The Opioid Crisis — A Case of Mass Homicide?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The inappropriate treatment approach to back pain and post-surgical pain from tonsillectomies and wisdom teeth removal are driving forces behind the opioid epidemic
  • Insurance claims data reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance fill one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal. Dentists wrote 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017
  • Research shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • The American College of Physicians’ guideline for low back pain call for the use of heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments as first-line treatments. When drugs are desired, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants should be used
  • While clinical practice guidelines call for nonpharmacological intervention for back pain, most insurance plans avoid paying for such treatments, favoring opioid treatment instead

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Seven Compelling Healthy Habits

In the general scheme of life, there really isn’t a magic bullet to great health, although there are certain habits that resilient individuals tend to adopt. Some may be familiar, others a bit more unexpected.

Quality rest

Robust people normally do not burn the midnight oil. Good sleep each night is the foundation for keeping the immune system Continue reading

How to Fix a Trigger Finger without Surgery

Trigger finger occurs when your finger or thumb moves into a bent position. In severe cases, it can lock into this position. This problem occurs when the covering of the tendon in the affected finger narrows. You are more prone to trigger finger if you perform repetitive tasks that involve gripping or have certain medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading

Three Things Every Owner of an Older Dog Should Be Doing

By Dr. Becker

The canine lifespan seems too short, doesn’t it?

By the time a large breed dog is 10 years old, he’s considered retirement age in human years. Giant breeds age fastest of all, Continue reading

Five Chinese Remedies for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis needs no introduction. In Chinese medicine, doctors take a different approach to its causes and how to bring about some relief. Here are five pieces of health advice for those who have been diagnosed with this bone-weakened state.

1. Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan: an Herbal Powerhouse
The name of this remedy may sound weird, but it consists of powerful plants found growing wild in Asian hillsides and wetlands. The ingredients in this herbal formula, in English, include Lycium fruit, astragalus, dang gui, both white and red peony, and fleece-flower root. There is good evidence behind this one, too. In one study of 76 patients with osteoporosis, 57 people were improved, Continue reading

Try This Chinese Healing Technique for a Better Life

“Qi” is the essence of life that flows through nature and our bodies. Most of Chinese medicine is fixated at realigning the flow of Qi to restore health. One type of massage that is very popular, and very soothing is called “Tui Na.”

First, a quick look at the concept of Qi. Meridians are the energy channels that the Qi flows through. Continue reading

A Relaxing Way to Fight Inflammation

Need an excuse to get a massage? A new health breakthrough in the area of natural health news has proven that this alternative therapy could reduce inflammation in the body. Since inflammation is implicated in a wide swath of chronic diseases, it seems that seeing a massage therapist might not be just about stress relief.

On a cellular level, massage lessens inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. Mitochondria are the energy center of every cell in the body. The research appears online in the journal “Science Translational Medicine.”

The study involved the analysis of muscle biopsies taken from the quadriceps of 11 young men who had exercised vigorously on a stationary bicycle. One of each participant’s legs was randomly chosen to be massaged. Biopsies were taken from both legs prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of massage treatment and after a 2.5-hour period of recovery. Continue reading

Scraping Pain Away

Chronic pain and muscle spasms can put a serious cramp in your lifestyle. When it hurts to get out of bed, hurts to get dressed and hurts to carry out daily activities, life becomes torture. But a wonderful Chinese technique called gua sha can scrape away that pain and actually offer enough relief to make pain medications unnecessary.

Painful Realities

Western medicine identifies scar tissue from new or old injuries, excess fibrin in the tissues, stress, lack of magnesium and other damage as the cause of muscle spasm. On the other hand, Eastern medical systems recognize a deficiency of qi (energy) as a cause for these types of problems, leading to the stagnation of blood and fluids and a painful blockage. Continue reading

Four Easy Ways to Circulate your Lymphatic Fluid

Everyone knows that the circulatory system has a very famous, much loved central component called the heart. The heart works non-stop 24/7 for an entire lifetime circulating blood. The lymphatic system is a specialized component of the circulatory system that doesn’t have the advantage of a central pump. The flow inside the lymphatic vessels is unidirectional because of one-way valves that keep the lymph from traveling backwards but the circulation depends largely on movement.

The blood brings nutrition and oxygen to the cells and the lymph removes the waste, debris, and disease components such as viruses. The cells are bathed in lymphatic fluid. Fluid retention in the tissues suffocates the cells so that the nutrients can’t get in and garbage accumulates. There are four excellent and simple methods to get the lymphatic fluid moving and each one will help to get the nutrients in and the waste products out.

Deep breathing

Deep diaphragmatic breathing is possibly the best way of circulating the lymph. Breath in slowly and deeply pushing the belly out and then let the breath go slowly and completely. The dramatic pressure variance with the lung expansion and contraction moves the lymph and also helps to open the ducts to allow the lymph to reenter the bloodstream at the subclavian veins at the base of the neck. Continue reading

Safety Precautions when Using Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used for centuries in ceremonies and for general health. Today, the use of essential oils for massage and in baths is both pleasurable and soothing. The oils are also widely used to improve health. However, essential oils are highly potent and can cause side effects if used incorrectly. Precautions should be followed to ensure safe handling and use of essential oils.

Safe use of essential oils

Keep essential oils out of reach of children and use them with great care. Use a weaker dilution on children as their bodies are smaller and their skin is more sensitive.

Essential oils are volatile Continue reading

Use the Magic of Why to Get at the Root of your Health Issues

To many adults, that fact that young children insatiably ask, “Why?” over and over again can be maddening. But if you try that open-ended questioning technique on yourself to discover the roots of your health problems, you might be shocked at what you find. And a path to better health may open up before you.

Many children ask, “why?” again and again and again until the routine grows annoying. But children are still in their inherent genius stage and have not yet learned to inhibit their curiosity. So when a child incessantly asks, “Why?” he is authentically seeking to understand the deep root reason for things and the relationships that exist between the various causes and effects in a chain of circumstances.

Embracing the Why Continue reading