Contents (click for article)
- Wellness Components – Fitness: Choosing a Quality Club or Trainer That’s Right for You
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
- Column – Sam Benjamin, MD
- Questions & Answers
- Reader Profiles
Congratulations! You’ve decided to start an fitness program. In doing so you will be joining a growing segment of the population who want to gain more control over their health and well-being. This is your guide to selecting a health and fitness club or fitness professional.
Selecting a Health and Fitness Club
Location & Access – Is the club convenient to where you work or live, and is there adequate parking available if you need it?
Facility & Equipment – Is the club clean and well maintained with enough equipment and space so it’s not overcrowded at the time that you would be using it?
Programs & Services – Does the club offer a sufficient number and variety of programs and services, especially those you are interested in, for you to achieve your fitness goals?
Operational Standards – Does the club abide by any set of recognized regulations, standards or guidelines that are accepted as baseline operational standards in the health club industry, and if so, what are they?
Staff Certifications – Do fitness staff members have CPR certification and appropriate educational backgrounds and/or fitness certifications from nationally recognized certifying bodies?
New Member Orientation – Are new members provided with a club orientation, instruction in how to use the equipment and assistance with designing a fitness program specific to their needs?
Contracts – Examine the contract carefully. Make sure you understand everything and that any additional agreements are specified in writing.
Check References – Talk to current members, the Better Business Bureau and the consumer protection department of the local District Attorney’s Office to see if there are any complaints against the club.
NFTA Accreditation says that the club and its staff are professional – It is an operation that is safe, professional and meets the highest operational standards in the industry.
Selecting the Fitness Professional
Similar to Facilities list, except:
Check References – Talk to current clients, the Better Business Bureau and the consumer protection department of the local District Attorney’s Office to see if there are any complaints against the Fitness Professional. NFTA Accreditation says that the individual is a professional – that this person meets the highest operational standards in the fitness industry.
Click title for full article, including lists of Fitness Services and Activities.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), by Kenton H Johnson, Executive Director, CompWellness Network and the NCCAM
The NCCAM is an outgrowth of the Office of Alternative Medicine, both in the US National Institutes of Health. It is the US government agency spearheading the validation of Complementary Healthcare modalities and practices.
As one of the 25 institutes and centers in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NCCAM conducts and supports basic and applied research and training and disseminates information on complementary and alternative medicine to practitioners and the public..
Director’s Message Optimistic
Newly appointed Director, Stephen E Straus, MD:
“The Federal Government created the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as a response to the accelerating interest by the American people in the healing possibilities of CAM. NCCAM’s mission, in its simplest terms, is to assure our citizens, through the use of excellent science, that CAM procedures and products do what they purport to do. It is a mission I totally support and will do my very best to carry out.
“I believe well-designed and well-executed clinical research must be the essential factor in NCCAM’s search for scientific truth.
See the Director’s full statement.
“The big challenge for the NCCAM is moving from a limited body of knowledge to a scientifically valid one,” said Dr Straus. He announced a new extramural Frontier Medicine Research Program defined as those CAM practices for which there is no plausible biomedical explanation. Examples would include such interventions as magnet therapy, energy healing, and homeopathy. Despite the fact that these therapies are extensively used by the U.S. public, little high-quality research has investigated their efficacy and safety.
“NCCAM’s next generation of clinical trials will involve the study of milk thistle in treating liver disease and injury, melatonin and valerian for easing insomnia, feverfew for treatment of migraine headaches, and echinacea for use against respiratory tract infections and otitis media. Similarly, the NCCAM funded the national CAM research centers and botanical centers to seek advances in areas high on the public’s list of priorities, such as depression, dementia, osteoarthritis, and lung cancer.
The Fall 1998 NCCAM Newsletter reported that a 1998 Stanford University survey found that 69 percent of Americans used some form of CAM in the past year. Researchers randomly surveyed 1,000 Americans about their use of 19 treatments and therapies ranging from Acupuncture to Yoga. They found that of those surveyed, 73 percent of men and 87 percent of women reported they have a conventional medical doctor they use for routine care. Of the respondents who used alternative medicine, 55 percent said they had reduced their use of conventional medical services. More than half of the respondents said their health insurance companies should cover alternative therapies and were willing to spend an average of more than $15 a month for those services.
Assistance for Practitioner Studies
See former Director Dr Harlan’s complete statement on this subject.
Classification of CAM Practices
One of the more interesting developments is a categorization scheme initially developed by an ad hoc advisory panel to the NCCAM, then further refined. Its purpose is to assist in prioritizing applications for research grants in CAM. It is divided into seven major categories and includes examples of practices or preparations in each category.
