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Peer Points: Promoting TCM Knowledge
When Elaine Wolf Komarow, LAc, received her first acupuncture treatment in 1989, she said it changed her life. "I felt more aware, calmer, and happier. I was so fascinated by the changes that I began to learn everything I could about the underlying philosophy of Chinese medicine," said Komarow.
Acupuncture Detox as Part of Drug Rehabilitation
In the U.S., more than 2,000 alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs have added ear acupuncture to their practice. The development of the protocol was determined by Lincoln Hospital as it delivered 100 acupuncture treatments daily.
Introduce Your Patients to Collagen Induction Therapy
Cutaneous (skin) aging generally occurs from either intrinsic or extrinsic processes. Intrinsic aging results from natural skin tissue damage and degeneration.
Make Low-Level Laser Therapy Part of Your Evidence-Based Practice
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also referred to as photobiomodulation, has been increasingly utilized in the clinical setting over the past decade.
The Acupuncture Now Foundation: What Our Profession Needs
Although acupuncture is growing in popularity it continues to be underutilized due to misunderstandings about its true potential. Only a fraction of those who could be helped by acupuncture know enough to seek it out.
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Announces First Group Member
The Michigan Association of Chiropractors has joined the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress as its first group member.
News in Brief
Life to Open Branch Campus in Italy; Northwestern Research Arm Benefits From Big Donation.
Chinese Medicine: The Natural Way to Children's Wellness
As a child, I did not like going to the doctor. For the most part, when I had to go I wasn't feeling good to begin with, and I was heading into a sterile environment to be awkwardly probed by a man in a white coat for a very short, impersonal period of time.
Solving the Pain Puzzle
Legendary former New York Yankees baseball player Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot just by watching." He would have been a great chiropractor. We are trained to become experts with our hands: palpation, adjusting, soft-tissue release, etc.
Step by Step: Long-Term Treatment of Soft-Tissue Injuries Combines Skill and Care
Treating soft-tissue injuries with long-lasting results starts the moment an individual enters the office. When it comes to pain, the only thing that matters to the patient is relief.
Implications of Section 2706: The Non-Discrimination Provision Survey
In late April 2014, NCCAOM diplomates received an email survey with the subject line: "End discrimination against acupuncturists" polling CAM practitioners for a Request for Information from the Department of Health and Human Services, released in mid-March.
Home Safety: Help Families Avoid Common Injury Hazards at Home
These days, many parents childproof their homes before a baby is even mobile. You will see an array of electrical outlet covers, bumpers on the corners of the coffee table and safety latches on the cupboards.
We Get Letters & Email
Is It Time for a Popeye Moment? The Flaw in Recommending Chiropractic as a Career.
The Power of Mu Xiang to Treat Irritable Bowel Disease
Bloating and gas pain is something that everyone has had to deal with at one point or another; however, that's usually reserved for holiday dinners and other large gatherings.
Following the Thinking of the Classics
I have heard about the "best time of day" to carry out certain examinations or therapies. For example, I remember making a note years ago that early morning is the best time to take someone's pulses.
Treating Chronic Depression with Acupressure
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there already exists a comprehensive theory linking the body and mind.
Avoiding "Just a Pop Doc" Syndrome
Yes, it's harsh. Patients don't like to admit it. They have an unspoken plan when they first visit you: to come one time, get rid of their pain and then get rid of you. They know it's unrealistic, but they'd like to pay nothing for this service.
Five Element Acupuncture Can Enhance Your Practice
For eight years I have been teaching and supervising TCM students at an acupuncture college in Colorado, in Five Element acupuncture.
Are You Ignoring the 10,000-Hour Rule?
Having trained interns and mentored new practitioners, it has been my observation that their No. 1 clinical concern is adjusting skills. Their second clinical concern is their ability to read X-rays. Physical diagnostic skills are a distant third.
The Death of the Travel Card
As long as I have been in practice, the travel card has stood as the primary style of documentation for chiropractic. It is quick, simple and direct. Unfortunately, the rules have changed.
Why Drugs and Supplements Can't Cure Disease
Chronic diseases are the outcome of disease-promoting, goal-oriented behaviors. So, the notion that diseases can be cured with drugs or supplements should be abandoned. Hypertension is the best example of this.
Capturing the Essence of Tai Chi
Over the last 12 years, I have been working on one of the few documentaries about Tai Chi. It's called The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West and it's about Cheng Man-Ching who moved to New York in the 1960s.
DC App – The Next Generation
According to a survey by technology firm CDW, health care professionals gain approximately 1.2 hours per day in productivity simply by using a tablet computer in practice.
Are You Ready for the 2016 Patient?
In October, Apple released its iOS 8 operating system for the iPhone and iPad. The new system includes Health, a new app that will interface with an ever-growing number of other apps.
It Pays to be a Foodie
If there is an inner foodie in you, just waiting to burst out—this article is for you! Do you want to know how I know? I'm that girl. My middle name might as well be "Foodie." I love food! And if my patients are any indication, many of them do as well.
Inspire Your Patients to Make Healthy Choices
Have you tried to get your patients to change their eating habits or their diet and couldn't get them to succeed? Were they confused and unsure of what the right thing was to eat? You are not alone!
Micro-Needle Dermal Roller Use in the Treatment Room
Recently micro-needle dermal rollers have been getting a lot of media attention. As a practitioner who specializes in acupuncture facial rejuvenation, I know that skin needling with a dermal roller (also known as collagen induction therapy), promotes the natural reproduction of collagen and elastin, making the skin feel smoother and tighter.
