Posts by: Carly Barrett

Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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acupuncture, doctor of acupuncture, master of acupuncture, online acupuncture

Is financial aid available for Acupuncture students?

Yes! The financial aid department is available to help with your questions and needs to afford any program. Check out our Student Eligibility Requirements and email us at with additional questions.

Do I need further licensing to practice acupuncture?

Each state, including Maryland, has specific licensing procedures that must be met. Governmental laws, regulations, legal opinions, and requirements differ from country to country and state to state. MUIH cannot provide assurance that completion of the program will qualify a graduate to be registered or accepted under a state law other than Maryland. However, the University’s Acupuncture programs are designed to provide basic, solid competence in traditional acupuncture.

What careers can I pursue with a Master of Acupuncture?

Graduates of MUIH’s acupuncture and herbal medicine programs are employed in a variety of settings. These include private practice, integrative group practices, health care systems, hospitals and wellness centers. They may also include pain management centers, addiction treatment centers, behavioral and mental health centers. As well as, fertility centers, veterans and military organizations and agencies, state and local health departments, and colleges. The career outlook for AHM practitioners is strong, and national statistics indicate that individuals pursuing such careers successfully earn income and either establish a solo practice or are hired into a number of different healthcare settings. The AHM career track has been categorized as a “BrightOutlook” occupation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and indicates that this occupation is predicted to experience rapid growth during the years 2018-2028.

What careers can I pursue with a Doctor of Acupuncture?

Graduates of MUIH’s acupuncture and herbal medicine programs are employed in a variety of settings. These include private practice, integrative group practices, health care systems, hospitals and wellness centers. They may also include pain management centers, addiction treatment centers, behavioral and mental health centers. As well as, fertility centers, veterans and military organizations and agencies, state and local health departments, and colleges. The career outlook for AHM practitioners is strong, and national statistics indicate that individuals pursuing such careers successfully earn income and either establish a solo practice or are hired into a number of different healthcare settings. The AHM career track has been categorized as a “BrightOutlook” occupation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and indicates that this occupation is predicted to experience rapid growth during the years 2018-2028.

How to become a doctor of oriental medicine?

The Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization degree integrates the DAC curriculum with a deep concentration in the study of Chinese Herbs. This prepares graduates to meet the growing need and opportunities for well-trained Chinese medical practitioners to serve in numerous types of integrative medicine settings across the country. Click here to view an expanded description of the program highlights, learning outcomes, and curriculum for how to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

How long does it take to become an acupuncturist?

Each curriculum for our AHM program ranges from 3-5 years (9-13 consecutive trimesters). Click here to view an expanded description of the program highlights, learning outcomes, and curriculum of the DAC program. See how it differs from the Doctor of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization, and Master of Acupuncture degrees.

Do acupuncturists make good money?

NCCAOM job analysis statistics indicate that 36% of AHM practitioners reported a total gross income (before taxes) of $40,000-$100,000 with 11% reporting gross incomes of $100,000 and above. The BLS reports the median average salary for AHM practitioners in 2017 was $73,830. To find more information on career outcomes, view all of our AHM programs.

What kind of degree do you need to be an acupuncturist?

To become an acupuncturist in the U.S., attending an accredited acupuncture or Chinese medicine program and obtaining a master’s degree is recommended. The Master of Acupuncture and Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese Herbal Medicine Specialization programs of Maryland University of Integrative Health are accredited. They are accredited under master’s degree standards by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). This is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification exams offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Can you get an acupuncture degree online?

MUIH AHM programs are delivered primarily on campus with some online courses. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

Can I study acupuncture online?

MUIH AHM programs are delivered primarily on campus with some online courses. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.

Is a doctor of acupuncture a real doctor?

Doctors of Acupuncture are doctors. Acupuncture has been recognized as a professional medical practitioner dating back over 2,500 years ago. The state of Maryland does recognize a Doctor of Acupuncture as a Doctor. However, there may be a waiting period between the completion of the program and the legal recognition allowing the graduate to begin practice. Until a graduate receives official notification of legal recognition to begin practice, they may continue to practice only under faculty supervision. Students who wish to continue to practice in Maryland after graduating, but prior to being licensed, must enroll in MUIH’s Trainee Program. Most states require successful completion of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine exam. For more information, refer to nccaom.org.

