Supplement Safety: Is It Time to Give Big Pharma a Chance?
Why in the world would I, a chiropractor, consider Big Pharma when I make a vitamin / supplement recommendation to a patient? There are several supplement manufacturers at every chiropractic conference, even at some of our schools.
A Little More Chiropractic, A Lot Less Pain
Why should I visit a doctor of chiropractic when I'm not experiencing pain or other symptoms? That's the question many patients still ask themselves, despite the growing body of research supporting the value of chiropractic maintenance care.
The Carcinogen Most Patients Consume
A known carcinogen is being naively consumed by many, if not most of your patients, who have little to no understanding of how dangerous it really is. Depending on the age of the patient, this carcinogen is a leading, if not the leading, risk factor for death and disability.
Renying-Cunkuo Pulse: The Essential Pulse Method of the Ling Shu
The Ling Shu is a Han Dynasty classic book on the practice of Chinese medicine. It presents five main channel systems: Muscle Channels, Chapter 13; Luo Collaterals, Chapter 10 and others; The Main Channels, Chapter 10 and many more; Separate Channels (Divergent Channels) Chapter 11; and the Eight Extraordinary Channels, referenced in chapters throughout the book (there is very little theory).
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937-2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
How to Address the Question, "Do You Accept Insurance?"
Do you ever dread getting asked the question, do you accept insurance—when you only accept cash, or when you are out-of-network? As part of my daily practice, mentoring acupuncturists to grow their practices faster and more effectively, I talk to a lot of practitioners.
Pregnancy Health: Looking at the Lower Extremities
When patients tell us they are pregnant, many times we focus on the obvious pregnancy signs and symptoms related to their current trimester of pregnancy, and the biomechanical impact on the spine and pelvis.
Procuring a Place for the Future
As the acceptance of acupuncture continues to grow in the U.S. it is important that the profession be licensed in every state, and nationally board certified.
A New NCCIH Director ... One That Backs Acupuncture
The third time is a charm—the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced it's newest director, Dr. Helene Langevin.
Exercise Therapy Following Motor Vehicle Trauma (Pt. 1)
In the absence of acute trauma, a usual strength-building session includes concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises. Popular exercise programs typically include concentric movements as the major muscle contraction and should constitute approximately 70-75 percent of the workout time.
Paradise Lost: AWB Relief in Hawaii
In November, 2014, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) was hosting a training seminar on Oahu. A couple of us from the big island (aka "Hawaii" County) contacted AWB because the big island was in the middle of a crisis.
Manual Muscle Testing for Cervical Radiculopathy (Pt. 2)
Dr. John Bandy developed a protocol that associated specific muscles with myotomal nerve root levels. The deltoid is associated with the C6 nerve root; the triceps with the C7 nerve root; and the finger abductors with the C8 nerve root.
World Acupuncture Day: A Meeting in Paris
World Acupuncture Day is an event organized by the World Acupuncture Day Organization (WADO) in response to the eighth anniversary that UNESCO has included acupuncture and moxibustion on it's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Creatine: Muscle Fuel No Longer Just for Athletes!
Erase that image of the 20-year-old, muscle-bound bodybuilder using creatine. Replace it with the image of a lean, strong, fit 80-year-old hiking up a mountain. Creatine, a staple of athletes for more than 50 years, is now being used by athletes and non-athletes alike to help slow normal age-related muscle loss, improve exercise recovery, increase strength, and live a more active lifestyle.
Travel-to-Treat Coverage Finally Becoming a Reality?
Long-awaited legislation poised to hit the president's desk extends liability insurance coverage from one state to another for DCs and other state-licensed health care professionals who care for athletes / athletic teams that cross state lines.
NBCE Exams: Better, Shorter, More Opportunities
The NBCE's Written Exams department, led by Bruce Shotts, DC, developed a solution to computer-based testing on college campuses. Their work has resulted in 11 exam opportunities per year. CBT exams are on schedule to begin January 2019 as follows:
The Husband/Wife Imbalance
The Husband/Wife Imbalance, like Aggressive Energy, is an energetic block that will result in death, unless cleared, as its presence indicates that nature has given up the fight against the internal or external pathogenic factors that have assaulted the body/mind/spirit of the patient.
Case Study: Osteoporosis and the Role of Orthotic Support
The following is the second of three case studies by Dr. Wong on conservative management of lower-extremity complaints. Article #1 (September issue) explored chiropractic management of patellofemoral arthralgia.
Bait & Switch: Are You Guilty?