- Mind-Body Medicine – such as Yoga, T’ai Chi, Psychotherapy and Art Therapy
- Alternative Medical Systems – Oriental Medicine, Indigenous Systems, Non-Conventional Western Systems (e.g., Homeopathy) and Naturopathy
- Lifestyle and Disease Prevention – Clinical Preventative Systems (e.g., Panchakarma), Lifestyle Therapies, and Health Promotion (mostly research)
- Biologically-Based Therapies – Herbology, Special Diets, nutritional/food supplements, and other procedures/products
- Manipulative and Body-Based Systems – Chiropractic, Bodywork (e.g., Massage Therapies), Non-Conventional Therapies (e.g., Colonics)
- Biofield – Energy Therapies (e.g., Healing Touch and Reiki)
- Bioelectromagnetics – medical electromagnetics
See the full listings under each category.
Trials and Projects
The new director of the NCCAM’s Division of Extramural Research, Training, and Review , Richard L Nahin, PhD, MPH, states, “…the large trials [studies] will be coming to an end and their results will be published.
- Hypericum [St. John's wort]
- Shark cartilage
- Pain studies
… will generate a great deal of information about what works and what doesn’t–and why.”
Other well-supported and continuing studies, as reported to Congress in March when asking for a $71M budget for next year – see Current Research Studies. These included:
- Ginkgo biloba
- Chiropractic medicine
- Palmetto extract
It was also reported that future studies and programs will include:
- Study milk thistle extract for treating Hepatitis C and other hepatic diseases
- Facilitate the integration of validated CAM therapies into conventional medical practice
- Make awards to foster incorporation of CAM information into the curricula of medical and allied health schools and continuing medical education programs
- Educate eager medical students about CAM so that they may knowledgeably guide an avid patient base toward safe and effective CAM applications.
- Work to overcome the reluctance of conventional physicians to consider validated CAM therapies and to assimilate proven ones into their practice.
Click title for full article and this section.
Direct all requests for information and questions regarding the NCCAM to: NCCAM Clearinghouse, PO Box 8218, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8218, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 1-888-644-6226, TTY/TDY: 1-888-644-6226, Fax: 301-495-4957
Column – Sam Benjamin. MD (Send comments for Dr Benjamin to us)
Medicine of the future will change and become more patient centered. The problem is that it is such a struggle! We live in a country that has spent enormous resources on medicine and the outcome has been very poor. We spend billions on hospitals and medications, and yet we do not explore the environment and how it is killing us. We attack the safety of herbs and worry about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), yet allopathic therapies are the sixth most common reason for death when people are admitted to the hospital.
I hear the calls for “evidence based” medicine (suggesting that CAM alone is not scientific), and yet some say nearly half of the prescriptions written by allopathic physicians in the US are “off label.” This means they have been written for indications for which the FDA has not determined that there is sufficient “evidence.” There were well more than two billion prescriptions written by MD’s alone last year, I have been told. Imagine if nearly half were for reasons that have not been adequately studied.
Western medicine cannot see the woods for the veritable trees. It is reductionistic and quite dangerous because it is so myopic – tunnel vision actually. With television like the Discovery Channel and with the Internet, we can all get excellent information about issues that pertain to our health. Once we have found good information, we can make decisions about whether we want antiinflammatories for our joint pain or whether we would like to take a try with glucosamine. We can decide if we want to take steroids for our eczema or whether we can try Homeopathic remedies and Evening Primrose oil.
We Americans are intrinsic supporters of liberty and the right of each individual to choose. The medical juggernaut will succumb to this. Already, physicians are jumping ship and joining the “ranks.” American medicine will continue to increase in cost. This will drive many supporters of the conventional system away. There is no sign of real cost controls and concomitant outcome improvement. Managed care has been a dismal failure.
Healthcare in the future will not be physician centered. Technology is changing the role of the physician and physician-related institutions. We all know more now. We can see through their microscopes just as they do. We can read data and cost analyses on the ‘Net, and we know that far too little progress has been made in cancer research relative to what it has cost society thus far.
I want the best of allopathy and CAM. I want to decide about my body and my life by myself. The leader of the health team that is treating me most of the time should be me. If I sprain an ankle, it might turn to my Chiropractor or Massage Therapist. If I am getting a lot of colds, I will find help from my Nutritionist or my Homeopath. Physician-centered medicine is too limiting and too imperfect. I want a choice. I want integrative medicine where I am the boss. We should all want the same for our loved ones.
To be continued in the next column – April 30th – comments and additions welcome.
Dr Sam Benjamin is a pioneering holistic MD in New York and Arizona, working side-by-side with other pioneers such as Andrew Weil, MD. He spent a number of years working in international health then later in private practice. Most recently, he was recruited to the State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine where he runs the new Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Questions & Answers (Email your questions to us at Info@CompWellness.org)
Healthcare in the year 2000 and beyond will be as much prevention and preparation as it will be responding intelligently to symptoms. Building strong body systems involves learning some new ways to deal with old problems. Here are some straight-forward answers to typical and complicated medical problems.
Note: Additional help is offered to those who subscribe to the 21st Century Wellness eLetter.
Research Jobs – E Forie – Romania – April 15th
I am interested to find a job in research field.