Culinary Health and Healing: A Personal Statement

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What we eat; Does it really define who we are? Food has always been central to my life. My journey with food began creating absurd after-school snacks with whatever we could find in the cupboard to becoming sous chef of a Michelin-starred fine-dining kitchen. Food taught me how to savor the moment, how to focus and work hard, how to appreciate cultures other than my own, and how to connect with people around me. It’s a common denominator – we all need it.  

But cooking in restaurants isn’t enough. There is too much pain, too much disparity, too much waste, too much sacrifice at all levels of the food system to ignore. As my passion, I knew I wanted to focus on food but in a healthy and sustainable way. So, I left the restaurant, but I stayed in the kitchen. After studying nutrition at MUIH I now manage community nutrition literacy programming, supporting underserved populations to take back control of their own health and healing through culinary skills training and wellness practices.  

MUIH is accepting applications for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing. This 8-month program is designed for individuals who want to reconnect to something essential for life. What does it mean to use food and cooking for personal and public good? If you are a chef looking to pivot your career, a caregiver for the chronically ill, a non-profit leader helping feed your community, a home-cook wanting to raise a healthy family, or if you are simply curious about nutrition and self-care – this is an opportunity to focus on how what we eat does define who we are. The food we consume impacts not just our bodies but our mentalities, economies, communities, and environments. It is essential that we understand these connections so that we can help build a healthier world from our kitchens. 

 

Christina Vollbrecht 
Adjunct Faculty/Cooking Lab Manager/Nutrition Literacy Outreach Programs 
MUIH MS Nutrition and Integrative Health Alumni 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing: Self-Efficacy and Community Health from the Kitchen

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Making healthy meal

Cooking is about more than flavor! A focus of MUIH’s new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing is giving students information they need to take back control of their own health and the tools they need to share this nutritional literacy with their communities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed our food and health care systems to the breaking point, at no fault of the individuals devoted to these industries. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotted more assistance to families and individuals in 2020 than in the history of the program (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2020) while hospitals are still running at maximum capacity to this day, dealing now with complications related to chronic illness like diabetes and high blood pressure as thousands delayed their medical care over the past year and a half. 

The Culinary Health and Healing curriculum provides students with the contextual, culinary, nutritional, and teaching background needed to make a significant difference in their communities. Malnutrition is more than not having enough to eat, it is not having the right food to eat, and is directly associated with the development of chronic disease and obesity. The multidimensional problem of malnutrition is related to culture, industry, the economy, politics, agriculture, education, healthcare, and inequitable division of power and resources. But there are accessible ways to regain individual health autonomy and prevent chronic disease in our communities. 

The program offers culinary skills training in addition to providing a solid introduction to behavior change, culinary education, and mindful eatingNutritional literacy is defined as individual knowledge, motivation, competencies, and awareness of one’s relationship to food, the food system, and nutrition (Vettori et al., 2019). Research and experience have demonstrated that higher nutritional literacy strengthens one’s self-efficacy, increases positive health behavior change, and returns power to the individual. This program combines knowledge with increased behavioral confidence for the students themselves and provides training for students to share this knowledge with others.  

MUIH is now accepting applications from individuals for the Spring 2022 start for this Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Culinary Health and Healing. We’re looking for applicants who want to understand the science of cooking and make a positive impact on their own health and wellness in addition to becoming leaders in a quickly changing food and health landscape through sustainable and equitable nourishment practices. 

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals: Why it Pays to be Legally Covered

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Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals: Why to Pays to Be Legally Covered

By: Lisa Fraley, MUIH Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) Guest Faculty, JD, CHHC, AADP, Legal Coach®, Attorney, Speaker & #1 Best Selling Author

If you’re like most holistic health entrepreneurs, you’re probably thinking:

The last thing I want to do is deal with the legal stuff in my business.
Why are lawyers so expensive anyway?
Do I REALLY need to have legal documents on my website and for use with clients?

Can’t I just grab something cheaply off of the internet? Or better yet, can’t I just copy my friend’s legal document?

I know, I know. It’s not everyone’s idea of fun to get your legal documents in place. (Especially if you’re getting them without any Legal Love™ coming your way.)

You just want to:

  • focus on what you do best – working with clients and changing the world.
  • get what legal doc is fastest, easiest and cheapest, so you don’t have to spend too much money (or really ANY money).
  • buy some really cheap legal doc from an online service or use someone else’s document in your field.

Aren’t all legal docs essentially the same anyway?

Nope! They aren’t all the same.

