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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
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?
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.).
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.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Anaphylaxis: A Sudden and Deadly Progression, Part 2
By Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD
The purpose of this two-part series is to raise our collective awareness as massage therapists of anaphylaxis progression, which potentially can be prevented by asking your clients a few simple questions. I am introducing Thomas Walsh, DDS, as the co-author of this article, as his perspective on anaphylaxis was most helpful in assisting me to understand the full scope of its progression.
In part 1 (MT, January 2009), we discussed my personal story in surviving an anaphylactic reaction, the detection of anaphylaxis and important background questions to ask your clients.
Part 2 has been designed to offer you more information about the primary allergens that may provoke a severe reaction and to alert you to products many massage therapists use that may trigger a reaction.
Once a person has been medically identified as susceptible to severe anaphylactic reactions, they are typically prescribed and encouraged to carry with them at all times a self-injecting device, such as EpiPen, that contains epinephrine (i.e. adrenaline). Some of these products that may be prescribed contain a double dose of epinephrine.2 Epinephrine has shown itself to be clinically effective in stabilizing the severity of an anaphylactic reaction, thus enabling a person to be transported to an emergency room for further treatment.1
The most commonly documented causes or triggers of anaphylaxis are: food, medication, insect venom, latex and exercise. In situations where a specific trigger remains unidentified, the patient is said to suffer from idiopathic (meaning "of unknown origin") anaphylaxis.1
According to the EpiPen Web site, "Food allergies are an increasingly common cause of anaphylaxis that result in about 125 deaths each year in the United States. Some allergists believe this perceived rise in incidence may be attributed to increased exposure to certain foods, such as peanuts, before a child's immune system is mature enough to handle them." There are eight types of foods that are accountable for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions. The foods that most commonly cause anaphylaxis are: peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.), shellfish, fish, milk, soy, wheat and eggs. Sulfites added to foods can also set off anaphylactic reactions. For a small number of people who do not otherwise experience food-related anaphylaxis, exercising within a few hours of eating has been documented as an allergic trigger.1
Within our profession of massage therapy, many of the oils used contain either peanut or almond oil. These may be triggers for clients who have latent allergies they may not know about. According to a 1998 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), approximately 550,000 serious allergic reactions to medications occur annually in U.S. hospitals.3 While the prevalence of drug allergies in the general population is unclear, allergic reactions to medications cause the highest number of documented deaths from anaphylaxis each year. Penicillin accounts for an estimated 75 percent of the known anaphylaxis deaths in the United States.4
Most deaths occur in people who have no medical history of allergic reactions.4 I would add that probably no medical history existed because many people, like myself, didn't take their first allergic reaction seriously enough to seek out allergy testing. As just stated, death from anaphylactic shock can occur from a person's very first exposure to an allergen.
"The most common medications that cause allergic reactions are: penicillin, sulfa antibiotics, allopurinol, seizure and anti-arrhythmia medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, and certain post-surgery fluids. Other medications known to cause severe allergic reactions include vaccines, radiocontrast media, antihypertensives, insulin, and blood products."1
In a recent conversation with a client, Mel Eaton, DDS (who grew up on a peanut farm), we speculated that the top two severe allergens (penicillin and peanuts) have a common link - mold. Penicillin is derived from mold and the way peanuts are stored promotes the growth of mold.
It is estimated that 0.5 percent to 5 percent of the U.S. population, or as many as 13 million people, have insect venom allergies.5 Many of these venom-sensitive individuals are at risk for life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. An estimated 40 to 100 deaths due to anaphylaxis caused by insect venom are reported each year, half of which are attributed to fire ants, an increasingly common pest that is spreading throughout the United States. The insects most commonly associated with triggering severe allergic reactions belong to the Hymenoptera order of insects. This order comprises: bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and ants, especially the fire ant.
Unlike people susceptible to anaphylaxis triggered by food, medication or latex, those allergic to insect venom have the option of undergoing immunotherapy, a preventive course of treatment that may provide long-term protection against insect sting allergies.1
An additional few points for your consideration include that using latex gloves for inter-oral work may trigger allergic responses in your clients. This did occur for me once over my 29 years of clinical practice. Nitrile gloves are now considered to be the best for such applications. Also, many of the essential oils or scented candles that are used by Massage Therapists can trigger respiratory allergies. Rarely do these provoke a systemic anaphylaxis but they are not practice builders either.
This two-part series only scratches the surface of the complex subject of anaphylaxis, yet presents you with those triggers considered most deadly. I encourage you to immediately integrate the proposed three questions with both new and established clients:
Your genuine interest, willingness to listen and personal encouragement for your clients to seek out advice from their physician may save a life.
Click here for more information about Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD.
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