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News in Brief
WFC Documents the Global Advance of Chiropractic; National to Conduct Study of Orthotics for Back Pain.
Peer Points: In The Business of Herbs
When it comes to herbs, acupuncturist Cathy Margolin wants her patients and customers to know she is the expert they need. In order to do this, Margolin has studied the marketplace and incorporated key business lessons to build an herbal company that sells and markets herbs to the masses who may be skeptics.
Partnerships Leverage Power for Our Profession
While there are many recognized benefits and advantages to developing partnerships between organizations, the main reason why partnerships are established is relatively simple: There is added value in working together for a common cause or purpose.
Electric Qigong: An Ancient Therapy Evolves
Recently in a small, dimly lit treatment room in downtown Taipei, Wesley Chen instructed his patient to lie down. A frayed wire, which he wrapped around a small piece of metal, is now plugged in.
Give the Gift of Change
As human beings, we are blessed with something remarkable that we generally take for granted: the gift of conversation.
Treating CTS and Wrist Tendinitis of Myofasial Origin
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common and most clinically significant of all nerve entrapment syndromes, present in 2.7 percent of the adult population.
Dedicated to Excellence
For 27 years, Horace C. Elliott, executive vice president of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, has set new standards of excellence for chiropractic licensure and testing.
Acupuncture: The Key and Future of High Sports Performance
Acupuncture is commonly utilized in the intervention of pain and has also been gaining popularity in sports medicine. Athletes are treated with acupuncture for the relief of soft tissue injuries such as sprains, muscle strains, and tendonitis.
Promoting Acupuncture with Acupressure Demonstrations
Dan and his wife Marla were admiring the beautiful bouquet of flowers at our booth at the Business Expo when our receptionist asked him if he knew anyone who had tried acupuncture.
The Shoulder Girdle's Importance to the Cervical Spine
The shoulder girdle consists of three bones: the clavicle, scapula and humerus. It is suspended at its posterior margins from the cervical and thoracic spine by the trapezius muscles, levator scapula, rhomboid, serratus and latissimus dorsi.
Thrive in 2014: Five Habits to Start Cultivating Now
The entire health care system is once again – or perhaps I should say still – in a state of flux, and our profession is not immune to the brouhaha.
Studies: Acupuncture Effective For Depression
Many people suffering from depression can find a natural and effective way to treat their symptoms with acupuncture, according to the latest study.
Managing a High Protein Diet
One of the most common clinical presentations in today's clinic is patients following a high protein diet. It seems that every year a new version of a high protein diet appears promising weight loss and physical transformation.
Acupuncture & Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
One of the most rapidly changing areas of healthcare is that of addiction medicine. Advances in brain imaging technology have allowed doctors and scientists to understand addiction, and recovery from addictive disorders, at the level of the individual neuron in the brain.
B Vitamins May Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A study published in the July 2013 issue of the AJCN provides additional evidence suggesting higher nutritional status of certain B vitamins may be important in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Where to Adjust: Best / Worst Tests
Wondering which methods are best (and worst) suited for determining the appropriate manipulation site?
Breathing Techniques To Resolve Patient Issues
When a patient of mine who has practiced yoga for nearly 30 years, told me that she was experiencing panic attacks, I was surprised. "After so many years of training, can't you turn them off?" I asked. "I do turn them off, but only temporarily," she replied.
PCOM Symposium Celebrates 25 Years
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners and students, as well as providers representing various other health care disciplines, flocked to San Diego's Catamaran Resort Hotel to attend the PCOM Annual Symposium on Oct. 24-27.
Acupuncture In Haiti: Aid that Works
I recently returned from Haiti. So many people ask whether Haiti has recovered since the earthquake of January, 2010. Once you've been to Haiti, you would never ask that question. It doesn't make any sense.
Cervical Compression and the Lower Back
When a patient presents with lower back pain, we expect to see some amount of antalgic lean. It is understood that this lean is both a conscious and reflexive protective mechanism of the body to reduce the pain and prevent more irritation in the back.
Facial Rejuvenation: The Key to Exceptional Results
Acupuncturists make the best detectives. I know this first hand because I'm an acupuncturist and a private investigator and in both professions, there is a need to dig deep to solve the mystery.
Informed Consent and Your Practice (Pt. 1)
Earlier this year, The Back Letter gave extensive coverage to an article by Dagenais, et al., in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics on informed consent in the chiropractic profession, calling it "perhaps the best article ever written on informed consent for low back pain."
Continuing Education Showdown: Online Learning vs. In-Person Seminars
Many state TCM and acupuncture regulatory bodies and associations are interfering with the success of their members by limiting the number of continuing education credit hours they can earn online.
How to Enhance Exercise Rehab With Manipulation and Soft-Tissue Therapy
As chiropractors, we are in a unique position to use our manual therapy techniques to facilitate exercise rehabilitation.