Like with most things, when you’re trying to take a shortcut or the easy way out, you get what you pay for. The cheap version breaks. It gives out. It ends up being flimsy. It doesn’t hold up.

The same is true when it comes to legal documents.

Legal Love Tip™: Copying your friend’s legal document could make it worse. 

Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. It may not even fully cover you.

If your friend cut and pasted the wrong language from the internet or used someone else’s document, you could be exposed.

You could be getting a chopped up, piecemeal document (that neither you nor they know is piecemeal).

You could use a document that doesn’t even apply to you.

You could copy someone else’s legal document and make it worse than not having one at all.

One health coach client came to me to have me review her Client Agreement… only it was a template she got off the internet for a CONSTRUCTION company. She had no idea it was full of language that made no sense for a health coach and that could hurt her. I kid you not.

Even if a document was initially prepared by a lawyer, I can’t tell you how many times people try to edit their own legal documents and make mistakes.

Both of you could end up using legal language that doesn’t sufficiently cover either of you which can leave you open to giving refunds or dealing with conflicts and confrontation from clients or other people.

  1. It could be a violation.

Unbeknownst to you, copying a friend’s document is actually taking (some might say “stealing”) work that someone else paid for.

You might be violating their copyright rights. You might be using the document without permission.

Even if they say “it’s okay” to copy their document, it might not be okay. They could be violating copyright laws by giving it to you. Don’t put them or yourself in that position.

  1. It can be bad karma.

Copying someone else’s work probably isn’t truly in alignment with your core values and the type of person you want to be.

It can be bad juju. It can be low-vibe.

It’s not showing respect for your work or business or for other people’s work or business.

Did you know that when you put legit contracts and terms in place, you support your sacral chakra?

Your sacral chakra is your 2nd chakra down in your hip region “where all of the good stuff lives”, as I like to say. When you use high vibe (not copied!) legal documents, you’re aligning yourself with expansiveness, abundance, and boundaries associated with the sacral chakra.

You’re showing respect for your business – and as you do so, other people will tend to show your business trust and respect too.

Here’s to taking the time to get the right legal documents and legal tips for integrative health professionals for YOUR business by doing it right and honoring yourself and your biz – and not copying others’ docs.

As a MUIH PCE Partner*, we’re excited to extend a special 10% discount to the MUIH Community on all Legal Love trusted DIY Legal Templates with the promo code MUIH at checkout! 

With Legal Love™,

P.S. Hear more about these reasons and also receive 3 tips for choosing the right documents for you in this previously-aired Legally Enlightened Podcast Episode HERE. And if you need help with getting legal docs for your biz, just hit reply and let us know. We’re always happy to help or to refer you to another attorney who can help you.

Easy legal steps for entrepreneurs and small business owners – with lots of Legal Love™.
Get free legal tips, DIY legal templates and online legal courses at lisafraley.com

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals

Legal Tips for Integrative Health Professionals

*Affiliate Disclosure:  MUIH receives a referral commission on all purchases made through the MUIH partner link with the exclusive MUIH partner discount.  There is no additional cost to you by using this link, and your generous support allows us to offer more Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) programming in the future.

Why Sports Nutrition is Changing and Becoming a Required Subspeciality

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by Dr. Oscar Coetzee – Associate Professor/Clinician/Researcher

What is Sports Nutrition?

Nutrition is one of the fastest growing professions in the world according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. It will grow as a profession between 15% – 22% in the next five years, and it is estimated due to the chronic illness in the USA, the demand will outweigh the supply. The integration of the Functional Medical Paradigm all over the world in education, is setting nutritional professionals apart from any other medical specialty, as the true success of functional medicine lies in the nutritional intervention and lifestyle modifications. Thus, many subspecialities are forming in nutrition, and the one still on the outside looking in, is sports nutrition. 

The Importance of Sports Nutrition

Every aspect of sport performance enhancement today is at the highest level through the evolution of computer science and high-level biomedical research. Yet, in sports nutrition it is still about macros and calories, and pretty much a one size fits all approach. Some diets like Carbohydrate loading, Ketogenic or Paleolithic and certain nutraceuticals are highly touted for sports performance, but none of these have been truly investigated through proper research in the scientific literature. Bio-individuality seems to be left out when it comes to sports nutrition specifically. Various electrolytes, antioxidants, fatty acids and branched chain amino acids are frequently promoted as the all-encompassing nutrients for top athletes. But are they? Is it possible that for one athlete a specific amino acid or antioxidant can be a friend and for another a foe? As a part of my practice, I have worked with professional athletes for more than 15 years. I have sculpted my assessments and interventions through trial and error and created a new area of sports performance that I term Psychonutrigenomics. In collaboration with Diagnostic Lab Solutions, my team and I have been able to take sports performance, sports nutrition and sports immunity to a level of total athletic individuality. Through the implementation of this approach, we have had various international victories and successes, taking our athletes to the peak of individual achievement. 

