New Guidelines Issued For Treatment Of Lower Back Pain

CBS News (2/13, LaPook) reports on its website that the American College of Physicians released new guidelines that says “the first line of therapy” for chronic low back pain “should be non-drug treatments.”     The new guidelines recommend “heat wraps, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation” for pain lasting less than three months, and recommend treatments such as “stretching and strengthening exercises, tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness techniques” for pain lasting more than three months.
Newsday (NY) (2/13, Ricks) reports, “The new guidelines emphasize that opioid” pain medications “should be considered only as a last resort.”
The New York Times (2/13, A21, Kolata, Subscription Publication) reports that in its recommendations, the ACP “did not address surgery.” Instead, “its focus was on noninvasive treatment.” In addition, imaging “scans… for diagnosis are worse than useless for back pain patients, members of the group said in telephone interviews.” Scan “results can be misleading, showing what look like abnormalities that actually are not related to the pain.” The new guidelines (2/14) were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

What is Therapeutic Massage?

Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities).
People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasons – to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness. At Northwestern, you are not simply going to a massage school – you are studying to be a healthcare professional who provides massage therapy.

Practice the benefits of tai chi

Many people do not know, the benefits of practicing tai chi what is specific, only know that you can keep fit, longevity. Experts said that the benefits of practicing tai chi covers two aspects, namely, physical and mental benefits.

Physiological benefits

1.  Increase the sensitivity of the nervous system – practice Tai Chi to “calmly”, when the boxing will be the first cerebral cortex to rest (calm), will coordinate the task of internal and external organ function by the central nervous system (intended) to implement, strengthen The sensitivity of the nervous system.
Practice the benefits of tai chi

2.  Smooth meridians, blood vessels, lymph and circulatory system – the practice of tai chi time will not be too short, it can be like the general oxygen movement, can make blood run smoothly. Practiced a number of times, will be aware of a fingertip Ya soft paralysis, joint micro-ring, acupuncture, abdominal sensation and other feelings.

According to Chinese medical theory that this is the meridian smooth response. Through the cuddle knees twist and other sports, arterial blood pressure to get the amount of relaxation and relaxation, can accelerate the operation of blood, increase the supply of oxygen, but also to promote the lymphatic system metabolism, to strengthen the personal resistance.

3.  Improve the flexibility, muscle strength and muscle endurance – tai chi and more to slow to go round and arc, accompanied by flexion squatting movement, coupled with the center of gravity alternately change, running the action and more hug, bend, twist, so that the Muscle strength and muscle endurance can be improved; with more than a large number of activities and the following potential, pedal foot type, can improve the flexibility of the joints.

Practice the benefits of tai chi

Improve the flexibility, muscle strength and muscle endurance – tai chi and more to slow to go round and arc, accompanied by flexion squatting movement, coupled with the center of gravity alternately change, running the action and more hug, bend, twist, so that the Muscle strength and muscle endurance can be improved; with more than a large number of activities and the following potential, pedal foot type, can improve the flexibility of the joints.

4.  Improve the heart and lung function – practice Taijiquan to keep the natural breathing, through deep, long, thin, slow, uniform abdominal breathing method, increase the capacity of the chest and increase the number of oxygen to breathe, to ensure that the gas Fully exchange, relative to improve the oxygen content of various organs. It is also necessary to practice tai chi for a long time (even if it takes about twenty minutes to play four tai chi tai chi chunks). This activity can train and improve heart and lung function.

5.  Treatment of chronic digestive tract disease – due to practice boxing when the joints, muscles, bones will be traction, twist, squeeze and diastolic, visceral and abdominal breathing (chest X-ray) and the role of self-massage; Diaphragm up and down the increase in the rate of increase, the intestinal peristalsis have a positive stimulating effect; and boxing when the tongue on the jaw, lips and teeth light to increase the secretion of saliva, improve the digestive function.

