The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: An Acupuncturist's Inside Perspective of Addiction Treatment
My husband and I have four grown children, but we still sleep with a phone next to our night stand just in case they need us. But nothing could have prepared us for a 1 a.m.
Power of the Talk: A Simple Way to Attract New Patients
One of the most effective ways to bring patients in predictably, especially if you enjoy teaching, is by doing talks. Talks can also bring in another stream of income beyond just seeing more patients one on one.
Who's the "Father of Corrective Traction" in Chiropractic?
History teaches that a Presbyterian minister, Samuel Weed, coined the name for the profession of chiropractic from the Greek cheir for "hand" and praktos for "done."
How to Reduce Metabolic Endotoxemia
Approximately 50 percent of the Western population suffers from a condition known as metabolic endotoxemia (ME). The condition is characterized by increased serum endotoxin concentration during the first five hours of the post-prandial period.
The Medicine of Peace in a Land of Conflict
We often read about violence, despair, and political stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic. And yet there are Israelis and Palestinians working together to transform conflict into cooperation.
Weight Watchers Goes Wellness
Goodbye Weight Watchers, hello "WW." The company has changed its name to reflect its new WW brand not only on its website, but also on every aspect of its public expression, including every studio.
ACA, ICA at Odds Over H.R. 7157
While the American Chiropractic Association recently penned an open letter – signed by not only the ACA, but also the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Clinical Compass and a number of state associations.
Winter Joint Health: Looking at Seasonal Influences
One of the most common clinical issues I see during the winter season is joint / muscle pain. These issues often appear due to the activities of winter sports or may appear due to seasonal influences on old chronic injuries.
An East & West Perspective on Sleep
You, your patients, and people all over the world are sleeping less. In 1979 a team led by American psychiatrist Daniel Kripke did a large-scale study of over a million people, which indicated that most people slept between 7-8 hours.
Dehydration ... A Commonly Overlooked Etiology
Water covers 71 percent of the earth's surface. It's found in every living organism and is considered the "universal solvent," yet we take it for granted as the foundation for optimal health.
Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?
Until recently, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug per the federal Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same class as marijuana (and heroin, by the way).
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and the Science of EMFs
Movement of planet Earth's molten iron core generates a weak static geomagnetic field that varies in strength over millennia but currently ranges from 0.25 to 0.65 gauss. This is the native field in which all life has evolved.
3 Tips to Get New Patients After a Talk
One of the most effective ways to bring in new patients predictably, especially when an acupuncturist enjoys teaching, is by doing talks. It can also bring in another stream of income, beyond just seeing more patients one-on-one.
Differentiating Qi Under the Needle (Part 2)
While classic sages have said a lot on this topic, I will share my own experience with the sensations under the needle with you. You, in turn, will also need to gain your own understanding of them through daily clinical observation, thinking, and practice.
Neuroscience 101: Understanding Opioid Addiction and How Chiropractic Can Help
Opioids now account for nearly two-thirds of all overdose-related deaths in the U.S. This insidious bane is no respecter of gender, age, race or ethnicity, with nearly all categories experiencing increases.
Case Study: Forefoot Pain
Patient presents with a history of forefoot pain. Discomfort has become worse in the past six months. He has difficulty completing his four-hour shifts as a part-time hairdresser.
Pain in the Butt (Pt. 1)
Many of my patients (and probably many of yours) come in with pain and/or tenderness in the buttock region. First, I assess where the painful and/or tender spots are located and what these points represent.
Flying Into the Year of the Pig: Making Way for the Impossible
The first of the new year has passed, and some of our New Year's resolutions may have already come and gone. Fortunately, we will celebrate the Chinese New Year this month, and will welcome in the Year of the Pig.
Quickie Seminar Adjustments Have No Place in Chiropractic
Recently, I observed chiropractors treating each other in the vendor area at the annual meeting of a chiropractic association. "Quickie" chiropractic adjustments and other hands-on procedures were administered without appropriate history taking, physical examination, diagnosis or informed consent.
The Role of TCM When Treating Mental Illnesses
Mental illness is common in the U.S., nearly 20 percent of adults live with a mental illness which vary in degree of severity—ranging from mild to moderate, to severe. It is not exaggerated to say that mental illness is an epidemic.
Simple Screening Tests for Stroke and Other Brain Lesions
The drift test, arm rolling and finger rolling are three useful assessments in the identification of upper motor neuron dysfunction.
Top Social Media Do's & Don'ts for Chiropractors
For years, health care practitioners have avoided embarking on the social media highway, primarily due to patient HIPAA privacy issues and the time needed to give the process due diligence.
Outcomes for Any Occasion
Outcome assessment tools (OATs) are a necessary part of documentation and patient care. They are used to show patient progress and help practitioners show changes as a result of their treatment interventions.
