A Deeper Thought on Acupuncture

The Idea behind Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique that uses acupuncture needles. It’s in line with the concept of energy called Chi or life force and yin-yang. Yin and yang are two principles of water and fire instinctive in most organs in the body. The ancient Chinese deemed that activities of the body are the outcome of the yin and yang interaction. The comparative harmony of these two opposite principles comprises well-being and tranquillity in the body. On the other hand, the Chi flow influences the whole aspect of the person. It is channelled though pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that when something hinders or unbalances your Chi and yin-yang, it triggers not only physical illnesses but also mental and emotional ailments. The TCM versus EBM: As acupuncture became well known all over the world, Western medicine using evidence-based medicine (EBM) took a doubtful position concerning the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) approach. In TCM, patients undergo four diagnostic methods before acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin. First, the diagnosis concentrates on the face and especially the tongue, presence and absence of teeth marks and the pulse. It is followed by olfaction and auscultation. After that, the patient receives inquiries regarding the urge for food, chills and fever, taste and thirst, defecation and urination, discomfort, and sleep disorder. In EBM, an initial consultation is followed involving scientific investigations into the relevant anatomy, body structure, and pathology of a disease process, put together with a pharmacological information and objective analysis of the patients data obtained under experimental conditions. Although there are numerous arguments regarding the different approaches and standards used during the process, each endeavours to provide the most effective treatment for the patient. The Thin but Powerful Needle: Acupuncture has been effective in helping people. Various acupuncture needles are used during the process. They come in a variety of sizes and diameters, depending on their intended use, and on which part of the body they are to be utilized. Unlike the hollow hypodermic needles which have a cutting end, these solid needles have a pointed end. Most needles are filiform or thread-like which includes specialized needles such as the press needles, intradermal needles and three-edged needles. As these acupuncture needles penetrate the skin, hygiene is a major concern. Commonly pre-sterilized single use needle are used which are discarded after each client treatment. During the acupuncture treatment the inserted needles create numbness and a tingling sensation termed as De-qi in Chinese or the arrival of Chi. If De-qi is not generated, then incorrect location of the acupoint, inappropriate level of needle insertion, insufficient manual manipulation, or a very vulnerable constitution of the patient has to be considered. If unresolved, it decreases the likelihood of a successful treatment. The Efficacy of Acupuncture: Studies have indicated very promising results for the use of acupuncture. These benefits are supported by science, providing more credibility as a medical procedure. With acupuncture gaining positive results from patients with varying ailments, it has attained the esteem of modern medicine. Acupuncture is truly a blessing to the world. The healing powers of this traditional method using acupuncture needles placed in the proper acupoints are without a doubt great to anyone who seeks an alternative cure to the established Western medicine.

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Health Care Reform’s Effects on Employers

I came across this paper written in July of 2010, and it still applies (at least until January 20th of next year). It outlines what is scheduled to occur in 2014 with small employer premiums under PPACA. First of all, a small employer is defined as any company with fewer than 50 employees. Large employers (50+) will have to pay penalties if they do not offer group health coverage. As far as I know, there is no penalty for small employers not offering it. There are some factors in California that may mitigate big premium hikes. Actually, we have had small group reform here for the past 19 years. It began in 1993 with a requirement that all employers with 5 or more employees be issued guaranteed coverage. In 1994 the minimum was lowered to 4 employees, and by 1996 it was lowered to 2 or more. The impact of this has been to stabilize the market over the long term. Group rates are already higher than individual rates because every employee that is eligible cannot be declined and all group plans must offer maternity coverage. Since the mandated addition of 100% free preventative care to all plans as a result of PPACA, premiums have not gone up as much as I thought they would, and in some cases have gone down. Keeping people healthy by early detection of problems should have a beneficial long-term impact.

What probably will have a negative impact on rates is the shrinking of the rate categories based on age. For example, rates are now broken up into 5 or 6 age groups, under 30, 30-39, etc. In 2014 there can be no more than a 3:1 difference between what is charged a 64 year old and an 18 year old. So if the premium for an 18 year is $150, the rate for the 64 year old could be no more than $450. The paper also talks about the removal of gender-based ratings, but California hasnt had them since the early nineties.

Frontline Medicine – Is It Safe

Frontline medicine is very effective against fleas and ticks but just how safe is it? I decided to take an extremely close look at just how safe it is for our animals.

The overriding result that I found is that it is safe as long as you use it properly and safely. There is no doubt that it is a chemical based solution, with two active ingredients. I will not go in to the technicalities of it, but suffice to say, they work. The two active ingredients, which make up about nine percent percent of the solution, work in two ways.

Heart Disease and Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets forth specific criteria when qualifying applicants for benefits. With regard to heart disease specifically, the medical evidence must be consistent with SSAs classification within the following criteria: Coronary artery disease, demonstrated by angiography (obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation) or other appropriate medically acceptable imaging, and in the absence of a timely exercise tolerance test or a timely normal drug-induced stress test, an MC, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that performance of exercise tolerance testing would present a significant risk to the individual, with both 1 and 2:

1. Angiographic evidence showing: a. 50 percent or more narrowing of a nonbypassed left main coronary artery; or b. 70 percent or more narrowing of another nonbypassed coronary artery; or c. 50 percent or more narrowing involving a long (greater than 1 cm) segment of a nonbypassed coronary artery; or d. 50 percent or more narrowing of at least two nonbypassed coronary arteries; or e. 70 percent or more narrowing of a bypass graft vessel; and

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