resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
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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