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You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
Telecommuting and Technology: Ergonomic and Worker's Comp Considerations
As our world becomes more and more reliant on technology, equipment becomes more dependable and we become increasingly more comfortable with e-mail, the fax machine, the Internet and the smartphone, it is becoming easier and easier to work away from the office.
Covering Chiropractic as a Profession, Not a Single Service
Recently Dynamic Chiropractic published a front-page article about various state essential health benefits and referred to Oregon and four other states not currently providing chiropractic as a covered benefit.
Calcium Supplements and Mortality
When the National Institutes of Health's AARP Diet and Health Study reported that men who took calcium supplements had a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared those who didn't, it was the third large cohort in six months with alarming findings regarding calcium supplements.
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
Business Building: What's Your Strategy?
I know some in our profession love to debate about whether or not spinal curvatures change as a result of our chiropractic adjustment, but I have a question that hits a little more close to the belt than that: Are chiropractors capable of change?
Medical Payola (Part 2)
Not only has Medtronic made billions selling expensive screws and hardware for highly controversial spine fusions, but a Senate investigation also found Medtronic felt compelled to write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians that downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, Infuse.
Repeating Bone-Density Tests
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women older than age 65 undergo bone-density testing. However, organizations in general have not stated when repeat bone-density testing should be done.
News in Brief
Cancer Treatment Centers of America Continues Support of Chiropractic; ACBOH Announces 2013 Practical, Written Exam Dates; PCORI Approves Funding for Research on Spinal Stenosis; Macquarie University to Cease Offering Chiropractic Program.
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss
There is a lot of focus in the acupuncture world on fertility and helping women get pregnant. It's exhilarating to hear the news that a patient is expecting a baby. The other side of that is pregnancy loss. That includes abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Chiropractic Research: A Moral Issue
This year I've had the opportunity to go to three great chiropractic research conferences; the ACC-RAC, the Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS) Congress and the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
Spinal-Cord Injuries: Saying No to Steroids
With steroids, epidural and otherwise, in the news lately for their overuse when treating back pain (and their danger when tainted by fungal meningitis), it was high time for a policy change, and we've got one, from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Exercises for Back Pain: Low-Compression Training Program
This program is intended for two groups of people: 1) those who want to engage in resistance exercises for the major regions of their body without developing back pain in the process; and 2) those who already have back pain and want to do resistance exercises, but consistently re-irritate their back when trying to do so.
Wisconsin Exam in the Spotlight
You've passed your national boards with flying colors, including Part IV, the practical examination, at a combined cost of more than $3,000.
History Repeating Itself in Wisconsin?
Thirteen years ago, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) "agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that [the association] orchestrated a conspiracy among WCA members to increase prices for chiropractic services and to boycott third-party payers to obtain higher reimbursement rates."
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
The Pallof Press for Core Stability Evaluation
Many people become injured because of instability, weakness and poor neural-sequencing patterns in the core. Lack of bracing and support from the inner core cylinder during coronal and transverse movements makes the body vulnerable to compensation injuries.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
May, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 05
To Stretch or Not to Stretch
By John G. Louis, CMT
Last fall, I visited my son's elementary school for an event in the gymnasium. I was very surprised to find some antiquated stretching exercises posted on the wall for use in physical education classes. The old "hurdler's stretch" and "cross your legs and touch your toes" stretches were posted in clear view. These were the stretches we did in gym class in the '70s. We know now that in addition to being ineffective, they also may be very harmful.
The hurdler's stretch causes significant twisting to the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint, which actually might cause more stress on the hamstrings. This stretch is supposed to help, but could actually hurt the very area being addressed. Additionally, the stretch puts unhealthy stress on the medial collateral ligament in the leg that is tucked back during the stretch. The cross your legs and touch your toes stretch puts unhealthy stress on the lateral collateral ligament bilaterally. Thankfully, the staff has since removed these stretches from the wall, and I believe their use has been discontinued altogether.
While working with professional athletes extensively since 1980, I have developed a number of reservations about stretching as a whole. Much of my philosophy comes from my emphasis on addressing trigger points. We know from the comprehensive work of Travell and Simons that stretching without deactivating the trigger points in treating an injury can cause more harm than good. In my opinion, if we are addressing the trigger points properly, combined with other effective techniques; i.e., stripping and cross-fiber friction, there shouldn't be a real need for stretching.
Using this approach, I believe we are bringing about what I call "hyperspecific passive stretching." We're going right to the core of the issue when we address the tissue this way, potentially bringing about substantial therapeutic change. For this reason, I almost never use traditional stretching exercises as part of my treatment protocols, in part because I feel it's redundant if we're addressing the tissue comprehensively in this manner. I also will often recommend that my clients not stretch at all following treatment in order to let the tissue rest and acclimate to the treatment performed.
Just recently, I treated a client of mine with a shoulder injury. I worked the tissue thoroughly with trigger-point work, stripping and friction work. His range of motion increased significantly, and his pain was markedly reduced. I encouraged him to rest for a few days and not stretch. I chatted with him a few days later and he sheepishly admitted he was feeling so good that he let his personal trainer stretch him; the pain and decreased range returned. He was well on his way to recovery until he was stretched.
However, I am well aware of several very talented stretching experts who are teaching what they purport to be excellent techniques. I know of one educator in particular who has achieved amazing results with stretching, and he is effectively teaching many others to achieve the same. I have had very good experiences myself with Thai massage stretching.
However, I will not allow just anyone to stretch me. Before receiving massage, I make a point of telling the therapist not to stretch me if they have not had advanced training. Unfortunately, I believe there are many therapists who are not stretching their clients/patients properly. Physical therapists, athletic trainers and personal trainers are all part of this group, in my view. Again, I strongly believe we need to be sure we are deactivating the trigger points before using traditional stretching techniques.
I have seen stretching successfully used by the professional soccer teams I worked with in the '80s. There was significant slow warm-up that lasted 20 to 30 minutes before any stretching took place. The warm-up consisted of slowly jogging up and down the field as a group. Every second time down the field, the coach would introduce the group to a gentle movement. It could be skipping one time and lifting their knees a little higher than usual the next time. Giving the tissue plenty of time to warm naturally seems to really make a positive difference.
Neuromuscular massage training is vitally important, in my view, for those who aspire to perform advanced therapeutic work. There are some terrific educators out there. Please seek them out. You won't be disappointed.
Click here for previous articles by John G. Louis, CMT.
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