resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
Whooping Cough: A Re-Emerging Disease
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
Happy New Year! I, and I'm sure everyone else at Massage Today, hope that 2006 is full of joy, accomplishment and satisfaction for all of us. One way to achieve those goals is to keep healthy.On that note, let us turn to today's topic of discussion: whooping cough.
For most people born after 1950, whooping cough might sound like the stuff of 19th-century fiction - the kind of disease you'd find in Little Women or Huckleberry Finn. Indeed, whooping cough was at one time a common childhood infection with the potential to be deadly. The development of an effective vaccine in the late 1940s has largely eradicated the sense of threat this condition once carried.
Several decades later, however, whooping cough is viewed as an emerging disease that carries some significant threats. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the childhood vaccines many of us had do not (as was once thought) impart lifelong immunity; in fact, they probably begin to wear off after about five years. Second, as the threat of childhood death from infections like mumps, rubella and scarlet fever has declined, the sense of importance of childhood vaccinations also has declined. Consequently, many children are not fully immunized.
Note: This is not the place to debate the efficacy, appropriateness or legitimacy of vaccines in general. Vaccinations are not a black-and-white issue. Some vaccines have higher efficacy and lower rates of complications than others (and vice-versa). Anyone who would like to debate this point will have to find another platform. That discussion is not my intention.
Whooping Cough: What Is it?
Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract caused by a pathogen called bordetella pertussis. (Dog owners might recognize this name because a related bacterium causes "kennel cough," or bordetella.) About 10,000 people are diagnosed with whooping cough each year in this country (although some studies indicated it might largely be under-reported), and it causes about 10 deaths per year. The people most vulnerable to dangerously extreme infections are young children.
How Does it Work?
Whooping cough is highly communicable through airborne respiratory secretions, so a person with a bad cough easily can spread it to others. This bacterium invades the respiratory tract, killing ciliated cells and releasing toxins that stimulate a systemic immune reaction. The coughing that ensues has a characteristic presentation: the infected person expels so much breath that air rushes into the lungs with a "whoop" sound.
After a 7-10 day incubation period, whooping cough develops in three stages. The first stage is called the "catarrhal phase." At this point, it is indistinguishable from a common cold, and it lasts for several days. Instead of resolving, however, it proceeds to stage two: characteristic paroxysmal coughing, which occurs for up to 50 episodes a day and lasts 2-4 weeks. Coughing episodes are exhausting, and can be so taxing that they induce vomiting. The third stage is convalescence, which typically involves 3-4 weeks of recovery. A full course of whooping cough can cause even a fundamentally healthy person to lose 6-8 weeks of productivity and good health. Its effects on young children can be much worse.
The coughing pertussis causes is so severe that it can lead to bruised or broken ribs, abdominal or inguinal hernias, and vomiting. In young children, additional complications include under-nutrition (it's hard to eat when you're coughing so much it makes you throw up), pneumonia, anoxia, convulsions and even brain damage or death from lack of oxygen. Young children have the highest risk for the worst complications of pertussis; the rest of the population might experience severe infection, but are unlikely to have life-threatening complications.
Treatment options for whooping cough present an interesting quandary. In its early stages, pertussis is indistinguishable from the common cold, and it's slow and expensive to culture. Any pediatrician might make a reasonable assumption that coughing, sneezing and mild fever are due to viral infection, and therefore not responsive to antibiotics. By the time a child has entered the severe coughing phase, antibiotics might no longer serve to shorten the duration or reduce the communicability of the infection. In short, the most efficient way to reduce the risks of pertussis in young children is to prevent the infection from developing, i.e., to be vaccinated.
Whooping Cough and Massage
Unless massage therapists work with young children, they are unlikely to see a client with the worst possible case of whooping cough. However, adolescents and young adults whose vaccinations have worn off are at risk for the infection, as are other people who come in contact with them. A client who has been diagnosed with this infection (or who has a family member with it) should wait until it has run its course before coming in close contact with other people. If a client has recovered from a pertussis infection, massage is, of course, safe and appropriate.
For Next Time
The floor is open. It will be early spring; crocuses will be poking up from a crust of snow. What disorders or diseases would you like to read about? One condition that's been generating a lot of attention lately is celiac disease, also called celiac sprue. While once considered rare, this gluten-sensitivity disorder is now considered by some researchers to be present in a low-grade form in about one out of every 33 people. Unless I hear otherwise, that's what I will pursue for March. If you have something else you'd like to discuss, let me know: what's on your table?
Until then, many thanks and many blessings.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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