Spiritual benefits

  1.  To eliminate the pressure – boxing fist because of the “quiet intention, heart no distractions”, but also loose body, the spirit is only concentrated in the “Italian”, plus tai chi itself requires both rigid and soft, breathing coordination, the organs of the Oxygen is relatively improved, so after the practice of people feel soberly, the pressure to eliminate, the emotional stability of the flat; and because of the practice of blood after the fist cycle, the spirit is also full up, the work efficiency naturally improved. This is no doubt that the benefits of tai chi is not only able to keep fit, but also help us to eliminate stress and soothe the mood, is one of the ideal movement of modern people.
    Practice the benefits of tai chi

2.  Understanding and experience harmonious coordination of the concept of yin and yang (Zhou Zhao and 1996) – Taijiquan advocate harmony and harmony, not strong has been difficult, both inside and outside, the actual situation is clear, Is the so-called “static touch move still quiet”, this kind of emphasis on understanding the relationship between yin and yang opposites unified philosophy is the essence of Tai Chi Quan’s creative philosophy.

3.  The spirit of the people who do not criticize the tai chi “do not commit me, I do not commit prisoners”. Tai Chi advocate leveraging force, with small force wins vigorously, all fight back against the other side of the potential to the dexterous action, less strength plus special, so that the offenders inaccurate and lost. So the real power of tai chi, only to be deliberately violated under the play out, and its purpose is only “set their own invincible” Bale, no harm to each other’s meaning!
Practice the benefits of tai chi

4.  To understand the way of self-cultivation – to practice tai chi to emphasize “Chiang Kai-shek, heart and body loose”, the eight words of the truth is the best motto of our conduct. Through the practice of tai chi, students can experience the correctness of the stereotypes: labor all day and not their place. Just as long as “Chiang Kai-shek”, do not go crooked road, impartial, you can feel “comfortable” state; weekdays as long as learn “calm”, put aside the burden of life stress, you can experience the “body loose”

(Text content come for Baidu experience)


Hiking, Photographing Glacier in Rocky Mountains

This summer, my wife pre-booked Lake Louise campground for the weekend with my family and my son’s friend. We planned to hike one day on the Iceline Trail(British Columbia, Canada, Yoho National Park) and another day do some biking near Lake Louise,etc. I drove my SUV left Calgary around 3:30pm on Friday and arrived at Lake Louise campground in 2 hours time. When everything got settled down, we had our BBQ dinner. Myself then drove along the Moraine Lake Rd and found a place to stop and photograph the glacier. The towering glacier was layed across on top of Bident Mountain, Mount Babel and Mount Fay.then pressed the shutter button on my camera numerous times but the pictures were not so impressive. So I decided to try again next morning to capture the sunrise.Next morning I got to the same place before twilight hoping to catch a glimpse of sunrise. I was very lucky, as in a matter of minutes, those peaks and glacier quickly lighted up with hues of pink, red and orange. So I grabbed my chance and captured this spectacular image.
After that, I quickly drove back to the campground and had a quick hot breakfast to warm me up. Then we all packed ready heading to Yoho National Park to hike the Iceline trail. From the parking lot, we followed the path for roughly 8kms up hill with an elevation gain of 700m. The weather was perfect. Sunny and blue. We hiked about 2.5 hours uphill during which we saw colorful fire-weed, hoaring waterfalls and hanging glaciers. Then we reached where we admired the beautiful Emerald Glacier.
when we reached the glacier, there were a bunch of water falls and a peaceful pond, where we had our packed lunch.The mountain peaks and the glaciers were so enormous and majestic that it made the people standing below it look like little mice. The picture I took with my camera shows exactly that and gives us a reason to why we must try to prosper and preserve the beautiful environment that we live in so that future generations can observe and feel what we have witnessed.
We wondered around taking photos and enjoying the breathtaking views so long around the summit area, we were among the last few people at trail going back.
The next morning I decided to captured some sunrise on Bow Lake. I have been to the Bow Lake roughly four times this Summer. But this morning was the only time fortunate enough for me to witness the spectacular sunrise around the Bow Lake area.
When I got there in the morning, it was still sort of twilight, roughly half hour before sunrise. The moon was still hanging at the western sky above the Bow Glacier; While Mt Thompson on the right and Crowfoot Mountain and Crowfoot Glacier at left underneath.
With time went by, the cloud gradually became more rosy. But then it started to fade away to a yellowish white color in a matter of minutes. I felt a little bit disappointed but still kept a positive thought and waited.
Luckily, a miracle happened and boomed.There poped out a bright rosy light illuminating the Portal Peak of Mt Thompson and BowCrow Peak of Crowfoot Mountain,
a bit shy but ready to rise up above the morning sky.
The scenery became even more astonishing as the lake had become standstill showing a full reflection of the beaming rosy light slowly rising over the majestic mountain peak.
     Wow, I was bestowed with such joy and my one chance of taking this beautiful photo. I quickly moved to another place and took a different angle shot of the Crowfoot Glacier and these fantastic photos made my trip harvested.
Recently, Carrying photographic equipment to go hiking is not easy, I was in a car accident not long ago, the body is not yet fully recovered, so to go to many beautiful places are very difficult. Photos you want to take a good view must have a good physique.
Adhere to exercise, such as swimming is an effective way to enhance physical fitness, I also often receive acupuncture and massage therapy. Acupuncture, massage therapy to reduce muscle tension, pain, recovery fatigue. Help in the future to go more places to shoot more and better scenery photos.








