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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
August, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 08
Working With Injured or Ailing Patients
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Do we heal patients? No, of course not. Nobody can heal anyone. Healing comes from within, and it takes time. We can, however, help facilitate the healing process in a number of ways: by working to alleviate pain and discomfort; by helping to correct negative conditions that inhibit the body's natural healing processes; by educating patients on the inner workings of their own bodies; and by teaching patients how they can participate in their own healing.
Our ability to help patients is based largely on the fact that we, as massage therapists, really care: We take time with our patients; we listen; and we try to make them feel special.In most cases, hands-on therapy works best to alleviate pain and suffering; however, showing concern for our patients' lives outside of their medical conditions can also help to improve their attitudes - and changes in attitude can help improve the physical body.
In our facility, our patients understood that we were not in it for the money, but to help improve their conditions. Part of our job was to help them understand that returning to work as soon as possible was necessary to promote healing. A main problem I have seen during my years of working with injured or ill patients is that massage therapy has been the "court of last resort," so to speak. Sometimes, patients are treated with every type of medication, physical therapy, or other treatment before we see them. By the time they come to us, their prospects of "getting better" have become almost impossible, because their memory cells are programmed to feel pain.
What Constitutes "Getting Better?"
Can people really improve? Sometimes, we are only able to help patients feel well enough to "get through it," until time heals the injury. I remember an insurance adjuster who was upset that a patient was receiving massage therapy covered by insurance. "I hate that the insurance pays for this guy to FEEL BETTER," she said. I told her that massage therapy is doing the same thing as prescription drugs, surgery and other medical treatments: it helps him feel better. It certainly wasn't to make him feel worse.
If physicians prescribe durable medical supplies, drugs or physical therapy, insurance adjusters do not get upset. Why is it a big deal to prescribe massage therapy? Because they know that MASSAGE THERAPY MAKES PATIENTS "FEEL BETTER"! Maybe we should call it "PAIN THERAPY"; then the problems with insurance companies might go away.
What you do for an injured patient is beneficial and important - you can change their lives. You can also change your own life if you do it with love and caring, and if money is not your only motivation. Success and money will come in time if you truly care for those who need your assistance.
Knowing When to Treat
It is up to the massage therapist to know if he or she is qualified and capable of performing therapy for a specific medical condition. If you do not know what to do, then admit it and refer the patient to someone who does.
Still, 100-percent healing is not possible for every condition. There are things you may do one time that will seem to relieve a condition, only to have it return by the patient's next visit. What works for one patient may not work for the next patient with the same condition. If you do your best and the patient does not improve within a reasonable amount of time, his or her physician may no longer refer the patient to you; moreover, you should not want to continue to treat them if they are not showing some signs of improvement.
If you are billing insurance for the therapy, the insurer may not pay you for very long if you cannot show productive functional outcome. Insurers look for changes that can return the patient to employment, help them remain on the job, or return them to what they were unable to do prior to treatment. This is not always possible, but the intention to do so is necessary; so is thorough documentation to this effect.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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