One of my three sons recently shared a story with me regarding an experience with a chiropractor, which stimulated me to write this ethics article. According to my son, he called a chiropractor's office and asked if his insurance was accepted at the office.
Cyberthreat Checklist: 10 Key Steps to Defend Your Practice
Living in an Internet-connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the Internet to connect us with customers, store data and find information has opened the door for many small-business owners to grow and flourish.
Vertebral Subluxation: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Vertebral subluxation: have any other words caused as much turmoil and controversy in the chiropractic profession? As a chiropractic term, vertebral subluxation did not make its debut until six or seven years after the profession's founding.
Chiropractic Integration a Big Success, Suggests Research
Whether chiropractors should integrate with other health care professionals in medical / multidisciplinary settings remains a contentious issue, depending on whom you ask, but there's no denying two realities.
An Effective Herb for Stress
We all know stress has become a significant factor in the increasing number of reported mental health disabilities and a contributor to various physical health conditions, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on.
On Point: Acupuncture Theory & Discussion
Welcome to my new column for Acupuncture Today, which will focus exclusively on the theoretical discussion and clinical application of acupuncture theory and acupuncture points. One of the most common questions I encounter from novice to experienced practitioners is "how do I choose the correct acupuncture point?". I hope this column can help answer some of these questions.
The NCCIH Seeks Participants for Acupuncture RCT
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is seeking participants for a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)—a Randomized Control Trial (RCT), which will evaluate the impact of, and strategies to best implement acupuncture treatment of older adults (65 years and older) with chronic low back pain (CLBP).
Checking Your Posture: A Wholistic View From Head to Toe
As you begin reading this article, what position is your body in? Are you sitting down, standing up, lying down, or walking down the street perhaps? Whatever position you are in, stop and observe your posture.
Avoid These New-Patient Turnoffs (Before It's Too Late)
I can't believe this doctor is making me watch this video in a room by myself, your new patient thinks to herself as she texts her best friend.
The Road to TCM, A Talk With Bob Doane
Bob Doane, a veteran acupuncturist, talks about his journey to TCM, the evolution of this medicine, and what he foresees in the future.
Cynicism, Burnout and the Search for the Ideal Patient (Pt. 1)
There is a video on the Internet that has gathered 6 million views as I write this article (so likely millions more by the time you read it). The video is of a doctor in an ER mocking a patient who is extremely weak and distressed.
Placebos, Presence and the Zero Point
We spend a huge amount of time learning the techniques and methods of acupuncture and Chi-nese medicine, and are given professional licenses based on our ability to remember and accu-rately apply them.
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937 – 2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, prolific author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
News in Brief
The Next Generation of Chiropractic Researchers: Historic NIH Grant; Cleveland University – Kansas City VP Joins CCE Site Accreditation Team; NUHS Opens Second Veterans Clinic; R.I. Chiro. Society Celebrates 100 years.
November, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 11
Avian Flu: How Threatening Is It?
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB
Fall is here, and with it, another flu season. Last year, we were bombarded with information (some of it pretty alarmist) about flu, flu vaccines and the emergence of a dangerous new player on the field of infectious disease: avian flu.Since massage therapists work closely with lots of people, and because we are health care professionals, it behooves us to be up to speed on the latest developments about flu, and I am here to help.
A brief disclaimer: this information changes almost daily, but it's accurate as of mid-September, 2005.
What is It?
Flu (short for influenza) is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. Flu viruses are classified as type A, B or C. Type A flu is by far the most aggressive, with the highest risk of significant complications or even death.
In the United States, often we don't consider flu to be a significant health issue, but for at-risk populations it can be a life threatening infection. Anywhere from 5% to 20% of the population has flu each year. It accounts for 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, mostly from pneumonia. The people most at risk for the serious complications of flu are the very young, the elderly or people with underlying diseases that affect lung or immune system function.
How Does It Work?
Flu viruses work in the usual way of infectious agents: they gain access to the body (often inhaled as airborne particles, although it can be spread by hand from contaminated surfaces) and then they invade their target cells. In this case, mucus-producing cells that line the respiratory tract. Once the infection becomes established, the immune system response causes most of the extreme symptoms, which appear one to three days after exposure. Flu is most communicable for three to seven days from onset of symptoms, depending on the age and health of the infected person.
Signs and Symptoms
In most cases, flu symptoms look like a bad cold: respiratory irritation with runny nose and dry cough; sore throat, headache, chills and a long-lasting high fever. Flu-related fevers often go over 102° in adults, and they might last for three days or more.