It is time that we march to a different drummer, time to truly evolve the field of sports nutrition and performance by integrating the individual assessments of metabolic, physical, genetic, biochemical and psychological markers. As an example, mental clarity and anxiety control can come from proper nutrient absorption through the conversion of amino acids like tryptophan and tyrosine. They convert into neurotransmitters (NT) serotonin and dopamine, which in turn convert into some catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine. These NT and catecholamines have everything to do with focus, motivation, concentration and athletic performance and they require iron, vit. C and B6, and SAMe.  These micronutrients can only be obtained through food and supplementation, of which most humans in the USA are deficient. In addition to this, some people have issues genetically in converting these, and others are just in a state of malabsorption due to overtraining or intestinal permeability, thus they cannot have these intermediates convert properly. The science of nutritional assessment has come very far, and today we can determine if you have a genetic shortcoming, if you are immunocompromised, if you are malnourished, if you have an energy conversion deficit or all the above. 

In order to evolve athletes to optimal performance from a bio-individual perspective; the athlete needs to be assessed at 5 levels:

  1. Psychology of performance – assessing personality performance profiling. 
  2. Proteomicsthe large-scale study of proteins, and their involvement in human performance. 
  3. Metabolomicsthe scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates and products of metabolism, as it relates to energy and athletic performance. 
  4. Nutrigenomicsthe scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially with regard to the optimizing performance.
  5. Microbiomesthe study of the totality of microorganisms and their collective genetic material present in or on the human body and the effect on human performance, recovery and immunity. 

In partnering with Diagnostic Solutions Lab, we incorporate various functional tests, to determine the origin and baseline of each athlete, in order to design the appropriate intervention strategy not only for performance but also recovery, something that is very often overlooked in professional athletes. 

Various tests we use from DSL to assess the above criteria: 

  1. The GI-MAP’s accuracy and reliability allows practitioners to create personalized treatment protocols to address gut dysfunction. Although qPCR is becoming more commonplace in in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), DSL is the only laboratory in the United States exclusively using qPCR technology for advanced comprehensive stool testing. This technology is used routinely in clinical and academic research because it provides highly-accurate quantification, as well as high levels of sensitivity and specificity. Standard PCR technology doesn’t offer the same level of sensitivity, or the ability to express precise numerical results.
  2. GenomicInsight provides a global view of the interconnectedness of SNPs and offers access to information that reveal lifestyle and therapeutic recommendations that may influence a gene’s expression and function. The role of genomics and epigenetics is recognized as an important tool in monitoring, preventing, and treating dysfunction. Furthermore, medical literature supports that epigenetics (the impact of the environment on gene expression) plays a critical role in human health. GenomicInsight with Opus23 Explorer identifies how the function or dysfunction of one gene impacts the expression and function of a separately-related gene or SNP. 
  3. Labrix introduced neurotransmitter testing in 2012, meeting the need for non-invasive solutions for practitioners who wanted a more comprehensive view of the body’s functional neuroendocrine status. Doctor’s Data neurotransmitter testing utilizes HPLC Triple Quadrupole MS/MS technology which is proving to be the most sensitive and accurate methodology for measuring urinary neurotransmitters. This testing has higher sensitivity and has stronger results reproducibility than has been available through other methodologies; this gives you far greater confidence in the reported results.
  4. Functional Blood work overview. All our athletes are also screened through their CBC and CMP panels from a functional perspective to review any underlying, or early-stage chronic inflammation or metabolic issues that can inhibit performance. Looking at conventional blood markers and assessing them based on optimal levels.  Too often people fall into “normal” ranges on their blood work performed by their doctors, and although they feel sick, they are told everything is normal.  By taking a deeper look, and combining regular blood work with additional functional markers, a more comprehensive assessment can be made regarding one’s current performance and in the future. In a 2019 review article by Pedlar et al. they found that serial blood test data can be used to monitor athletes and make inferences about the efficacy of training interventions, nutritional strategies or indeed the capacity to tolerate training load. Via a profiling and monitoring approach, blood biomarker measurement combined with contextual data has the potential to help athletes avoid injury and illness via adjustments to diet, training load and recovery strategies. Since wide inter-individual variability exists in many biomarkers, clinical population-based reference data can be of limited value in athletes, and statistical methods for longitudinal data are required to identify meaningful changes within an athlete. 
  5. Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in the urine of mammals that are products of metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of chemical reactions in living beings by which the body builds new molecules and breaks down molecules to eliminate waste products and produce energy – understanding energy is vital in athletes. Organic acids are most commonly analyzed in urine because they are not extensively reabsorbed in the kidney tubules after glomerular filtration.  Thus, organic acids in urine are often present at 100 times their concentration in the blood serum and thus are more readily detected in urine.  