Colon HydroTherapist – Lynn M – April 15th
I am looking for a practitioner who does colon hydrotherapy in the Denver/Tech Center area, [Colorado]. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Midwife – Dawn W – April 13th
I would like to learn more about Complementary Healthcare, additional resources and find an excellent complementary healthcare practitioner or business in my area. I am due with my second child in December. Dawn W, Wayne, PA
NET Practitioner for Mom – Corey G – April 13th
Been looking at your site, and just subscribed to your newsletter.. Can you tell me about Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) practitioners in Florida, where my Mom lives?
Also, the referral line for NET, Inc is: 800-638-1411.
Baby Allergies - Kate H – April 13th
My 21-month-old baby has allergies and needs medical assistance without drugs or surgery. I do not have a job now, and need Medicaid or very inexpensive help. Please help. Thank you.
See Anne Chew, Acupuncturist, for Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) at 303-794-9505 – should only take 1-2 treatments for most allergies.
Dentists in MA – Kelly D – April 11th
I am hoping you can help me find a holistic dentist in my area. I live in Massachusetts. Any help you can give would be very much appreciated. Thank You In Advance.
Here are 7 practitioners for Dentistry [list]. Also see How to Find a Practitioner or Business.
Colon Therapists – Jeanie – April 3rd
Do you know of any therapists in Kansas – we are 60 miles from Salina…Thanks for the info…Jeanie
Reader Profiles (Send your profile – in this format – to us at Info@CompWellness.org)
We have found it very interesting to find out about the healthcare and other professionals reading our 21st Century Wellness eLetter.
Name, Credentials. Company Name, City, State, Country (if not USA). Profession/Modalities. Very short Description of Profession with a link to more info if needed, a few Specifics on what you do in the profession. Email address, web address, phone number (optional)
Judy Lightstone, MA, MS, licensed MFT. Berkeley, CA. Feminist object relations and self-in-relation, EMDR, NLP, dream work, trauma work, journal and art therapy. Psychotherapist in Berkeley specializing in eating disorders, family and couples counseling, abuse survivors, and professional training for continuing education credits. email@example.com, www.psychotherapist.org, (510)704-0940.
News (Email news leads to us at Info@CompWellness.org)
News reports summaries on Healthcare and Wellness follow. We have most of the articles on file in case you look for the web references after they are cleared. Additional news articles are at EarthMed Headlines
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS), a newly identified consumer market representing businesses ranging from renewable energy and alternative transportation to organic foods and eco-tourism, will reach $230 billion in the US and $540 billion worldwide in 2000. To help support the growth of the industries serving the booming LOHAS marketplace, Natural Business Communications has launched The Natural Business LOHAS Journal.
The $230 billion U.S. LOHAS marketplace is divided into five key industry segments: Sustainable Economy, Healthy Living, Alternative Health Care, Personal Development and Ecological Lifestyles. An upcoming market research report produced by Natural Business Communications, “The LOHAS Marketplace: An Introduction,” available March 2000, identifies the market segments, their size and sub-industry categories.
To receive a complimentary issue of The Natural Business LOHAS Journal and subscription information, contact Marianne Wendroff at Natural Business Communications, 303.442.8983, or visit the website. Company and people news, appropriate calendar events and new product releases are welcome and can be forwarded to: PO Box 7370, Boulder, CO 80306-7370, (303)442-8983, Fax 303-440-7741,Natural Business Communications.
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Announcements (Email press releases to us at Info@CompWellness.org)
Meridian Psychotherapy Services, Sunday April 30th and Sunday June 11th, 2000, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Emotional Freedom Techniques™ (EFT).” Increase your skill, speed and effectiveness in treating psychological problems. EFT, developed by Gary Craig, is an exciting and revolutionary approach to rapid and lasting resolution of psychological and emotional disturbances. By directly addressing the disrupted energy flows, people are quickly able to end long standing overwhelming negative affect. EFT helps end the suffering from trauma symptoms, grief, fears & phobias, anger, addictive cravings, guilt and even chronic pain such as with fibromyalgia – often in minutes. The theory upon which this method is based is that “the cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system”. Stuck energy is unblocked by simply tapping with our fingertips on selected points along the body’s energy meridians thus removing discomfort and changing negative patterns.” Contact: Sharon Cass Toole, (416)221-5639, Fax: (416)221-7126.
The StarHouse, May 7-13, 2000, Boulder, Colorado, “Geometry of Mind, Nature, and Time,” by Robert Lawlor. We are privileged to have Robert in the United States after a long absence. Note: in consonance with ancient traditions, this workshop is intended to be interactive, and will weave together teaching, conversation, movement, rhythm, and sacred dance – mind and body in balance. Contact: The StarHouse
Visit the Denver Area then Colorado – superior business and vacation facilities as well as wonderful practitioners. Make arrangements two-three weeks in advance for the best rates with Josephine Hehnke – your Colorado travel specialist – at 1-888-Go-with-Jo.