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News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
The Potential Dangers of Taking Medications During Pregnancy
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
We tend to think that if the Food and Drug Administration approves a medicine, it is safe for us to take. And we don't give a second thought to the potential side effects of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines since they don't require prescriptions.But are these popular medications safe for pregnant women and their developing babies? Since very few drug trials involve pregnant women, how can anyone be sure that there are no harmful side effects or birth defects from these seemingly innocuous medicines?
Conception occurs about two weeks before the next menstrual cycle is due, and a positive confirmation of pregnancy may take another few weeks, so there is a window of extreme vulnerability for the growing baby if mom takes certain medicines (drinks or smokes) during this sensitive time. OTC drugs are used by many pregnant women and, as a rule, are generally safe. Some, however, have what are considered to be unproven safety and/or potentially harmful effects on the growing babies. Since an estimated 10% or more of birth defects are a result of maternal drug exposure, the FDA has assigned a risk category to each drug.
OTC medications that are considered relatively safe during pregnancy include most antacids, Acetaminophen, Chlorphenramine, Kaolin and Pectin preparations - although all expectant women should discuss the use of any and every medication (and herb) with their care providers. As an example, seemingly harmless Vitamin A (Retinol) used for skin conditions has shown to contain powerful teratogens which may cause serious birth defects. On the other end of the safety spectrum are drugs like H2 blockers, Pseudoephedrine, and Atropine/Diphenoxylate, to name a few, which are dangerous for developing fetuses.
During the 1940s – 1970s, DES (diethylstilbesterol) was often prescribed during pregnancy to prevent a miscarriage. That was until the daughters (and sons) of these DES mothers developed all sorts of reproductive anomalies and cancers during puberty. Then the use of this drug during pregnancy was immediately discontinued. But not until after the reproductive lives of thousands were adversely affected.
And for those of us old enough to remember the 1960's when thalidomide was prescribed to treat nausea during pregnancy, the images of those deformed babies was seared into our collective memories (remember the picture on the cover of Life Magazine?). Its use was quickly stopped after nearly 10,000 babies (mostly in Europe) were born with major physical disabilities – phocomelia, or seal-like flippers for arms and legs. Of course, the way these drugs received approval was very different 50 years ago than it is now.
The general rule is to avoid all drug exposure (including herbs and aromatherapy) during the first trimester when the fetal organs are developing (organogenesis) to prevent structural and functional abnormalities. Most drugs can cross the placental barrier (this includes pain medications and nerve blocks received during labor) and expose the developing embryo and fetus to harmful effects.
There are certain factors affecting placental drug transference and teratogenic effects:
Even one intrauterine exposure can have harmful effects. Thalidomide, for example, had catastrophic effects after brief exposure. When it comes to over-the-counter medications, some of them have unproven safety records or are known to affect the fetus. More than 80% of pregnant women take OTC or prescription drugs during pregnancy. Pain medications are widely consumed during pregnancy for relief of common aches and pains. A Danish study reported a direct link between the use of prescribed NSAIDS and miscarriages. Kaiser Permanente Medical also concluded the use of NSAIDS during pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriage by 80%, particularly when they were taken around the time of conception.
Categorized for risk during each trimester (1/2/3), this is a list of common analgesics used in pregnancy: Acetaminophen (B/B/B), Aspirin (D/D/D), Ibuprofen (B/B/D), Ketoprofen (B/B/D), and Naproxen (B/B/D). All of these drugs cross the placental barrier. Cold medicines, such as decongestants, expectorants, and antihistamines, may be unsafe during certain trimesters or their risk profile is unstudied.
Since most drugs taken while nursing are found in breast milk, all drugs and medications should be used carefully, conservatively and under medical supervision. The good news is that the concentration of the drugs in breast milk is low and the baby's exposure is less than what would be considered to be a therapeutic dose. If medication has to be taken while nursing, it is advisable to take the dose 30-60 minutes after nursing and 3-4 hours before the next feeding. This provides adequate time for the drugs to clear out of mother's blood, so the concentration in her breast milk will be minimal.
Pregnancy is a time of excitement and change. As the baby grows, mother's body adapts to the posture of pregnancy which can lead to aches and pains. Instead of reaching for that pill bottle, if she can, mom would be well-advised to pick up her phone and make an appointment with a qualified prenatal massage practitioner. So much safer and so much more pleasant.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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