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Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus: A Moving Target
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
Last time, I promised to look at an emerging condition: MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. This is based on several communications, including this one from a massage therapist in the Northeast:
Anyone who works in a hospital setting probably is already familiar with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, but this pathogen is now being found in community settings. Since we work so closely with people, it's in our best interest to be well-educated about this bug.
What Is MRSA?
Staphylococcus Aureus (named staphyle, Greek for grapes, and aureus for its yellow color under a microscope) is a group of bacteria known for colonizing human skin and nasal passages. Staph has two mechanisms to cause damage to humans: active tissue invasion through the building of abscesses, and the release of corrosive toxins that can kill cells. MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant form of staph that usually colonizes the skin, respiratory tract, or urinary tract. It's estimated that about 1 percent of the population carries MRSA.
We all know that bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another, but they also can be transmitted from one area to another within the same person. In other words, if a child wipes his nose and then scratches his scabbed knee, it's possible his knee injury could develop a staphylococcus infection. Further, once such an infection is established, it's possible for the staph bacteria to travel through the bloodstream to set up infections elsewhere. Pneumonia, bone and joint infections, heart valve damage and varieties of toxic shock syndrome are all possible complications of superficial staph infections. These are particular risks for people who already are immune-compromised.
MRSA has been a relatively common nocosomial (hospital-based) infection since the 1950s, but in the past several years it has been identified in nursing homes, outpatient treatment centers, prisons, athletic facilities, and others; these outbreaks are called community-acquired infections. MRSA is considered an emerging disease because it's easily communicated from one person to another, and its incidence is rising quickly. It has been identified in about 12 percent of all cultured boils outside of hospital settings.
Signs and Symptoms: Community-acquired MRSA infections usually are picked up through skin-to-skin contact, cuts and abrasions or contaminated surfaces. They often look like a boil or spider bite: a single pustule that is large, red and might be mildly to extremely painful. Fever and fatigue might accompany the lesion, which gets progressively worse. It does not respond to topical or oral applications of methicillin, penicillin, oxacillin or amoxicillin.
Treatment Options: Treatment for MRSA requires long doses of antibiotics that are not in the penicillin family. Infections can recur if antibiotic treatment is not completed. MRSA currently is sensitive to vancomysin, but vancomysin-resistant bacteria have already been observed in some settings, and the crossover from MRSA to vancomysin-resistant staph is a distinct possibility. In addition to antibiotic prescriptions, MRSA infections might be lanced and drained. Pain usually is managed with NSAIDs.
The continuing evolution of this and other pathogens makes prevention of infection vitally important for any person who comes in close contact with other people. Preventive measures include washing and carefully covering all open sores, avoiding picking at or touching open sores, not sharing any personal items like towels or razors, and disinfecting all surfaces touched by many people.
The recommended protocols to prevent the spread of MRSA are the same as those to prevent the spread of any contagious condition: observe standard precautions by covering any skin lesions, and cleaning all surfaces and fabrics that clients contact.
Any client with an undiagnosed skin lesion, especially if it's inflamed, painful and showing signs of infection (i.e., pus), should consult his or her primary care physician before getting massage. Certainly, if a boil-like lesion is accompanied by fever and malaise, the massage needs to be rescheduled and the client should be counseled to see a doctor. MRSA is a contagious and potentially dangerous bacterial infection that must be cleared before any modality that moves lymph or blood increases the risk of spreading infection.
Massage therapists who develop boils themselves and worry about whether they've been exposed to MRSA would be well-advised to consult their doctors, too. As long as the therapist is treating his or her diagnosed infection appropriately (this means taking the correct antibiotics exactly as prescribed), and as long as any lesions are carefully covered and not in an area that comes in contact with clients, giving massage is safe.
One resource available to people with concerns about contagious diseases is your local hospital. If you call and ask for the infection control department, they will connect you with a person whose job is to answer exactly these kinds of questions. Whenever I have done this I have left messages and received a call back within a day. This is a wonderful community resource and I encourage everyone to use it!
For Next Time
I've been on a communicable disease track for a while. In the past several issues, I have written about avian flu, whooping cough, and now MRSA. I am content to stay here: I could do a piece on meningitis, or mononucleosis ("kissing disease"). Or, we could pick up a new thread with a common, stubborn chronic skin condition: psoriasis. It's up to you - let me know, what's on your table?
Many thanks and many blessings.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
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