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Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Massage for Cancer Patients: Indicated or Contraindicated?
By William C. Handley Jr., LMT, Oncology Massage Therapist
Years of constant research have developed numerous new treatments to eradicate cancer or at least prolong the quality of life of a person living with cancer. As a cancer survivor, I can give firsthand testimony that most cancer patients feel abandoned in the time they need the most support."You have cancer" will be some of the scariest words you will ever hear in your life!
Most of the family members and loved ones of a person diagnosed with cancer will tell that person they will be with them and support them all the way through their battle with the disease. I'm sure, without a doubt, that their intentions are true. But in the eyes of the person living with the cancer, the support usually comes from a distance. Due to fallacies and myths, most people that are intending to support a person living with cancer actually will distance themselves from the person fighting the disease. These fallacies, myths, and lack of education and facts can lead the supporters to think they can hurt a person battling cancer by touching them, hugging them, or even that they can catch the cancer by being in contact with them. This simple distance is more noticeable to the person living with cancer because they need the close support and touch of their loved ones. When you have a life-threatening disease, a touch or hug develops a lot more meaning than just contact.
Massage therapy is one of the most relaxing forms of touch available. Massage therapy also has many health benefits, but there have been concerns that massage therapy actually can cause the cancer to spread. Most massage therapy schools taught that cancer was a contraindication for massage. The two main concerns of how massage therapy could spread cancer involved its effects on circulation and the cancer tumors. Research continues to dispute the original concerns that massage therapy can spread cancer. The support to dispute this myth grows each year through credible experts and numerous studies.
Oncology massage therapy actually is a combination of many styles of massage incorporated into one session. The differences in the styles and techniques used with cancer patients are noticeable, both visually and physically. Oncology massage is a non-invasive technique, specifically adapted for individuals of all ages and types of cancer. Cancer patients should only receive massage therapy from a therapist educated in oncology massage. A therapist uneducated in the adaptations of these styles and proper techniques actually can cause the cancer patient to develop different conditions and even cause the death of the patient. There are contraindications and precautions for a cancer patient to receive massage therapy. This list has grown over the years to become more complete and ensure that those who are educated in oncology massage also are educated in what they should not do and what they should be cautious of.
Acceptance of massage therapy for cancer patients from medical professionals has been a continuing educational process for the medical institutions, physicians and the oncology massage therapists. The medical institutions require credentials and protocols for treatment and procedure manuals. This means a massage therapist must be able to produce documentation and certification that he or she has had education in massage for cancer patients, in addition to the standard education in massage therapy. The therapist also must have detailed protocols for treatment that give an outline of the therapy plans for each stage of cancer, such as: pre- and postsurgical protocols, chemotherapy and radiation protocols, lymphedema protocols and scar tissue protocols. The therapist also must provide a correctly formatted procedure manual under the requirements of a joint commission.
The physicians must be educated in the benefits of oncology massage and how to properly refer patients with a correct prescription and diagnosis. This is another educational responsibility of the oncology massage therapist - to meet with these physicians and provide them with hard, undeniable evidence of medical studies. The best evidence has been patient testimony after a physician sends their first referral.
The oncology massage therapist must obtain additional education and training through qualified instructors. There are now several classes available in this modality of massage therapy. Cheryl Chapman and Tracy Walton offer very informative continuing education classes. Gayle MacDonald recently joined with Dr. Sandy Canzone and developed a 300-hour certification course in oncology massage. Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center also offers a continuing educational course in oncology massage therapy. Courses such as these are vital and should eventually be mandatory for a massage therapist to be able to provide massage therapy for those living with or surviving cancer. Mandatory requirements will help give a more credible recognition and acceptance of this therapy.
Standard massage therapy performed by a generally licensed massage therapist and without additional specialized education in cancer should be considered a contraindication for cancer patients. However, oncology massage therapy provided by a properly educated oncology massage therapist is a definite indication for those living with or surviving the disease.
William Handley Jr. currently heads up the oncology/mastectomy massage therapy program at Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia and is the director of Tranquility Massage Therapy. He is a cancer survivor and the first certified cancer/mastectomy massage specialist in W.V., where he developed and implemented the state’s first oncology/mastectomy massage therapy program.
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