resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
Spotlight on Research
By Edie Seyl
Editor's note: This periodic column keeps you abreast of the latest research documenting the benefits of massage and bodywork. Published research is summarized, with references to the full study text provided; abstracts of research projects planned or in progress are reproduced with minimal edits, whenever possible.The following abstract was presented at the 2002 AMTA National Convention; it appears in Massage Today with permission from the author.
Seniors in Touch at Weaver's Tale Retreat Center: A Two-Year AMTA Foundation-Funded Project
People entering their senior years face major life changes, including retirement, decreased community involvement and decreased parenting/family roles. These changes, naturally perceived as losses, are often accompanied by declining physical and mental health, as well as grief associated with the death of a spouse and close friends. Social isolation and depression are frequent outcomes. Research and life experiences indicate that the best treatment for depression is social, physical and mental stimulation through meaningful activities. It is the rare occasion when a resident has the opportunity to spend time outdoors communing with nature or the world outside his or her residence. This lack of stimulation often leads to sleep disorders; anxiety; decreased appetite; and a general decrease in physical and mental stamina.
Weaver's Tale Retreat Center (WTRC) is a 501(c)(3) organization that offers daylong nature retreats for elders who primarily reside in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and retirement and foster homes in the Portland metropolitan area. WTRC's mission is for elders and all people to connect to each other and nature. Using the natural resources Oregon has to offer, participants share in physically and mentally stimulating activities that improve their physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual well-being. Program activities include Nature Group Experience: an outdoor walk on wheelchair-accessible trails, plant identification and a nature craft; Self-Renewal: a quiet, nurturing massage by licensed massage therapists (LMT), and self-massage instruction; and Circle of Friends: a music circle that encourages reminiscing and socialization. WTRC provides a high quality program at minimal expense that enables most elders to attend. WTRC has grown dramatically from 50 seniors in 1997 to over 1,000 in 2002.
To study the effects of massage and self-massage instruction to seniors and caregivers in the Portland metropolitan area. The massage group activity provided a sensory and self-awareness aspect of the WTRC program. Massage offers not only tactile stimulation, but it evokes memories as a person moves into a relaxed state of awareness. Touch offers people an opportunity to be more aware of their bodies, note pain and stress points and experience a release and deeper sense of relation. Through self-massage instruction, WTRC empowers an individual to have more control of his or her health. General objectives of the massage group project were:
Objectives were measured through the pre- and post-tests completed by senior participants, caregivers, activity directors from the senior residences, and massage therapists. Data were collected by observation, as well as through a verbal questionnaire that LMTs administered to their massage clients before and after massage. A follow-up survey was sent to the activities directors three weeks after attending the program. The pre- and post-tests included measurements using a pain scale; emotional stress scale; flexibility; general effect; and comments made by the massage clients that related to body awareness and control regarding health care. The massage therapy coordinator surveyed the massage therapists regarding prior gerontological massage experiences and new insights regarding the senior population. Likewise, a survey for caregivers and staff regarding new insights and previous massage experience for seniors was administered by the massage therapy coordinator.
Senior participants and caregivers pre- and post-tests: Surveys showed a decreased breathing rate in 50% of participants. Other results showed intensified feelings of wellness; calm; relaxation; happiness; and a sense of belonging. Physically, the LMTs' measures of range of motion (ROM); body posture; skin color and tone; and body awareness all improved.
Massage therapists pre- and post-tests: The LMT [reported] perceptions of how seniors benefit from massage did not vary significantly from pre-to post-tests. The LMT [reported] benefits of giving seniors massage were a sense of calm; satisfaction; helpfulness; gratitude; the importance of listening; intercon-nectedness; sharing; fun/laughter; appreciation; and "compassion keeps growing." LMTs were surprised by how open the seniors were to share, explore and express feelings. One hundred percent of the massage therapists stated that they plan to include geriatric massage in their practices.
Facilities staff pre- and post-tests: 100% of the staff thought seniors benefit from massage because of improved circulation; relaxation; emotional well-being; decreased pain and stress; and a sense of connectedness. The post-test also revealed that the seniors experienced a new and pleasant experience; helped them forget about their problems; helped them be in the moment; and gave them a sense of peace.
Surveys three weeks post-program: As of this paper, 91.7% of the facilities initiated a massage therapy program as a result of attending WTRC. The physical and occupational departments at one nursing home have contracted with a massage therapist to do a massage clinic every Friday. Another senior developmentally disabled group does massage and has it documented as part of the patient care plan. One activity director of a nursing home leads a group two to three times a week that she calls the "Scented Hand Massage" group; it provides sensory stimulation and relaxation, and, because it meets right before lunch, promotes good hygiene. Another activity director of a nursing home has a massage-relaxation group weekly. And the assisted living facility that was interviewed stated they have LMTs regularly - usually weekly - with residents paying for their private massages. These all are a result of the WTRC experience. Facilities who reported that they had not initiated massage stated they have been unable to find resources and/or the cost has been prohibitive. They both requested a list of resources and suggestions to create massage programs that work for them. WTRC compiled and sent a list of resources and creative solutions.
All of the objectives of this project were met. The number of massage therapists actually decreased, but the results were an improvement (i.e., a consistent core massage therapy staff developed as a result of available salaries.). WTRC anticipated there would be an increased awareness of the benefits of massage for the senior population among massage therapists, caregivers, activity directors and senior groups. With increased awareness, we anticipated and experienced an increased number of participants and a more consistent staff of massage therapists at our programs, as well as an increased number of senior massages in the community-at-large. Results of our study demonstrated that seniors and caregivers have an increased sense of control and responsibility regarding their health care. The study also demonstrated that massage significantly promotes mental and physical health among seniors.
WTRC is designed to offer seniors the opportunity to spend time outdoors breathing fresh air and experiencing the sights and sounds of nature. Massage therapy at our retreat is intended to promote the health and well-being of seniors. After attending our day program, caregivers and staff report that seniors show an improvement in affect, an increased sense of well-being and increased involvement in their "home" environments. Staff and caregivers who come with their seniors for the day receive nurturing massages and leave the retreat with an added awareness of the importance of human touch. Staff often report that for the first time they are able to experience their seniors as people with distinct personalities and pasts, rather than as patients with physical or mental health needs.
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