Meat in the Middle
Have you ever wondered what's the truth about meat? Is it really as bad as many people think?
Chronic heightened emotional states create a perfect breeding ground for illness. Through my practice I noted the increasingly obvious relationship between one's mental focus on negative thinking, emotions, resistance to experiencing feelings and disease.
Treating Menopausal Women in Your Practice
I love what I do for a living. It's a great way to trade health for bread. And no topic of health, with the right bedside manner, is taboo.
Treating Acute and Chronic Neck Pain With Ischemic Compression and Exercise
There are many reasons not to manipulate the neck with cavitation: the patient is too old, their neck is too tight, etc. But the most common reason is that plenty of patients are afraid of "the crack," mostly because of the bad publicity about that procedure.
Is It Time to Reconsider Cryotherapy?
Practitioners frequently get asked whether to use heat or cold for soft-tissue pain and injury problems. Of course, the correct answer is always that it depends on the nature of the client's condition. But, what are the key factors upon which heat or cold therapy depends? New research indicates the standard guidelines for hot/cold therapy may need to be reconsidered. Let's take an in-depth look at cryotherapy and some of the recent controversies around its use. In a later column we'll explore heat therapy.
Cold applications, most commonly known as cryotherapy, involve the application of cold directly to the body for therapeutic purposes. Most frequently, cryotherapy involves applying ice after an acute injury. Ice applications are used to manage and reduce inflammation and reduce pain. However, that long held belief has recently come under scrutiny as a number of authors are suggesting that icing an acute injury may not have the beneficial effects we once thought. Let's take a look at the key physiological effects of ice applications to better understand their use and if it's time to reconsider them.
In the case of decreased nerve conduction velocity and pain, cryotherapy slows the rate at which nerve impulses are propagated along a peripheral nerve. The slowing of this impulse affects both sensory and motor signals in the nerve. One of the most effective uses of cryotherapy, and the reason for its implementation, is the effect it has on reducing pain sensations through decreased nerve conduction velocity. Relieving pain is a good thing, but should be weighed against the other effects produced by the cryotherapy application.
One way that reduced nerve conduction velocity is used in a therapeutic setting is reducing the stretch reflex, also called the myotatic reflex. The stretch reflex is activated by the muscle spindles when they are stretched either too far or too fast (such as in an acute whiplash). Overstretching a hypertonic muscle can also activate the muscle spindles, causing increased muscle tension.
Cryotherapy can decrease the activation of the muscle spindles, which is a benefit for stretching. However, it also decreased the pliability of connective tissue, which is detrimental for stretching. There are times when the neuromuscular resistance to stretching is the key obstacle, such as in an acute muscle spasm. In this case, the neurological benefits of ice outweigh its detriments. One must weigh the benefits of decreased neurological activity verses decreased connective tissue pliability.
In the case of decreased cellular metabolism, cold applications slow down the cellular metabolic activity in the region where the cold is applied. This cellular metabolic reduction has long been hailed as a primary benefit of cold applications, especially in acute injuries. The theory was that it shortens the recovery period from the injury. However, this effect is the factor that clinicians and researchers suggest prolongs the healing process.
The argument goes something like this ... Humans have been evolving for millions of years. As part of that evolutionary survival process, our bodies have developed an injury response process that involves inflammation following an acute injury. However, in the last several decades, we have decided that we need to stop that process because it is detrimental to the healing response of tissues.
It is good to question this stance of whether or not it is beneficial in the healing process to impair the body's natural healing response. Like all good clinical questions, it should be followed up with research to test the hypothesis. Some initial studies have questioned the therapeutic benefit of reducing inflammation. In one study, treatment comparisons of patients who received ice applications immediately post injury in order to reduce inflammation were compared with those that did not receive ice applications. The ones that did not get ice applications actually fared better. We still need more well-designed studies to investigate this idea, but it does look like it may be time for a paradigm shift.
In the case of decreased circulation, in response to cold sensations, the smooth muscle cells in the walls of the superficial blood vessels contract and vasoconstrict. Vasoconstriction with cold applications is more pronounced in some regions of the body, such as the distal extremities. The effect of reducing circulation is a physiological effect of ice that may not be desirable.
In addition, tissue healing is enhanced by chemical mediators carried through the blood stream and reducing their movement may interfere with the tissue healing response. Again, this is a physiological response that has developed in the human and mammalian bodies over millions of years, so it seems likely that there would be physiological benefits to these chemical's circulation and detriments to their limitation.
Another argument against decreasing circulation is the effect ice has on lymphatic drainage. Edema occurs in the region of a soft-tissue injury after it has occurred. Current thought suggests that excess edema is not beneficial and should be reduced; hence, the use of ice.
However, edema also limits movement in the region and reduces the likelihood of further injury. Edema also increases our sensitivity to pain from pressure on the pain receptors. We generally consider this a bad thing because it hurts, but there is actually a benefit to the increased pain because it helps us limit further movement that could produce greater tissue damage.
Reducing circulation through cold applications also slows down lymphatic drainage and may actually have another detrimental effect on the tissue repair process as a result. Damaged tissue byproducts must be removed from the body and they are removed through the lymphatic system. It may be that cryotherapy for reducing edema could be detrimental in a number of ways.
Most therapeutic interventions have positive and negative effects. In each client case, we must weigh the potential positive effects against the potential negative effects to evaluate whether it makes physiological sense to pursue a particular approach. These studies may not be enough to alter the way we currently use ice in treatment. However, they should spur us on to pursue additional research in order to find if ice should continue being used like it has or if it is time for a paradigm shift.