How to Use Sports Nutrition in Practice

Once we have reviewed all the above information, we can build a nutritional protocol for athletes, around their genetic makeup, assisting in the weaker areas of the genetics, through a strong nutritional prevention strategy. We can assess inflammation, metabolic energy status, and the levels of immune suppression by looking at the other markers, and design intervention strategies to address those issues. 

This level of scientific precision and assessment on an individual nutritional level, is not going to be the exception but the rule for future professional athlete intervention. The change of a higher level in the standard of care has already begun for competitive athletes and weekend warriors. Using these tools at our disposal will help us in the future better understand the different needs of different kinds of athletes, and the level of stress and depletions these sports put on our bodies. 

Maryland University of Integrative Health is one educational institution that is taking the lead in enhancing this new subspeciality.It’s Masters of Nutrition and Integrative Health also trains the future nutritionist at a level of superior functional assessment by investigating all the above biochemical assessments in some of their core courses. The best way to become a good sports nutritionist is to have a very good base education in the overall nutritional sciences. 

In conclusion as biochemist Dr. Roger J. Williams states in his book “Biochemical Individuality”: There is no such thing as an average person, we are all genetically and biologically unique. But when sperm meets egg, our characteristics are not locked in stone, bad genes do not necessarily cause disease by themselves, and nutrition and environment can alter the outcome.

Resources

Pedlar, C.R., Newell, J. & Lewis, N.A. Blood Biomarker Profiling and Monitoring for High-Performance Physiology and Nutrition: Current Perspectives, Limitations and Recommendations. Sports Med 49, 185–198 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01158-x

Integrative Health at MUIH

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Integrative health is commonly defined as the coordinated use of multiple health approaches in health care, and it also describes a holistic perspective of what it is to be healthy.

At MUIH, we promote integrative health as a holistic approach to health and well-being. We consider the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual domains of health and wellness. We also consider a range of contributing factors including the environment, personal behaviors, and genetics. Our educational and clinical practices are grounded in a whole-person and relationship-centered perspective that supports collaboration between the patient and the healthcare team. We aim to empower individuals to become informed, take personal responsibility, tap into their inner resilience, and choose the best options for themselves. We use approaches that are evidence-informed and tailored to each individual.

Trauma Recovery in Our Collective Pandemic Experience

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Trauma Recovery in Our Collective Pandemic Experience

We have been living under the spectre of a global pandemic for a long time. To varying degrees and in diverse ways, we are all feeling it. Whether you are grieving lost loved ones, suffering long stretches alone, rising to the demand of being a front-line worker – even if you are enjoying the chance to slow down – the constant bandwidth of following protocols wears at resilience. 

Continue reading…

The Difference Between a Yoga Therapist and a Yoga Teacher

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What’s the difference between a yoga therapist and a yoga instructor?

 

Yoga Therapist Yoga Instructor
Audience Work one-on-one and in group settings with clients in a therapeutic relationship. Work with groups of people and teach general yoga classes.
Approach Help clients address health concerns and achieve relief from physical and emotional pain through the practice of yoga. Helping clients to cultivate greater wellbeing through the practices of yoga. Teach students how to perform yoga poses and practices.
Focus Focus on the individual goals and needs of clients and use therapeutic practices tailored to mitigate symptoms, restore wellness, improve function, and avoid re-injury.  Focus on yoga poses and alignment, breathing, meditation, and relaxation for general maintenance of well-being and exercise.
Emphases Emphasize personal empowerment of clients in self-care. Emphasize correct yoga technique.
Progress Measure the impact of therapy over time and adjust therapeutic practices based on clients’ progress. Provide opportunities for the structured and regular personal practice of yoga.
Collaboration Collaborate with other health care and medical practitioners to provide integrated care. Collaborate with other yoga instructors in learning and designing classes.
Settings Private practice, conventional health care and medical settings, hospitals and hospital systems, and health and wellness centers. Yoga studios, fitness clubs, gyms, and corporate settings.