Acupuncture Today Continues To See Unprecedented Growth
For the past decade, the profession has seen steady growth in stature with legislators and the general public. The growing presence of the profession has been directly reflected in the growth of our publication.
Highlights from the Aromatic World: News from the AIA Conference
I was invited to attend the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) conference, "Expanding Aromatherapy," held in St. Petersburg, Fla., by my long-time friend and author/educator Sylla Sheppard Hanger. I participated in her talk "Start Me Up – Confessions of a Vintage Aromatherapist." My part was to receive her badge of acknowledgment as one of the pioneers of aromatherapy in the United States. Having begun studies and practice in the 1980s, I qualified. Also to get special acknowledgment were those who had really led the way, beginning in the 1970's. Sylla is one of them, but so were my mentors in South Florida, Gerri Whidden and Pat Ashford, who own and operate what is thought to be the oldest shop offering true essential oils in the country.
I went a day early to hear the esteemed Robert Tisserand deliver a preconference workshop. Robert, an author, educator and international speaker in this field with more than 40 years of experience, spoke on the "hot topic" of the day: Clinical Safety for Aromatherapy: The Way Forward. Much of his information came from his latest book, Essential Oil Safety. It's a very large text in which he and his co-author cover a lot of ground, including a great deal of the research, resulting clinical indications for using essential oils and also a fair evaluation of the risks. One key point he mentioned is that research studies cannot be considered the final word in accuracy about how an essential oil will work in practice. Essential oils behave differently when applied than they do in a Petri dish. And because there are many chemical components in each essential oil, research is not studying a single agent, acting alone. He also spoke a great deal about exposure of usage regarding safety issues. An example of this is his recommendation to limit exposure by diffusing only for an hour, leave off for an hour, and if diffusing for an hour again, using a different blend. Symptoms of overexposure can include changes in breathing, heartbeat and headache.
Unfortunately, this whole talk is not recorded (some of the speakers have CDs for sale) and is not in the Proceedings of the Conference. However, his second talk on "Safety Scares and Myths" was a shorter, more lighthearted approach that covered some of his workshop points and is in this professionally produced volume that can be purchased from the AIA (www.Alliance-Aromatherapists.org). I highly recommend this as a good representation of current thinking in this field, covering a wide spectrum of focus, from the purely scientific to the subtle and spiritual, from the physiological to the cosmetic application. While it can't convey the total content of any speaker's presentation, it does deliver a lot of wonderful information from a well-chosen selection of experts in their field.
One very interesting talk well covered in the Proceedings was given by Valerie Cooksley, RN, author of Aroma-Balneotherapeutics: Aromatic Medicinal Bath Therapies. Apart from the wonderful information on bath methods and their effects and recipes for certain types of baths, I was intrigued to hear of a new development: the oil dispersion bath. Developed in Germany and following the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, it uses the new Jungebad Apparatus which is capable of creating a vortex that produces diluted essential oils in minute particles that are uniformly dispersed throughout the water for the duration of the bath. That is a huge breakthrough to address the old issue of "oils and water don't mix."
However, despite the representation of many diverse subjects, my personal observation is that the polarity between the scientific and the intuitive approaches to aromatherapy has grown. It is hard to imagine how it has gone this far since this is a profession that was practiced for thousands of years before the invention of the microscope made chemical components available. I was glad that in his talk on "The Qi, Prana and Pneuma of Essential Oils," Gabriel Mojay tried to bridge this gap by reminding the audience the first people to distill both Rose and Rosemary oils were alchemists. It seems to me that in going so far toward science and a reliance on chemical components for selection, we are losing the "essence" of the essence and getting too far into the attitude and arena of allopathic medicine.
I have been concerned about the growing need for aromatherapy professionals to be accepted by the western medical community and very distressed at the growing number of those with little education and no credentials suggesting ingestion and undiluted use of essential oils, along with the growing number of incident reports that have resulted. I feel that we both jeopardize our practice (scope of practice) and our ability to obtain and use essential oils (unwanted scrutiny from government agencies) by routinely offering essences in this way. Unfortunately, my worries were substantiated at this conference by a news report to the group, delivered by fellow Vintage Aromatherapist Marge Clark. She told us the FDA had stopped a shipment of Geranium from being delivered from Africa because, "a website had suggested it supported a certain condition." (It wasn't the website of the purchaser awaiting this delivery.) And because of this, the FDA said it now considered this to be an "untested drug" and the purchaser had the choice to either destroy it in front of an FDA agent or send it back to Africa. There are plans afoot to create a petition to the FDA about this, but I do wonder how this will be able to counter the many medical claims proliferating on the Internet through suppliers and practitioners.
Still, it was wonderful to spend time in the aromatherapy community, seeing old friends and making new ones. And I am happy to say that many of the vintage aromatherapists are taking their many years of experience and education to mentor others on several Facebook lists. One of these is "Learning About Essential Oils," moderated by Lea Harris. It's a good time to stay in touch with the latest news in aromatherapy.