The Practice Of Homeopathy
I want to tell you how we became interested in homeopathic medicine which you may believe in, or may not, but here's how we became interested in it.
We had our herb shop, Cameron Park Botanicals, and tried our darndest to stay outside the medicinal use of herbs basically due to the FDA restraints at that time. One of the restraints was if we had an herbal elixir like Echinacea we were not allowed to have the medicine on a shelf with any book or article on how to use for medical purposes. Contrast that today with most pharmacies where the herbal supplements are front and center, displayed in the most prominent location in the pharmacy. The cost of the herbal extracts also was minimal to us and the customer, which meant lots of time talking for a gross profit of $2 or $3.00 per bottle. If our time was worth minimum wage, our advice was more expensive than the profit we made on the extract.
However the big problem was we had many customers wanting us to carry herbal medicines as well as homeopathic remedies. Of course, as we all know, the customer wins so off we went on our medicinal herb and homeopathic remedies.
At that time it was generally unknown but in North Carolina before one could present oneself as a homeopathic practictioner he/she had to have a medical degree. In other words the Homeopath was a licensed M.D. who chose advance training in homeopathic medicine. Generally this training occurred in Europe, often in Germany, the birthplace of homeopathic medicine.
One of the ways we introduced homeopathy to our customers was to invite Dr. George Guess from Asheville, N.C. to lecture on homeopathic principles and educate our customers to the science behind the use of homeopathic remedies.
Dr. Guess did a very fine lecture and was a good resource for us over time when we had questions to ask However at that time the practice of homeopathy was frowned upon by the N.C. Medical Board and Dr. Guess found himself constantly in trouble, incurring large legal bills defending himself and his practice of homeopathy. Eventually he became tired of spending his time fending off the Board and chose to relocate to a friendlier environment. He moved his home and practice to Charlottesville, Va.
There was quite an uproar he left behind in N.C. Many patients, former and present, were disgusted they were not allowed to see their Dr. who had helped them with their ailments unless they went to Virginia. The legislature was petitioned by many concerned citizens who felt N.C. residents were being denied their choice of treatments due to the practices of the N.C. Medical Board. The results of that disgust was a law that became known as the "George Guess Law".
In a nutshell the Legislature told the N.C. Medical Board to lighten up or there would be laws passed to insure N.C. citizens had choice. North Carolina went from one of the most restrictive states to possibly the most liberal in allowing choice in medical treatments by the consumer.
So now you know more of the story as to how alternative treatments became permissive in the state of North Carolina.
This is the current policy of Medicare on the trial, rent and purchase of tens machines, as of November 2012. MedFaxx accepts assignment on tens machines. Assignment not accepted on the Infrex Plus unless there is a patient waiver form signed acknowleding Medicare will partially pay for the unit. The Infrex Plus has a tens mode, but very few patients ever use that mode, as the interferential mode is the most effective. The sole purpose of having tens in the Infrex Plus is to assist Medicare, some states Medicaid, patients in the cost of the Infrex Plus unit.
Medicare requires a 30 day evaluation period to establish if the tens machine helps a patient or not. During this 30 day period Medicare authorizes approximately $33 for the rent of the tens unit for that month. Medicare will pay Medfaxx approximately $28 for the "rental period". If the unit is helping the patient then after 30 days, and before 60 days, the physician authorizes the purchase of the tens machine by Medicare. Generally this requires another visit to the treating doctor.
Once the doctor approves purchase then Medicare pays approximately $280 of a $320 authorized price to MedFaxx. Also from the date of authorization for purchase supplies for the tens machine is covered for as long as the patient has chronic pain.
MedFaxx does not give a "free trial" to the Medicare program, but does give a free trial to the patient. The patient is not billed for any part of the bill if the tens machine does not help them, and the patient returns the unit in the 30 day trial period. The $3 - $6 that is the patient responsiblity is waived by MedFaxx to stay consistent to the patient on the "free trial". MedFaxx does ask for the patient share, minus the rental amount, if the unit is purchased.
* This policy is subject to change based upon any new regulation or condition imposed by Medicare.
The Artistic Images of Pain
Pain is not fun as everyone knows, but it's really wonderful to see how certain people are able to use pain as a motivator, and make something positive out of a negative situation. This web site, PaintingPain.com, is a wonderful example of pain patients expressing themselves through art.
The site was inspired by Heather Bolinder ( her painting above) experiencing excruciating pain and being bed ridden for a year. You can read her story of how her doctor knew she loved art & expression and encouraged her to "paint her feelings". The website is a collection of art inspired by the experience of pain. Very well done.
Dr. Giovanni DeDomenico reported the use of interferential therapy, ( high frequency interferential stimulation of the abdominal muscles) in 1987 in his ground breaking book, "NEW DIMENSIONS IN INTERFERENTIAL THERAPY. A THEORETICAL & CLINICAL GUIDE". As recent as 2012 new studies for decreasing colonic transer times aka, slow transit constipation, have confirmed the interferential therapy for adults suffering chronic constipation. Below is another study that reinforces the use of the Infrex combination machine, interferential mode, for adult and children slow transit constipation.
Decreased colonic transit time after transcutaneous interferential electrical stimulation in children with slow transit constipation
Received 3 October 2008; accepted 23 October 2008.
Idiopathic slow transit constipation (STC) describes a clinical syndrome characterised by intractable constipation. It is diagnosed by demonstrating delayed colonic transit on nuclear transit studies (NTS). A possible new treatment is interferential therapy (IFT), which is a form of electrical stimulation that involves the transcutaneous application of electrical current. This study aimed to ascertain the effect of IFT on colonic transit time.
Children with STC diagnosed by NTS were randomised to receive either 12 real or placebo IFT sessions for a 4-week period. After a 2-month break, they all received 12 real IFT sessions—again for a 4-week period. A NTS was repeated 6 to 8 weeks after cessation of each treatment period where able. Geometric centres (GCs) of activity were calculated for all studies at 6, 24, 30, and 48 hours. Pretreatment and posttreatment GCs were compared by statistical parametric analysis (paired t test).
Thirty-one pretreatment, 22 postreal IFT, and 8 postplacebo IFT studies were identified in 26 children (mean age, 12.7 years; 16 male). Colonic transit was significantly faster in children given real treatment when compared to their pretreatment NTS at 24 (mean CG, 2.39 vs 3.04; P≤ .0001), 30 (mean GC, 2.79 vs 3.47; P = .0039), and 48 (mean GC, 3.34 vs 4.32; P = .0001) hours. By contrast, those children who received placebo IFT had no significant change in colonic transit.
Transcutaneous electrical stimulation with interferential therapy can significantly speed up colonic transit in children with slow transit constipation.