 

Which Type of Yoga Therapy or Yoga Program is Best for Me?

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MUIH’s Post-Master’s Certificate is best if you …

  • See yourself primarily as a licensed health care provider in a field other than yoga.
  • Want to add therapeutic yoga practices to your current licensed health care work.
  • Want to incorporate yoga’s mind-body protocols in individualized plans tailored to clients’ needs.
  • Want to continue in your licensed field in conventional medical and health and wellness settings.

 

MUIH’s M.S. Yoga Therapy program is best if you …

  • See yourself primarily as a yoga therapist.
  • Intend to establish a private practice as a yoga therapist.
  • Want to work one-on-one and in groups with clients in a therapeutic relationship using yoga therapy.
  • Want to develop individualized yoga therapy plans tailored to clients’ needs
  • Want to develop group yoga series for populations with specific needs.
  • Want to work in conventional medical and health and wellness settings as an integrative health professional.

 

A Yoga Teacher Training program (not offered by MUIH) is best if you …

  • See yourself primarily as a yoga teacher/instructor.
  • Intend to teach yoga classes.
  • Want to work with groups of people.
  • Want to use standardized sequences of yoga poses.
  • Want to work in studio settings.

Integrative Health Resources in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the last day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The MUIH team would like to highlight ways integrative health is impacting the community.Below are articles related to herbal medicine, nutrition, and health and wellness coaching. Thanks to Herbal Product Design and Manufacture Student and Yoga Therapy Alumna Monce Boston, MS, C-IAYT for putting this research together for our community.

A Systematic Review of the Prevalence of Herb Usage Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities in the United States:

“The reasons for herb usage were perse but fell into: treatment for an ailment, overall health promotion, personal belief, attitudes about medications, or familial usage.”

Gardiner, P., Whelan, J., White, L. F., Filippelli, A. C., Bharmal, N., & Kaptchuk, T. J. (2013). A systematic review of the prevalence of herb usage among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 15(4), 817–828.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-012-9661-zhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4401997/?report=reader

The Use of Herbal Medicine by Older Mexican Americans:

“Chamomile and mint were the two most commonly used herbs. Users of herbal medicines were more likely to be women, born in Mexico, over age 75, living alone, and experiencing some financial strain. Having arthritis, urinary incontinence, asthma, and hip fracture were also associated with an elevated use of herbal medicines, whereas heart attacks were not.”

Loera, J. A., Black, S. A., Markides, K. S., Espino, D. V., & Goodwin, J. S. (2001). The use of herbal medicine by older Mexican Americans. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences, 56(11), M714–M718. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/56.11.m714https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/56/11/M714/591122

Food-group and nutrient-density intakes by Hispanic and Latino backgrounds in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos:

“The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos is a population-based cohort study… Variations in diet noted in this study, with additional analysis, may help explain diet-related differences in health outcomes observed in Hispanics and Latinos.”

Siega-Riz, A. M., Sotres-Alvarez, D., Ayala, G. X., Ginsberg, M., Himes, J. H., Liu, K., Loria, C. M., Mossavar-Rahmani, Y., Rock, C. L., Rodriguez, B., Gellman, M. D., & Van Horn, L. (2014). Food-group and nutrient-density intakes by Hispanic and Latino backgrounds in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(6), 1487–1498. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.082685https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4021787/

Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012:

“Although the use of inpidual approaches varied across the three time points, nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements remained the most popular complementary health approach used. The use of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong increased linearly across the three time points; among these three approaches, yoga accounted for approximately 80% of the prevalence. The use of any complementary health approach also differed by selected sociodemographic characteristics. The most notable observed differences in use were by age and Hispanic or Latino origin and race.”

Clarke, T. C., Black, L. I., Stussman, B. J., Barnes, P. M., & Nahin, R. L. (2015). Trends in the use of complementary health approaches among adults: United States, 2002-2012. National health statistics reports, (79), 1–16.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573565/#:~:text=Overall%20use%20of%20complementary%20health%20approaches%2C%20by%20selected%20characteristics,most%20recently%2033.2%25%20in%202012.

