Thursday, August 27, 2009
Straight Talk About Health Care
Chiropractic care provides the foundation for good health. In addition, we need to incorporate healthy behaviors in our daily lifestyle, including exercise and balanced nutrition.
Everyone knows that exercise and nutrition are key to ongoing health, but very few people actually take action. Less than 20% of American adults do 30 minutes of exercise four or five times each week. An astounding 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. The results of these unhealthy behaviors are epidemics of diabetes and heart disease.
The good news is people can begin a healthy lifestyle, right now, today, right where they are. But the choice has to come from within. No one is going to do anything because they're told to or because they think they "have to". Health is a choice.
When a person chooses to be healthy, very good things begin to happen in all areas of her life.
In 2009 there's been lots of conversation about health care, both at the federal and state levels.1-3 Not all the talk has been friendly. Those favoring broad reforms describe serious problems in the health care "system". Those opposing change have spread rumors about impending "socialized medicine". Whatever the outcome, chiropractic health care continues to address many of the real shortcomings of the current health care situation in the United States.
First and foremost, chiropractic care focuses on the patient. So much of health care is focused on the profit-taking bottom line. Necessary services are denied coverage and unnecessary services are prescribed, all to further some faceless organization's return on investment. Chiropractic care has one goal in mind - to help the patient be healthy and get well in the fastest amount of time possible. Other forms of health care talk but chiropractic walks the walk. Chiropractic health care is truly patient-centered.
Chiropractic care is personalized. A patient in a chiropractor's office feels like part of the family. Chiropractors make the time to talk with their patients, asking the right questions and addressing their concerns. Chiropractic patients don't feel rushed. They don't feel as if their doctor's main priority is getting through this patient visit and moving on to the next. Chiropractic patients have the experience their doctor is very interested in their well-being and has designed treatment that will specifically address their specific problems. Chiropractic care is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to health care.
The majority of the health care system is notoriously fragmented. Patients are bounced from one specialist to another, as various doctors attempt to diagnose a small part of a complex problem. In contrast, chiropractic care is holistic, addressing many of the health requirements of the whole person. Chiropractic treatment restores balances to the nervous system and musculoskeletal system, addressing multiple problems at once. Also, many chiropractors design rehabilitative exercise protocols and nutritional programs for their patients, as well as provide postural recommendations and stress management techniques.
And, chiropractic care is available to the entire family - toddlers, young people, parents, and grandparents. Chiropractic treatment is safe and gentle, and highly effective for a broad range of conditions. Whether an 80-year-old grandmother has osteoporosis-related lower back pain or an 8-year-old softball player has an injured knee, chiropractic care has good solutions for both.
Chiropractic directly addresses many problems in today's health care system. Chiropractic is a results-driven, cost-effective method focused on holistic health care. Chiropractic care is an integrated system that effectively promotes a family's wellness and well-being.
1Relman A: The Health Reform We Need and Are Not Getting. The New York Review of Books, July 2, 2009
2Stolberg SG: Obama to Forge a Greater Role on Health Care. The New York Times, June 6, 2009
3Porter ME: A Strategy for Health Care Reform. Toward a Value-Based System. N Engl J Med 360(24):2610, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated 2 percent of the population. Conventional therapies are limited in the success of treating this complex and unexplained condition. Current treatment is largely comprised of prescribing different medications for the varying symptoms in a trial and error approach. Research shows that as many as 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complimentary and alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular treatment choice and has shown to be an effective treatment for FMS.
What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome?
Fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and depression. While not all affected persons experience all associated symptoms, the following symptoms commonly occur together:
• chronic pain
• debilitating fatigue
• difficulty sleeping
• anxiety and depression
• joint stiffness
• chronic headaches and jaw pain
• difficulty swallowing
• dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
• hypersensitivity to odors, bright lights, and loud noises
• inability to concentrate (called "fibro fog")
• irritable bowel syndrome
• numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
• painful menstrual cramps
• poor circulation in hands and feet (called Raynaud's phenomenon)
• restless legs syndrome
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. This condition does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests which can confirm this diagnosis.
Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.
From an Eastern Perspective
The Oriental medicine theory of pain is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain."
Pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body. The disruption of Qi that results in fibromyalgia is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart Systems.
The Acupuncture Treatment
Oriental Medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms. Therefore, if 10 people are treated with Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia, each of these 10 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.
Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are highly variable form one person to another, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments has been shown to be the most effective way of treating this difficult syndrome. A treatment program may include a combination of psychological or behavioral therapies, medications, exercise, acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork.
If you have fibromyalgia, acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be what you’ve been looking for to ease your symptoms and reclaim your health and vitality. Please call for a consultation today.
Acupuncture Helps with Fibromyalgia Symptoms, According to New Study
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Treating Fibromyalgia Naturally
It is estimated that between three and six million Americans have fibromyalgia. You can help cut your risk significantly by incorporating a few simple life-style ...
Visit http:/www.DrLauterbach.com for more information.
Dr Lauterbach, D.C.