Quick Sacroiliac Assessment: Treating Different Types of Pain
The lower back is a generator for a number of types of pain. The lower back involves several different articulations – the lumbar spine with vertebral bodies, discs, and facets – the sacroiliac joints – and the lumbosacral junction.
Know Your Clinical Flags: 5 Different Colors to Consider
In health care, the term red flag is used to describe signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of serious health conditions. These conditions generally carry an increased likelihood for serious complications, disability or even death.
September, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 09
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
By Bill Reddy, LAc, Dipl. Ac.
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options. They want forms of care that include mainstream medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, spiritual counseling, nutrition counseling, and more.Patients don't necessarily want to just manage symptoms, they want to live healtheir lives and are looking for the experts that can help them achieve their health goals. Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) Annual Conference and was quite impressed by the quality of lectures on topics ranging from the value of meditation, to detoxification and the microbiome. Every healthcare practitioner, including licensed massage therapists, would benefit from the AIHM's inter-professional curriculum, and I recently reached out the AIHM Executive Director, Nancy Sudak, MD, ABIHM, to gain a clearer picture of the Academy's history and vision and to share some information regarding this year's conference: People, Planet, Purpose: Global Practitioners United in Health & Healing in San Diego, Oct. 25-29, 2015.
BR: Can you tell me a bit about the history, mission and vision/ philosophy of your organization?
Nancy: The mission of the AIHM is to transform health and medicine on a global scale. The goal of the Academy is to offer a unified voice for all health professionals interested in integrative health and medicine. We are an inter-professional organization working to prevent illness and restore health, rather than just treat disease. The Academy provides critical resources (training, fellowship program, education, advocacy, membership) to support collaboration between practitioners working to transform our disease-care model into one that serves the whole person — body, mind, spirit — and beyond to include community and planet. We also provide resources to the public. The AIHM Find-A-Provider Directory is becoming a central resource for consumers looking for holistic providers. Collaboration is at the heart of the AIHM's mission. We evolved from an MD/DO centric entity because we believe in a team-based, heart-centered approach to health and medicine. Healthcare transformation will require unprecedented changes in our thinking about prevention and treatment strategies. Together we can do it. Beyond promoting integrative tools and the art of an holistic style of practice, we also offer a systems-oriented, broad-minded world view and even an ecological perspective that brings meaning to clinicians as we step away from the "ill to the pill" mentality. To be in service of the integrative health agenda, we have to actually think integratively, which is much different than simply replacing drugs with a green pharmacy. The Academy is also committed to supporting clinicians who are working with under served populations.
BR: You recently launched a fellowship with Tieraona Low Dog, MD. Can you share some background?
Nancy: The AIHM Fellowship program offers an unprecedented opportunity and unites advanced professional clinicians in service of learning together. Dr. Low Dog is the internationally renowned educator, physician, herbalist, midwife and thought leader in integrative medicine who directed the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship for nine years. She brings unparalleled international expertise, vision and heart to the development and delivery of our program. The AIHM Fellowship in Integrative Health and Medicine is relevant to acupuncturists, conventional physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors of chiropractic, naturopathic physicians, doctors of oriental medicine, dietitians, nutritionists, selected psychotherapists, licensed massage therapists and others. The two-year program includes online, in-person and clinical components. The best of health and medicine is moving toward values-based health care that rests on leadership, care of all communities and the broad determinants of health (socioeconomic, environmental, behavioral, cultural), with mutual respect across all healthcare disciplines in truly patient centered environments. The AIHM Fellowship will be the pace-setter in engaging these inclusionary and health creating values and strategies. Applications for the first class are being accepted now at www.aihm.org for the February 2016 cohort. There will be a special informational session with Dr. Low Dog at our San Diego Conference in October.
BR: What part would you like to play in implementing an integrative medicine model in U.S. healthcare?
Nancy: The Academy hopes to support the implementation of integrative medicine in the U.S. and globally by providing community and empowering unification of multiple disciplines within a single organization. The AIHM will provide a home to a broad international community of healthcare practitioners and health seekers connected by a shared holistic philosophy of person-centered care, and recognizing the link between our health and the health of the planet.
We want to transcend the silos and put patients first. We know this is a unique endeavor. It has been a dream of the board of directors to create harmonious conversations among diverse professions of health care professionals — that were not happening previously — in a single organization. We also want to build bridges between the clinical and nonclinical worlds. Integrative medicine is blossoming primarily due to public demand. People understand that the system is broken. They are ready for change. With our collaborative partner, the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), the AIHM's advocacy activities aim to empower practitioners and consumers. For example, we are rallying around Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act and are ready to challenge current reimbursement models.
BR: Integrative medicine is gaining momentum among physicians as well as the American public – how can you help tip the scales?