Health Coaching for the Underserved:

“This case report illustrates how the motivational power of coaching conversations was a modestly useful methodology in breaking through the social isolation and loneliness of street-dwelling adults with chronic health problems. It also was a useful methodology for developing capacity for accomplishing short-term goals that were self-identified. Additionally, health coaching presented an opportunity for transitioning poverty-level inpiduals from passive recipients using public health sector services to more empowered actors with first-stage awareness who initiated preventive health actions.”

Jordan,M. (2013). Health coaching for the underserved. Global advances in health and medicine, 2(3), 75–82. https://doi.org/10.7453/gahmj.2013.025https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833542/

Tips to Evaluating Integrative Health Information

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Professional and Continuing Education

Trusting the Experts – 3 Tips to Evaluating Integrative Health Information

Author: Daryl Nault

If you have ever attended an educational seminar, clinical workshop, or read an editorial written by a clinical professional, you’ve likely been exposed to expert advice. More than ever, experts may also share information online through blogs, vlogs, and even social media. Policymakers and the general public also place stock in expert advice, so it can also have considerable influence on public health measures too.

Expert advice (or opinion) generally refers to evidence, information, or guidance given by someone who’s work has made them an authority in their field. Clinical experts could be academics, specialists, or practicing clinicians, who have spent a considerable amount of time studying one area of interest. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone calling themselves an expert truly meets these criteria.

So, how do you know whether a piece of so-called expert advice is worth implementing in your practice? 

When experts present valid, relevant, evidence-based information, it can be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, not all expert advice meets these criteria, so it is up to you to critically appraise the information being provided.

On the other hand, you may also find that others look to you for expert advice, and you want to be sure you’re giving valid and reliable information to them too. Luckily, the same appraisal guidelines can be broadly applied in both situations.

Whether you’re appraising or giving expert advice, your foremost concerns should be on three things: transparency, balance, and accessibility.

Transparency 

Good expert advice should be clear on what is fact, and what is simply an opinion. If this is difficult to discern, proceed cautiously. Ideally, expert advice should only rarely be based on opinion, if at all. The information or facts being claimed should be well supported by relevant and applicable scientific evidence, rather than subjective findings like testimonials. The information provided should also be accurate and verifiable. If there is any question, check out similar resources. Do they align with what is being reported? If not, consider seeking out an additional reference or two to be sure.

You want to look for resources that are clear about the reason they are presenting the information. For example, the purpose of this resource is to provide a general guideline for a clinical audience in writing and appraising expert advice. At the end of this piece, we will also invite you to join us for a more comprehensive Professional and Continuing Education course if you would like to further improve your ability to write evidence-based information as an expert in your field.

Balance 

Alternative viewpoints, limitations, and methodologies should be discussed. If the expert or website is only providing positive or negative evidence in support of their claims, important information is possibly being omitted. Clinical applications should also be considered. Providing warnings where a modality or treatment is not evidenced to work well, or caveats to seek out the advice of your medical practitioner, shows that the author understands the relationship between clinical application and research evidence.

This may go without saying, but the expert should have some authority in the field they are reporting on, and the credentials to match. No matter how expert someone is in a field though, they should never insist that their answer is the only answer available. Red flags should go up if the expert is not open to the possibility that they may be wrong, or if they expect others to follow their lead without question.

Accessibility 

The advice should be intellectually accessible for the target audience. Be aware when experts use overly technical or complex language. This could indicate poor communication skills at best, or at worst, it could be a sign that the authors are trying to obscure the details.

The evidence authors reference should also be physically accessible to the intended audience. If the evidence being cited is entirely behind a paywall or otherwise inaccessible, readers are left without the ability to cross-reference the information being conveyed. Once information is no longer verifiable, and readers can only take the author’s word at face value.

Technically, anyone can call themselves an expert and give advice. As a clinician, others may naturally look to you to be the expert. Your clinical responsibility as an expert is to share information in a way that is transparent, balanced, and accessible.

 

Establish Yourself as a Credible Resource in Integrative Health

If you are looking to hone your evidence-based writing skills, you may be interested in our online, mentor-led Scientific Writing for Integrative Health Professional and Continuing Education course. This unique course is designed to help you improve the way you communicate evidence-based research with a lay or clinical audience, to help you become a trusted, educated, and authoritative resource for others in the field of integrative health.

