Defining healthcare – our evolving vision

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Our move to the new clinic space has been an opportunity to re-examine our vision of what our work is aiming to be .   I think anyone – individuals or groups, a single person or a community organization, a family business, or a corporation – can benefit from re-examining and stating their vision and reason to be from time to time.  For us at The…

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The last straw is not to blame!

“It was the last straw!” Have you ever used this saying? It is an ancient Arabic proverb dating back to a time when we used camels, or a similar animal like a horse or ox, for carrying our heavy loads.

The dictionary defines it as the very last thing one experiences in a long series of mishaps or disappointments that tips the balance to a final loss of patience, temper, trust, or hope. It is an apt metaphor I like to apply regarding our health, when a health problem emerges suddenly, or a sports injury occurs without any particular accident or trauma. Indeed, a cataclysmic failure of health can occur without clear warning. Oddly, the last correlated and reasonable cause – “last straw” – often seems relatively not potent enough to cause the problem on its own. Think of a woman who gets breast cancer after a stressful period in life; the stress is not enough to “cause” this is it? Or a guy gets back into soccer and his knee ligament gives out on a simple fall; it is not just that he is 40 and out of shape now? A 46 year old woman becomes clinically depressed after missing a promotion at work; she cannot blame menopause on her hypersensitivity, can she?

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Acupuncture generates energy – the science story

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc For thousands of years, acupuncture has been claimed to unblock Qi (“chi”). Qi is described as a universal energy flowing through meridian pathways up and down the limbs and interconnecting the internal organs. The original concepts of Qi or Yin and Yang powerfully and poetically describe the nature and ecology of the body and mind. In modern times, even though science can quantify energy in…

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Acupuncture helps for depression

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Acupuncture or counselling, provided alongside usual care, can benefit patients  with depression, according to a large, well-designed study. Unfortunately, antidepressants alone don’t work for more than half of patients. There is a demand and a need for non-drug solutions for mental health issues like depression. “Until recently”, says Dr. Hugh MacPherson and his research team, “systematic reviews of acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care have…

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Pandas have it easy!

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Panda bears have it easy. A panda doesn’t need to make any food choices.  They just eat bamboo — ALL day long.  Oddly, a panda bear, like its bear cousins, has a complete omnivore-type digestive system, capable of handling an omnivore’s diet. Behaviourally though, they have evolved to only eat just bamboo. That’s their niche. They have special gut microbes they inherit from their mothers…

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Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Drs. Terry Selfe and Anne Taylor of the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies (U of Virginia) reviewed the scientific research published in English journals. They included randomized, controlled experiments studying the effects of acupuncture on knee osteoarthritis. Ten trials representing 1456 participants met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. They concluded that these studies provide evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for…

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Gua Sha – an ancient practice revisited – “iaSTiM”

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc and Alina Tousseeva RAc Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue mobilization (iaSTiM) is not a new idea at all! Who has not used a solid object or tool to work out the tight knots in your back muscles?  And think of all the self myofascial release instruments such as foam or ribbed plastic rollers, rubber balls and or other devices.  iaSTiM is indeed an ancient practice.  It…

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The infrared laser therapy – moxibustion connection

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Infrared laser technology is used by dentists, physiotherapists, and now acupuncturists to decrease pain and inflammation. Although it is used by physiotherapists and dentists to treat a local and acute inflammation, acupuncturists also can use it in lieu of acupuncture needles to activate acupoints. Moxibustion involves the local heating of skin and superficial tissues at acupoints and/or at tender and painful areas.  To do this,…

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The ATP Story

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc This is the story of how we got started. It is about what we stand for, and how we discovered what we needed to do to best serve those who walk through our doors.  It is about realizing we needed to slow things down and pay better attention, being present with each client, to do our best job.  But it was also about making acupuncture…

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How did community acupuncture come to Edmonton? The ATP Story part 4

by Gord Grant PhD, RAc Community acupuncture has been practiced intermittently in Edmonton over the last 10 or so years.  As a free inner city clinic at Boyle McCauley Health Centre, the Grant MacEwan Acupuncture Program was involved here to administer the “NADA” ear acupuncture protocol to people addicted to drugs as they try to come off their addiction.  Five years ago, I offered several community clinics at a church…

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