A Resting of the Soul
In my pursuit of being a skilled health care provider, I focus on reading journals, attending classes, staying current on medicinal research, and choosing the correct billing codes. However, most of us would never have started down this career path if there wasn't something more.
End of Life Treatment
TCM looks death in the face. We do not camouflage it as if it were poisonous. "We must allow our patients to die but we cannot allow them to perish," was my first lesson the day I met my teacher as a teenager.
The Secondary Insurance Plan
I have a patient that has Medicare, but also has a secondary insurance plan that does cover acupuncture. How do I bill Medicare to get a denial so that I may bill this secondary payer?
Blockchain Health Records?
Keeping data secure has become a nightmare for the average consumer. Just consider general user account hacks on Yahoo (3 billion records compromised), eBay (145 million records compromised) and Facebook (87 million records compromised), to health record breaches involving Anthem Blue Cross (78 million records compromised) and TRICARE (almost 5 million records compromised).
Art of the Associateship: It's OK to Trust, But Verify
Trust is a valuable part of any business relationship. It serves as the foundation for all business operations and ultimately long-term success for owners, employees and customers. This is especially true in the world of health care.
Reducing Hip, Knee & Shoulder Replacements (Part 2)
In the first article in this series, "Early Detection Reduces Hip, Knee, & Shoulder Replacements," I described time tested screening procedures and perspectives as indicators of when to encourage your patients to seek further medical evaluation.
Autoimmunity, Gut Health and Diet: Connect the Dots
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), autoimmune disease is recognized in approximately 24 million individuals in the U.S., consisting of more than 80 various disorders that contribute to the top 10 causes of death in female children and women of all age groups.
Doc, Are You a Social Media Holdout? Your Future Is Now
Whether you like it or not, to compete in any business, even chiropractic, you really should know and consider using social media. It is no longer a small, sleepy, local world we live in; it has become a far-reaching community.
Confessions of a Former Drug Rep: Statins Are Endangering Your Overweight Patients
As I sit at my desk on the sixth anniversary of my successful liver transplant, I can't help but reflect on what caused that life-threatening ordeal. Looking back on my personal situation, I want to offer my insight into what is happening routinely to many patients.
Why Take X-Rays When You Already Have an MRI?
Let's clear up the issue regarding the efficacy of plain-film studies when an MRI study has already been performed. I review imaging studies primarily for chiropractors, and often their patients have been to other health care providers before finding their way to a DC.
#TechPain: Causes, Solutions
For the past several decades, the science of ergonomics has blossomed. The workplace is much safer and life is generally more pleasant thanks to the application of ergonomic principles.
The Certified Practitioner
Certified Chinese herb practitioners often identify themselves with the credentials "LAc" (Licensed acupuncturist).
Help Shape the New Neck Pain Best Practices Guideline
The Clinical Compass (originally the Council on Guidelines and Practice Parameters – CCGPP) has issued a call for interested chiropractic clinicians to help shape a new best practices guideline for chiropractic care of neck pain.
News in Brief
WFC Among Founding Members of Global Rehab Alliance; HealthSource Selects GoChiroTV as Exclusive Digital Signage Partner; Western States' Online Degree Programs Among Best in the Nation; Logan University, University of Missouri-St. Louis Forge Partnership.
Facebook Marketing 101
Many of the health care practitioners we work with have smaller practices. The provider tends to wear many hats – office manager, salesperson and healer.
It's All About That Ki
As an industry are we shifting too much toward a Western mind set? We strive to understand how acupuncture works using imaging and extensive studies. We spend numerous hours of our training learning Western medicine and learning to speak their language. What happened to our core though?
A Bold Strategy to Take Chiropractic to New Heights
Building public awareness of an entire profession requires strategic planning – especially when it pertains to the exploration of ground-breaking marketing tactics that target new audiences with key messaging about the value of chiropractic care.
NCCAOM: A Route to National Certification
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is offering a route to achieve national certification—without having to take any of the NCCAOM exams. This is specifically for California licensed acupuncturists that meet the eligibility requirements.
Trending: CBD / Hemp Oil
A recent survey of DCs regarding cannabidiol (CBD) / hemp oil provides food for thought as to the viability of CBD-based products as a component of chiropractic patient care. Here are some observations from the executive summary of the survey:
"Community Care" for Vets: It's Really a Big Deal!
As a preamble, while I regrettably never served in the military, I have the highest respect for those who did and those who currently serve.
Why the Automatic Denials for Modifiers 25 and 59?
Your experience is one shared by many chiropractic providers who bill through those plans. It appears to be the national trend, but by far is more prominent in Texas and Illinois.