Nancy: Three things come to mind – advocacy, collaboration across organizations, and inter-professional community. The growing patient demand around the world for integrative and holistic services is bolstered by mounting evidence of its effectiveness. Consumers want access to integrative health, but there are still barriers such as insurance coverage. What we all can do is support critical legislation that is in the House and Senate to create change. We long recognized that legislation directly impacts patients' health and access to care. Among the most important ongoing initiatives of the IHPC is the support of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act, which basically states that all state-licensed providers can be reimbursed by insurance and not discriminated against as long as they operate within their scope of practice. That would include acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, naturopathic physicians, midwives, massage therapists, and others. We are proud to be joining hands with the IHPC as we show up to ensure that Section 2706 is properly enforced. There is an initiative called "Cover My Care," another IHPC initiative, which reflects the consumer-action side of the 2706 equation.
We are also helping tip the scales by creating an environment of collaboration across disciplines and like-minded organizations. Early in our formation, we entered into dialogue with a number of organizations sharing similar goals. Last year we opened our conference with a day-long workshop inviting inter-professional collaboration from a field of invited guests representing many professional associations. We are learning more about how to effectively collaborate by asking and listening to the leaders in the health arena.
The Academy membership community is generating a wave of change. It's critical that we connect with one another, learn together, and take action together. We are deeply invested in empowering members in their practices with resources like a trusted Find-A-Provider directory and the AIHM Journal Club, which helps clinicians keep pace with global advances in health care with a focus on integrative medicine. Events such as our annual conference in San Diego and local chapter meetings are critical for building and sustaining our inter-professional community. It's important for professionals to network and strategically plan at the local level as well as nationally. Imagine an inter-professional group – maybe an LAc, ND, MD, and NP - gathering around a table writing a proposal to a local healthcare system's CEO about why integrative health and medicine reduces costs. The Academy will be a platform to spark those connections. To start an AIHM chapter you need a minimum of six AIHM members. Please contact us to learn more.
BR: Communication and cooperation are key to successful outcomes in any endeavor. What steps are you taking to interact with the CAM community?
Nancy: We reached out to the Academic Consortium of Complementary and Alternative Healthcare, ACCAHC, to learn more about education. We are delighted to be connected ACCAHC because they are the academic experts of the CAM disciplines, and offer considerable value to our work. The certificate — and all other educational initiatives of the Academy — will aim to weave together themes of personal transformation, social justice, and planetary well-being, and will be broadly appealing to licensed health care providers.
We are also joining hands with the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, ACIMH, as a partner for the clinical track of their International Research Congress in Integrative Medicine and Health in Las Vegas in May 2016 and are discussing an international event with other organizations into 2016, as well. Another important connection is our partnership with Commons Health to support place-based integrative, health creation models that will function as our incubator for our community and ecological health efforts. This year, we will be cohosting our second Commons Health Conference in Duluth, Minn., integrating the clinician voice and sharing insights with the local community on issues such as social determinants, climate change, food systems, and more.
At the Annual Conference last year, we hosted an Association Leadership Summit with more than 60 individuals representing diverse disciplines and organizations. The group overwhelmingly voiced its support and intention to create the new Association Alliance, and two-thirds of those in attendance volunteered to serve on an Association Advisory Task Force. The AATF is comprised of Executive Directors, Board Presidents or Chairs or other highly respected individuals appointed to speak on their organizations' behalf. They provide wisdom, insight and counsel to create the Association Alliance in 2015.
The biggest question facing the AATF is, "How do we grow our collective voice?" If the AMA has 220,000 members or about 20% of all MDs, how isn't it in our own interest to bring together the hundreds of thousands of inter-professional practitioners dedicated to integrative health? This isn't about CAM. It's about all of the MDs and non-MDs pulling together for a better way of care - cutting edge stuff.
Last year, we launched the AIHM Ambassador Program to ensure our transition is successful and our vision of pluralism and inclusion is achieved at our annual conference and within the AIHM at all levels. Representing the non-MD/DO communities, ambassadors embody excellence at the top of their respective fields. They help guide the AIHM programs and educational offerings, participate in AIHM initiatives and share insights and feedback for further development. Ambassadors help the Academy connect with new communities and develop functioning networks among integrative clinicians.
BR: How can practitioners learn more about your People, Planet, Purpose Conference in late October in sunny San Diego?
Nancy: To learn more, go to www.aihm.org, call 858-652-5400 or email . The conference is October 25 – 29, 2015. There are three excellent pre-conference workshops on the 24th. On the final night, following an afternoon with our three final speakers, Jean Watson, PhD, RN, Deepak Chopra, MD, and Mimi Guarneri, MD, we are having a gala and awards ceremony. I encourage you to become an Academy member. Members receive a 10% discount on the conference. But there are more important reasons to join. If we are going to play a role in shifting the global medical paradigm to whole person, health-focused, socially and globally conscious, inclusive team-based care, the Academy needs to be in a central position and that requires the emotional and financial support of its members.
Bill Reddy serves on the Executive Committee of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC), and has supported the AOM profession on a state and national level. He practices in Annandale, Virginia.
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