Supplement Safety: Is It Time to Give Big Pharma a Chance?
Why in the world would I, a chiropractor, consider Big Pharma when I make a vitamin / supplement recommendation to a patient? There are several supplement manufacturers at every chiropractic conference, even at some of our schools.
A Little More Chiropractic, A Lot Less Pain
Why should I visit a doctor of chiropractic when I'm not experiencing pain or other symptoms? That's the question many patients still ask themselves, despite the growing body of research supporting the value of chiropractic maintenance care.
The Carcinogen Most Patients Consume
A known carcinogen is being naively consumed by many, if not most of your patients, who have little to no understanding of how dangerous it really is. Depending on the age of the patient, this carcinogen is a leading, if not the leading, risk factor for death and disability.
Renying-Cunkuo Pulse: The Essential Pulse Method of the Ling Shu
The Ling Shu is a Han Dynasty classic book on the practice of Chinese medicine. It presents five main channel systems: Muscle Channels, Chapter 13; Luo Collaterals, Chapter 10 and others; The Main Channels, Chapter 10 and many more; Separate Channels (Divergent Channels) Chapter 11; and the Eight Extraordinary Channels, referenced in chapters throughout the book (there is very little theory).
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937-2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
How to Address the Question, "Do You Accept Insurance?"
Do you ever dread getting asked the question, do you accept insurance—when you only accept cash, or when you are out-of-network? As part of my daily practice, mentoring acupuncturists to grow their practices faster and more effectively, I talk to a lot of practitioners.
Pregnancy Health: Looking at the Lower Extremities
When patients tell us they are pregnant, many times we focus on the obvious pregnancy signs and symptoms related to their current trimester of pregnancy, and the biomechanical impact on the spine and pelvis.
Procuring a Place for the Future
As the acceptance of acupuncture continues to grow in the U.S. it is important that the profession be licensed in every state, and nationally board certified.
A New NCCIH Director ... One That Backs Acupuncture
The third time is a charm—the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced it's newest director, Dr. Helene Langevin.
Exercise Therapy Following Motor Vehicle Trauma (Pt. 1)
In the absence of acute trauma, a usual strength-building session includes concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises. Popular exercise programs typically include concentric movements as the major muscle contraction and should constitute approximately 70-75 percent of the workout time.
Paradise Lost: AWB Relief in Hawaii
In November, 2014, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) was hosting a training seminar on Oahu. A couple of us from the big island (aka "Hawaii" County) contacted AWB because the big island was in the middle of a crisis.
Manual Muscle Testing for Cervical Radiculopathy (Pt. 2)
Dr. John Bandy developed a protocol that associated specific muscles with myotomal nerve root levels. The deltoid is associated with the C6 nerve root; the triceps with the C7 nerve root; and the finger abductors with the C8 nerve root.
World Acupuncture Day: A Meeting in Paris
World Acupuncture Day is an event organized by the World Acupuncture Day Organization (WADO) in response to the eighth anniversary that UNESCO has included acupuncture and moxibustion on it's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Creatine: Muscle Fuel No Longer Just for Athletes!
Erase that image of the 20-year-old, muscle-bound bodybuilder using creatine. Replace it with the image of a lean, strong, fit 80-year-old hiking up a mountain. Creatine, a staple of athletes for more than 50 years, is now being used by athletes and non-athletes alike to help slow normal age-related muscle loss, improve exercise recovery, increase strength, and live a more active lifestyle.
Travel-to-Treat Coverage Finally Becoming a Reality?
Long-awaited legislation poised to hit the president's desk extends liability insurance coverage from one state to another for DCs and other state-licensed health care professionals who care for athletes / athletic teams that cross state lines.
NBCE Exams: Better, Shorter, More Opportunities
The NBCE's Written Exams department, led by Bruce Shotts, DC, developed a solution to computer-based testing on college campuses. Their work has resulted in 11 exam opportunities per year. CBT exams are on schedule to begin January 2019 as follows:
The Husband/Wife Imbalance
The Husband/Wife Imbalance, like Aggressive Energy, is an energetic block that will result in death, unless cleared, as its presence indicates that nature has given up the fight against the internal or external pathogenic factors that have assaulted the body/mind/spirit of the patient.
Case Study: Osteoporosis and the Role of Orthotic Support
The following is the second of three case studies by Dr. Wong on conservative management of lower-extremity complaints. Article #1 (September issue) explored chiropractic management of patellofemoral arthralgia.
Bait & Switch: Are You Guilty?
One of my three sons recently shared a story with me regarding an experience with a chiropractor, which stimulated me to write this ethics article. According to my son, he called a chiropractor's office and asked if his insurance was accepted at the office.
Cyberthreat Checklist: 10 Key Steps to Defend Your Practice
Living in an Internet-connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the Internet to connect us with customers, store data and find information has opened the door for many small-business owners to grow and flourish.
Vertebral Subluxation: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Vertebral subluxation: have any other words caused as much turmoil and controversy in the chiropractic profession? As a chiropractic term, vertebral subluxation did not make its debut until six or seven years after the profession's founding.
Chiropractic Integration a Big Success, Suggests Research
Whether chiropractors should integrate with other health care professionals in medical / multidisciplinary settings remains a contentious issue, depending on whom you ask, but there's no denying two realities.
An Effective Herb for Stress
We all know stress has become a significant factor in the increasing number of reported mental health disabilities and a contributor to various physical health conditions, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on.
On Point: Acupuncture Theory & Discussion
Welcome to my new column for Acupuncture Today, which will focus exclusively on the theoretical discussion and clinical application of acupuncture theory and acupuncture points. One of the most common questions I encounter from novice to experienced practitioners is "how do I choose the correct acupuncture point?". I hope this column can help answer some of these questions.
The NCCIH Seeks Participants for Acupuncture RCT
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is seeking participants for a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)—a Randomized Control Trial (RCT), which will evaluate the impact of, and strategies to best implement acupuncture treatment of older adults (65 years and older) with chronic low back pain (CLBP).
Checking Your Posture: A Wholistic View From Head to Toe
As you begin reading this article, what position is your body in? Are you sitting down, standing up, lying down, or walking down the street perhaps? Whatever position you are in, stop and observe your posture.
Avoid These New-Patient Turnoffs (Before It's Too Late)
I can't believe this doctor is making me watch this video in a room by myself, your new patient thinks to herself as she texts her best friend.
The Road to TCM, A Talk With Bob Doane
Bob Doane, a veteran acupuncturist, talks about his journey to TCM, the evolution of this medicine, and what he foresees in the future.
Cynicism, Burnout and the Search for the Ideal Patient (Pt. 1)
There is a video on the Internet that has gathered 6 million views as I write this article (so likely millions more by the time you read it). The video is of a doctor in an ER mocking a patient who is extremely weak and distressed.
Placebos, Presence and the Zero Point
We spend a huge amount of time learning the techniques and methods of acupuncture and Chi-nese medicine, and are given professional licenses based on our ability to remember and accu-rately apply them.
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937 – 2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, prolific author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
News in Brief
The Next Generation of Chiropractic Researchers: Historic NIH Grant; Cleveland University – Kansas City VP Joins CCE Site Accreditation Team; NUHS Opens Second Veterans Clinic; R.I. Chiro. Society Celebrates 100 years.
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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