The Classical Texts & Integrative Medicine
The acupuncture profession has been undergoing many changes in the past years. There has been a shift towards a more integrative approach to medicine as more hospitals include integrative departments.
UnitedHealthcare Can't Seem to Keep Chiropractic Down
AA decade ago, UnitedHealthcare announced changes to its chiropractic services policy that declared manipulative therapy for headache unproven.
Vaccines & Autism (Part 1)
It turns out chronic inflammation is the driver of autism expression. Unfortunately, those who emotionally embrace the vaccine issue rarely, if ever, consider this relationship, which hinders a rational view of the vaccine issue.
Treating Pain With Nutrition
Back in 1910, when D.D. Palmer published The Chiropractor's Adjuster and introduced the world to what he called the "triad of health" – thoughts, trauma and toxins – he explained that the body can only be made optimally healthy if all three aspects of health are addressed.
Does Dairy Cause Dampness?
The topic of dairy consumption was brought up at a scalp acupuncture seminar I recently attended.
CBD for Athletes: The Advantages of Cannibidiol
For athletes, pain is often part of their sport or activity. And to a certain extent, it is to be expected. However, after pushing themselves to the limit, soreness and fatigue set in, hampering their ability to perform and recover.
Valuable Adjunctive Therapies
Based on the latest CDC statistics, more than 795,000 Americans have strokes per year, 140,000 of which are lethal. Approximately 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic with an estimated health care and missed work cost of $34 billion annually.1
February, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 02
Reducing Hypertension with Massage Therapy
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by MK Brennan, Beth Barberree & Renee Stenbjorn
Elevated blood pressure has often been called the "silent killer" due to the fact that one may never know that hypertension is a problem until a heart attack or stroke strikes. One in every three adults in developed countries has hypertension, including approximately 50 million adults in the U.S., according to information from 2009 cited in this month's article, "Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure," which was published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Clinicians have known that hypertension is a predictor for an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction. To help reduce the prevalence of hypertension, there is a new recommendation to increase awareness of and treatment for patients with "pre-hypertension." Pre-hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure readings between 120–140 and diastolic readings between 80–90. Treating pre-hypertension may be one way to prevent hypertension and is the rationale for carrying out this study.
This month, we present information about a clinical trial conducted through the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran and published in May 2013. Changing lifestyle and using non-pharmacological treatments for pre-hypertension is recommended by many clinicians. Within these non-pharmacological treatments, complementary and alternative therapies are commonly used with massage therapy being the most popular. There have been studies that indicate massage is effective in reducing blood pressure, but not necessarily over a long period of time. This study explored the sustainable effects of using massage therapy in the treatment of pre-hypertension.
The study was a single-blind clinical trial that used a simple random sampling of pre-hypertensive women. Randomization to either the massage group or the relaxation without massage group was done by having the patients from a cardiovascular center choose a card from a box. On the cards was written either "control" or "test." Inclusion criteria was two separate blood pressure measurements with the average reading of less than 140/90 and more than 120/80, no disease that affects blood pressure, no skin disorders in the massage area, no medication that affects blood pressure, no specific diet, no obesity and no stress or lack of relaxing techniques use. Demographic information indicated that there was no significant difference between the individuals in the test and control groups. There were 25 individuals in each group.
The control group relaxed without a massage in the same environment as those in the test group who received a massage. They laid on a bed with eyes closed and deep breathing with self-muscle relaxation techniques. Blood pressure was measured before and after each session as well as 72 hours after the test period. Both the test and the control group were asked not to change their life-style and diet, and measurements were done with calibrated equipment.
The Swedish massage sessions were scheduled three times a week and lasted 10 to 15 minutes each using non-aromatic lotion on the face, neck, shoulders and upper chest of the individuals. Superficial and deep stroking was used in the massage protocol. There were a total of 10 sessions during which the subject's blood pressure was checked by one of the researches before and after each intervention.
Following the 10 sessions, the results showed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were lowered in the massage group immediately after the final session when compared to the control group. Additionally, there continued to be a significant difference between the test and control groups 72 hours after the finishing the study.
The researchers acknowledge that their study has limitations that include the fact that the study subjects were only women and there were uncontrollable variables as the subjects dealt with daily incidents and stress. They also recommend that post intervention, different measurement timelines be explored, which would give a better sense of the sustainable effects of the massage on blood pressure. That said, the results of this study led to a shift in patient care practices to include massage as a suitable non-pharmacological intervention to manage pre-hypertension.
Does this study peak your interest in pursuing research? Do you have a project in mind? Now is the time to look at applying for a Massage Therapy Foundation Research Grant. The deadline is March 2, 2015. For more information, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/research-grants/.
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