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April 17, 2017

    

I’ve watched athletes begin their game with the sign of the cross to bless themselves and ask for God’s protection on their game. I do that, too. I boot up the computer of my mind, body, and spirit with sound bytes, whispered prayers from all the wisdom traditions, invoking protection, abundance, and freedom. Freedom from the pain.

Then comes the cascade of thought forms—mental formations, the Buddhists call them, all the negative thoughts associated with the pain. “I can’t move”, “I won’t be able to go to work”, “How will I manage the shopping?” Let the mind games begin.

Ratcheting the feelings up a notch, the breathing changes. Stuck in the chest, panic, anxiety, shortness of breath. Catastrophizing, the psychologists call it.  “I will never be able to show my face again, everyone will know I am crippled”, “I will never get better”, “My life is over”. The sympathetic nervous system is in high gear, the feeling tone of the body is fueling the thoughts and you...

Published in Integrative Practitioner.com

by Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), OIM

Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things that can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without need for debate. It is defined as sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like.

Women tend to exercise common sense in the care of their family. People who come to me as an integrative and holistic doctor want to tell me their story. They want to share the narrative of what happened to them, and they want to tell me what has caused their pain. I want to know their story. I always focus on “what makes you tick and what makes you sick?” The language their illness speaks is the one that I must interpret. It’s only common sense.

In my career, I emphasize the role of the integrative practitioner as an interpreter of the language of the body that the person is speaking. I exhort you to “inquire within” to listen for the clues as to wh...

June 6, 2017

By Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), OIM

June 05, 2017

(published Natural Medicine Journal 6/6/17)

New York State finally got on board with offering another alternative to the chronic pain dilemma. Chronic pain is now a qualifying condition for the New York State medical cannabis program. New York’s program1 began in 2016 and has been grossly underutilized largely due to the glaring omission of one of the most prevalent conditions, chronic pain.

When the program was first announced, optimism loomed large as initial estimates for the number of people who would benefit from the program were somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000. To date only 15,000 patients and 911 registered practitioners are part of the program in New York State. This is due, in part, to Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to severely curtail access to medical cannabis based on qualifying conditions. Now that chronic pain is a qualifying condition, perhaps there will be a shift in usage of New York’s program.

There is an ever-growing body...

June 6, 2017

BY LIZ SEEGERT | JUNE 1, 2017

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

View all posts by Liz Seegert →

PHOTO: FRANKIELEON VIA FLICKR

Too many physicians are prescribing opioid medications for hospitalized older adults who may not need them. A new study found that one-third of 10,000 older patients were prescribed opioid pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin, while hospitalized for non-surgical conditions.

These patients had a longer length of stay (six days vs. four) and were more often readmitted within 30 days. They were also more likely to be restrained or have bladder catheters while hospitalized, according to the retrospective analysis.

Opioid use is particularly common in el...

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