT).
Updates to ICD10, Specifically for Myalgia (Muscle Pain)
Are there updates to ICD10? I attempted to enter M79.1 for myalgia (muscle pain) and it was rejected by my clearing house as being invalid. What is the new code for myalgia?
Diverting the Crisis Stages of Life: Yang Wei Mai and the Necessity of Change
One of the biggest struggles in which we help our patients is the process of change. I often hear two common questions, "I'm unhappy. How can I change?" and "My life is changing, how do I deal with it?"
How to Handle the "F" Word
Have you ever been fired? It's terrible, nasty business, especially if you're on the receiving end. Most people are doing their best, and when they're terminated, they can become furious. If it's handled incorrectly, some people may even try to sue you for doing what's best for your practice.
Calming the Disturbed Meridians: A Way to Treat "Phantom" Pain
Margot J. was advised by her oncologist to talk to a psychiatrist about her post-mastectomy phantom pain. Instead, her friends sent her to me. Interesting situation—she'd recently experienced a double mastectomy and still felt intense pain in the spaces once occupied by her breasts.
Quick SI Assessment: 8 Tests
The lower back is a generator for a number of types of pain. As you know, it involves several different articulations: the lumbar spine with vertebral bodies, discs and facets; the sacroiliac joints; and the lumbosacral junction.
Using Tuina in the Acupuncture Clinic
The beneficial effects of touch are apparent to anyone who has stubbed their toe on an errant piece of living room furniture – after the initial angrily shouted expletive, we grab the offending digit in our hands because we know that it will help the pain.
BCBS of Tennessee Takes a Stance for Acupuncture
BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of Tennessee, the state's largest insurance provider, is starting the year off with some significant changes—they have dropped Oxycontin from their list of covered prescriptions and added acupuncture coverage.
Digital Dilemma: Issues With Post-Processing Collimation
With digital radiography, we are now able to electronically collimate images after acquisition. This may seem convenient, but there are also downsides to this technique.
The Back Squat: More Than a Training Exercise
The squat movement pattern is not only essential for ADLs; it is considered a foundational exercise for strength, resiliency and sport performance.
West Hartford Group Charts a Possible Course for Chiropractic's Future
The West Hartford Group, incorporated in 2006, is "a think tank dedicated to the acquisition of social, cultural and professional authority for the chiropractic profession, where the doctor of chiropractic (i.e., chiropractic physician in some jurisdictions) serves within the mainstream health care delivery system as a patient-centered, evidence-based, non-surgical, primary spine care health care professional." The WHG Board of Directors recently approved the following resolution it suggests as "one possible future for the chiropractic profession."
Time to End the Medicare Madness
Medicare's coverage of only a single chiropractic service (manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation) may change soon if H.R. 7157, the Chiropractic Patients' Freedom of Choice Act of 2018, is approved:
The Four Needle Technique: A Follow-Up to the Husband/Wife Imbalance
In my previous article on the Husband/Wife Imbalance (Nov 2018), I made mention that successful clearing of this lethal block may require treatment stronger than the first two protocols explained.
Quantum Physics Research and the Ancient Roots of Acupuncture
Acupuncturists and quantum physicists have a lot in common. They are both working in fields that are rooted in an inter-connected universe. According to traditional Taoist cosmology everything in the universe is connected to everything else – nothing is separate.
The #1 Essential Element of Every Patient's Care Plan
The #1 Essential Element of Every Patient's Care Plan
The Truth About Malpractice Claims Against DCs (Pt. 2)
I save (print and scan in file) all emails and texts to and from patients regarding any recommendations of care, follow through of therapies, and especially urgent or emergency care recommendations.
Turn Back the Clock With Nutrition
The anti-aging market is booming because, well, who doesn't want to look young, healthy and vibrant for as long as possible? And while there are many anti-aging products and systems marketed to the public, few people realize the most effective way to slow down the visible passage of time is to give the body the nutrients it needs to be truly healthy.
Make Room for New Kids on the Bus
Kids who were never "fortunate" enough to ride the bus to school actually may have missed out on many lessons related to the social challenges they would face later in life. One of the most classic might be called "The New Kid on the Crowded Bus."
2019 Practice Trends: How Does Your Practice Compare?
In order to better understand trends within the chiropractic profession, we periodically survey DCs throughout the U.S. and share the findings of our Expanding Chiropractic Practice Survey for your review and reflection.
Learn to Speak the Language of Personal Injury
For many providers, personal-injury cases and working within the med-legal arena can often be a confusing and frustrating endeavor. After all, for the majority, personal injury is a niche.
How H.R. 302 (Travel to Treat) Became Law: Behind the Scenes
Sports chiropractic has created opportunities to put our profession on a pedestal. However, as chiropractors have stood on the pedestal with the success of their athletes, they have risked everything and put their licenses on the line when knowingly or unwittingly crossing state lines where travel to treat is not allowed. H.R. 302, signed into law in October 2018, mitigates some of that risk.
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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