Acupuncture and Breast Cancer

  ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2008) — Acupuncture provides effective relief from hot flushes in women who are being treated with the anti-oestrogen tamoxifen following surgery for breast cancer, according to new research presented April 18 at the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-6) in Berlin.

  Mrs Jill Hervik, a physiotherapist and acupuncturist at the Vestfold Central Hospital (T?nsberg, Norway), told a news briefing that breast cancer patients who received traditional Chinese acupuncture had a 50% reduction in hot flushes, both during the day and the night, and that this effect continued after the acupuncture ceased.

  “Acupuncture is increasingly used in western countries to treat the problem of hot flushes in healthy post-menopausal women, so we wanted to see whether it was effective in women with breast cancer suffering from hot flushes as a result of their anti-oestrogen medication,” she said.

Tamoxifen can cause many of the symptoms that occur during the menopause, including hot flushes. For healthy women, hormone replacement therapy has traditionally been used to alleviate symptoms, but it is associated with an increased risk of relapse in women with oestrogen sensitive breast cancers.

  In a prospective, single-blind, controlled trial, Mrs Hervik and her supervisor, Dr Odd Mj?land, randomised 59 breast cancer patients to receive either ten weeks of traditional Chinese acupuncture or sham (minimal) acupuncture between March 2003 and December 2006. All were taking tamoxifen following surgery and were postmenopausal. She delivered both the real and the sham acupuncture to the patients, and maintained a neutral treatment atmosphere (e.g. no soft music, and minimal time spent talking to the patients) in order to reduce the placebo effect of the treatments.

  The patients recorded the number of hot flushes they experienced for four weeks before the treatment, during the treatment and during a 12-week follow-up period. Other menopausal symptoms were also measured over the same periods using a quality of life index — the Kupperman Index — that incorporates symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating, sleep problems, depression, dizziness, palpitations, joint pain, headache, vaginal dryness etc.

Both the acupuncture and the sham acupuncture were given twice a week for the first five weeks and then once a week for the next five weeks. The real acupuncture was given using needles inserted at varying depths to a maximum of 3cms at several well-known acupuncture points. For the sham acupuncture, the needles were not inserted so deep (a maximum of 3mm) and in places well way from acupuncture points.