Communicating Evidence-Based Research: Scientific Writing for Integrative Health

Online, Self-Paced, Mentor-led Course

Translating evidence-based health information is difficult, even for experienced health practitioners. Join this comprehensive six-module course with the support of an experienced mentor, and we’ll get you started in creating evidence-based compositions that you will be proud to share with your clinical community.

LEARN MORE AND ENROLL NOW! 

 

 

References and Additional Resources:

Investigating Public trust in Expert Knowledge: Narrative, Ethics, and Engagement. Journal of bioethical inquiry14(1), 23–30. doi:10.1007/s11673-016-9767-4

Massicotte A. (2015). When to trust health information posted on the Internet. Canadian pharmacists journal : CPJ = Revue des pharmaciens du Canada : RPC148(2), 61–63. doi:10.1177/1715163515569212.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Finding and Evaluating Online Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/webresources

National Institute on Aging. Finding and Evaluating Online Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/webresources

Nault, D., Beccia, A., Ito, H., Kashdan, S., & Senders, A. (2018). Health Information Discrepancies Between Internet Media and Scientific Papers Reporting on Omega-3 Supplement Research: Comparative Analysis. Interactive journal of medical research, 7(2), e15. doi:10.2196/ijmr.8981

Sbaffi, L., & Rowley, J. (2017). Trust and Credibility in Web-Based Health Information: A Review and Agenda for Future Research. Journal of medical Internet research19(6), e218. doi:10.2196/jmir.7579Camporesi, S., Vaccarella, M., & Davis, M. (2017).

Health and Wellness partnership announced between MUIH & Saldago de Saude

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Maryland University of Integrative Health and Instituto Salgado de Saúde Integral announce international partnership

Laurel, Md.— Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) and Instituto Salgado de Saúde Integral (Salgado Institute) announced today that they have signed an international health and wellness partnership agreement.

MUIH and Salgado Institute (Brazil) have entered into this partnership with the shared goal of working across international borders to positively impact the health and wellness of individuals and communities. Plans include collaboration on a variety of initiatives including educational programs, research, and health promotion.

Among the first collaborations was MUIH’s participation in Salgado Institute’s International Congress on Integrative Health Therapies in October 2019 (https://ihtcongress.org). The Congress provided a review of evidence-based integrative approaches to health through a program developed in collaboration with European, North and South American integrative therapy universities, institutes and professional associations. MUIH’s Marlysa Sullivan, associate professor of yoga therapy, presented her work on the role of yoga therapy in pain management. Rebecca Pille, chair of MUIH’s health and wellness coaching department, spoke about the benefits of health and wellness coaching in integrative health practices and settings.

“We are excited to begin a partnership with the Salgado Institute, and we look forward to learning from the unique expertise of Salgado’s scientists, practitioners, and educators. By sharing and combining our perspectives, we hope to enhance health and wellness practices in both North and South America,” says Marc Levin, MUIH’s president and CEO.

“It is truly a blessing to work with such an amazing institution and excellent group of professionals. We consider it a great opportunity for our students and professors to network with peers, learn and teach about integrative health therapies,” says Afonso Salgado, Salgado’s Institute founder and CEO.

About Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH)

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) is a leading academic institution focused on the study and practice of integrative health and wellness and one of the few universities in the U.S. dedicated solely to such practices. Deeply rooted in a holistic philosophy, its model for integrative health and wellness is grounded in whole-person, relationship-centered, evidence-informed care.

Since 1974, MUIH has been a values driven community educating practitioners and professionals to become future health and wellness leaders through transformative programs grounded in traditional wisdom and contemporary science. MUIH has more than 20 progressive, graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, offered on-campus and online. In the on-campus Natural Care Center and community outreach settings, MUIH provides compassionate and affordable healthcare from student interns and professional practitioners, which delivers more than 20,000 clinical treatments and consultations each year. For more information visit www.muih.edu.

About Instituto Salgado de Saúde Integral (Salgado Institute)

Instituto Salgado de Saúde Integral (Salgado Institute) is the largest integrative health school in Brazil and is composed by clinicians and researchers in many health-related areas sharing the same view, to promote excellence in knowledge and patient care, evidence-based information, innovative trainings and workshops in Brazil as well as overseas. Salgado Institute is the result of more than 30 years of acquired knowledge and professional expansion engagement of its founders Afonso and Nilma Salgado. For more information, please visit http://integralhealthbrazil.com.