Unlike colds, flu infections affect more than the upper respiratory tract. Many patients experience aching muscles and joints, as well as debilitating fatigue. (One area flu viruses generally won't attack, however, is the gastrointestinal tract. What commonly is referred to as "stomach flu" is far more likely to be infection with norovirus or a case of food poisoning).
Flu symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure to the virus, and they might persist for up to two weeks. If they last longer than that, or if the coughing begins to produce a lot of phlegm, the original viral infection might have opened the door to bacterial pneumonia: a potentially serious or even life threatening complication.
The Flu Vaccine
Every year, a flu vaccine is created from live, weakened viruses, based on predictions about which types of virus will be most active. Because predominant viruses change quickly, the vaccine is only effective for a year. For the 2005/2006 flu season, the vaccine is being distributed only to high-priority populations until late October; then it will become available to the general population. It's available in an injectable form or as a nasal spray (although the spray is recommended only for people between four and 49 years old).
I'm not going to open the floor to a debate about vaccinations here; that is a completely personal decision, and each individual must weigh possible benefits and risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caution, however, that persons who are allergic to chicken eggs, who have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome or who have had an extreme reaction to a previous vaccine should not receive the flu vaccine.
Avian Flu: What's the Difference?
The avian flu that made the news last year is an infection with a particular subset of type A virus, called H5N1. (Other subtypes infect birds as well, but they appear to be much less dangerous to humans). The "H" stands for hemagglutinins; the "N" stands for neuraminidase. These are surface proteins on the virus; every flu virus is classified by what type of H or N it is. Water birds (ducks and geese) particularly are vulnerable to H5N1, although they often don't die from it. They shed virus in oral and nasal secretions, and in bird droppings. Wild birds can spread the infection to domestic poultry it's far more likely to kill chickens than ducks and from that point humans might be exposed.
Here's where it gets tricky. Bird-to-bird transmission of H5N1 is easy. Bird-to-human transmission of H5N1 is harder, but not impossible; it has happened a few dozen times in Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Symptoms are similar to human flu, with the added risk of conjunctivitis and viral pneumonia, but the mortality rate among infected humans is very high, close to 50%. So far, human-to-human transmission of H5N1 is very rare indeed, and might have happened only a few times that we know of. That's because H5N1 doesn't have many of the properties that make viruses easily transmissible between humans.
But that could change, and that's what health officials are worried about. At this moment, researchers foresee two possible ways for H5N1 to become easily transmissible between humans:
How high is this risk? That depends on whom you ask. While some public health officials are talking about "a time bomb waiting to go off," others point out that we are much better prepared to deal with an aggressive infection like H5N1 today than we were the last time a threat with a similar scope (Spanish flu, 1918-1921) hit the scene. Specifically, we are better at diagnosing the problem and aggressively isolating infected people, which, as we saw with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), can quickly and effectively contain the problem.
On the other hand, no vaccine for avian flu has yet been developed (although this is being worked on), and it turns out H5N1 is resistant to the two most common anti-viral medications we have available: amantadine and rimantadine. So, our ability to shorten the lifespan of the infection is limited.
Massage and Flu
A person with flu who receives a rigorous, circulatory massage might find themselves with a much more serious infection than they would otherwise have. A person who receives massage after the infection has peaked and is on the mend, might find that recovery comes more quickly. However, two cautions must be kept in mind. The first is that squeezing several days of recovery into one or two days might make the client feel sick again. The client should know this is a possibility. The second is that a person recovering from flu still might be shedding virus.
What about our own self care? Like it or not, massage therapists are role models for taking excellent care of our own health. This means eating right, exercising, and getting good quality sleep: we all know these measures are the most important parts of keeping our immune systems strong. I will add one final point: if you're sick, be sick. Stay home. Drink hot fluids, get some rest. Do yourself and your clients a favor by investing your time and energy into conquering your infection, not into hiding your symptoms.
For Next Time
I would like to continue our exploration of emerging and re-emerging infections with a discussion of pertussis: whooping cough. This disease, which can be quite dangerous for young children, is on the upswing for two reasons: incomplete childhood immunizations and the fact that the pertussis vaccine doesn't have the lifespan we once thought it did. So, adults who were assumed to be protected are not. I would be especially interested to hear from people who have had this or seen this infection among their clients or children. Write to me and let me know: what's on your table?
Until then, many thanks and many blessings.
Special thanks to David Jackson, Communicable Disease Surveillance Program Manager, Utah Department of Epidemiology.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB.
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