  Mrs Hervik said: “During the treatment, hot flushes were reduced by 50%, both day and night, in the acupuncture group. Three months after the last treatment a further reduction was seen. No significant changes were seen in the sham group during the day. At night there was a slight reduction during the treatment period but, once treatment had ceased, the number of hot flushes increased again.

  “This effect was paralleled in the scores from the Kupperman Index for the real acupuncture group, with a slight reduction also in the sham group. However, once treatment ceased the scores remained lowered for the treatment group, but increased for the sham group.”

  She concluded: “Acupuncture seems to provide effective relief from hot flushes, both day and night, for women taking tamoxifen after surgery for breast cancer. This treatment effect seems to coincide with a general improvement in well-being. Acupuncture has two advantages over other treatments for hot flushes: it is cheap and does not cause adverse side-effects. Our results suggest that acupuncture could be used more widely for treating breast cancer patients suffering from symptoms related to their anti-oestrogen medication.”

Acupuncture may help with fertility

  Acupuncture appears to be a useful fertility aid, according to a new report in the British Medical Journal that found pairing acupuncture with in-vitro fertilization can raise a couple’s odds of getting pregnant by 65 percent.

  In absolute terms, the report found that for every 10 women who supplement IVF with acupuncture, one extra pregnancy will occur.

Although that’s a “modest” effect, it’s important given the emotions and considerable expenses associated with assisted reproduction, said Eric Manheimer, the lead author and a research associate at the University of Maryland Medical School.
 The new report — a synthesis of seven previously published studies involving 1,366 patients — doesn’t address why acupuncture promotes fertility, which patients benefit or what protocol is optimal.

But experts have several ideas. They suggest that the ancient Chinese practice — which involves inserting needles at strategic locations on a person’s body — might enhance blood flow to the uterus, improving the chance that an embryo will successfully implant. Also, it’s thought that acupuncture might stimulate the production of hormones that regulate ovulation and fertility and regulate stress, which can interfere with a pregnancy.

  Some fertility centers have responded with enthusiasm. “We offer acupuncture to all our IVF patients” and between 10 and 20 percent elect to use it, said Dr. Brian Kaplan, a fertility specialist at Fertility Centers of Illinois.

  Kaplan cautioned, however, that he couldn’t recommend acupuncture as a stand-alone fertility treatment without IVF.

  Other scientists are skeptical. Dr. Norbert Gleicher, president of the Center for Human Reproduction, said he didn’t find the scientific literature convincing.

  Gleicher’s fertility centers will arrange for acupuncture occasionally, when patients indicate they want it, he said.

  “None of the studies, including this new one, are definitive,” agreed Dr. Ralph Kazer, chief of reproductive endocrinology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
  Two years ago, Northwestern launched a study of up to 220 women in which half get “sham” acupuncture, with needles placed in the wrong locations, and half get the real thing.
  The goal is to determine whether the placement of needles makes a difference or whether the therapy works because women believe it does, Kazer said.
 Summing it up
  The study: A review of existing research has found that acupuncture can boost a woman’s odds of conceiving.
  The caveats: The results apply only when acupuncture is used with in-vitro fertilization. And not all experts are convinced that it helps.

  Local angle: Fertility centers across Chicago are touting acupuncture as a way to help women get pregnant.
  Drawbacks? There are no harmful effects associated with acupuncture, which calls for needles to be inserted across a woman’s body.

Briefing about Chinese Herbal Medicine

  Herbal remedies offer a natural approach to maintaining overall health, of which Chinese herbs are best known for having beneficial effects on the body. Chinese herbs and Chinese medicines have been used for thousands of years to help people feel better, more vital and live longer. Many of them have also been used for treating various illnesses and restoring the normal body functions, and have proved their effectiveness. One of the most appealing qualities of Chinese herbs therapy is the low risk of adverse reaction or side effects, especially when compared to pharmaceutical drugs.
  Chinese medicine is very different from the current research approach we are used to. It is based on the promotion of health, which is represented as a balance of yin and yang – two forces that represent the bipolar manifestation of all things in nature. It does not limit its treatment to only one part of the body; instead, generally it is based on the holistic theory. The following are some examples about Chinese herbal medicine:

1. Ginseng: strengthen Qi or energy.

2. Gouji (Barbary Wolfberry Fruit): nourish blood and anti-aging.

3. Lingzhi (Glossy Ganoderma): improve immune function and functions of different organ systems.

4. Weilingxian (Chinese Clematis Root): anti-arthritis and muscular skeleton pain.

  However, most herbs of Chinese Medicine are used in formula, which is either manufactured by pharmaceutical factory or prepared by Chinese doctors for individual patient. Of hundreds of commonly used herbs, different combination of herbs can be used for the different indications.

  Ginseng     Gouji 

 Lingzhi   Weilingxian


  Reflexology is the study, art, and science of applying touch techniques to the Feet, Hands, and outer Ears where theory suggests there is a pressure map resembling a shape of the Human Body. By applying nurturing touch in specific ways, a wide range of health benefits have been reported
  Reflexology is based on the belief that there are reflex areas on the feet (and hands) corresponding to all the parts of the body including major organs. It is believed that applying pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands and ears can affect internal organs and body systems, and therefore promote good health.
   The therapist stimulates and works these organs and systems through the reflexes areas on the hands and feet, applying pressure to the feet with thumb and fingers. Pressure is applied to clear out congestion and restore normal functioning and health.
   Reflexology has many benefits. It feels good. It is pleasant and soothing, and it relaxes the body. Each person responds to a reflexology in a unique way and on occasions may experience a variety of short term reactions, for example, extreme relaxation, tiredness, lethargy or tearfulness. Reflexology is not a ‘cure-all’. However, it does help relieve pain associated with migraine, sinus problems, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension and stress.

Hot Stone Massage

Therapeutic stone massage is a specialty that uses stones to promote healing and well-being. Hot stone therapy has been used in lots of different cultures for many years. The treatment involves the use of heated volcanic or Basalt stones. These particular stones are used due to their superior heat retaining properties. The stones are heated in a special heater to a comfortably warm temperature prior to treatment. The therapist uses the same strokes you may be used to in Swedish massage, but the heat from the stones penetrates more deeply but with less pressure, allowing for greater release of muscle tension and a wonderful sensation of warmth and touch. All of this brings about an improved flow of energy to the body and a greater sense of relaxation.

The Benefits of Hot Stone Massage are: Increased Circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs;    Stimulation of the lymph system, the body’s natural defense against toxic invaders;    Relaxing and softening injured and overused muscles.    Reducing spasms and cramping;    Increasing joint flexibility;    Reducing recovery time for people who do strenuous workouts and eliminating subsequent pain for athletes at any level;    Releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller;    Reducing post-surgery adhesions and edema, and reducing and realigning scar tissue after healing has occurred;    Improving range of motion and decreasing discomfort for those with low back pain;    Providing exercise, stretching and toning of muscles, reducing the shortening of muscles for those with restricted ranges of motion.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a healing method of traditional Chinese medicine system in which symptoms are relieved or cured by the insertion of thin metal needles into selected points on the skin. By stimulating the certain points and meridians on the surface of the body, it can stimulate and balance the body’s vital energy in order to reduce pain, cure disease, increase immunity, etc. Results of research show that the needling activates deep sensory nerves, which cause the pituitary and midbrain to release endorphins – the brain’s natural painkillers and other biologic factors, which heal the body’s diseases and problems. Acupuncture is widely used in the Far East for pain relief, diseases and body mind care.
The acupuncturist should be trained for at least 5 years before they are allowed to practice in China. The theories taught include both that of Chinese Medicine and basic of western medicine. Acupuncturists in Alberta are registered as qualified acupuncture practitioner and more and more insurance companies cover acupuncture therapy than before.