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Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
June, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 06
Meeting the Emotional Challenges of Oncology Massage
By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS
Massage therapists often ask me how to manage the emotional demands of working with people with cancer. The answers are individual, so I hesitate to share my own approaches if they might not honor another's.
Therapists are right to ask about managing strong feelings; our emotions can bounce all over our inner world when we work with people who are ill.Over years of this work, I've certainly gone through a range of feelings. I've felt elated after hearing a client's promising test result. I've felt dread after watching a client's condition worsen. I've felt unfinished when learning of a client's death before I had a chance to say goodbye. I've felt satisfaction from hearing a client describe symptoms of relief from massage. I've felt peace and joy when marking a client's five-year "survivorship" after cancer treatment. I've felt respect and admiration when sensing a client's strength as they manage hard treatments.
Therapists are right to ask about managing strong feelings; our emotions can bounce all over our inner world when we work with people who are ill.
And I've felt sadness and emptiness at a client's regular appointment time, looking out at an empty waiting room, reminding myself that my client passed away. I've felt sadness and emptiness that my client no longer has a body that needs my help or companionship.
These are ordinary human feelings, nothing unusual or out of place, yet I think they are deepened in a relationship of touch. When I touch a client's body, a body that bears the story of illness, treatment and healing, it makes a particularly deep impression on me. Even with a one-time client, I am moved. I have more to lose and more to gain as I let my client's life touch mine, as I walk with them in some small way along their journey.
Touch intensifies the connections between us. Add on the fact that massage therapists tend to be a sensitive lot, and the specter of possible emotions in this work can seem overwhelming. It's worth asking, "How do I manage?" and giving good thought to measures that might ease the way. Managing feelings doesn't mean stifling or ignoring them. It doesn't mean work without being affected by them. But as the "operations manager" of my own small life, I'm learning to create the infrastructure to weather the feelings that pass through me. To the extent that my approaches prove useful to others, I offer them humbly here. All are straightforward, and we've heard them before - but the call to do our work refreshes the call to take care.
Looking back on this list, I am aware that these suggestions may serve all of us, not just massage therapists working with a certain population. The humanity of our work bestows blessings and challenges on us all. And every little self-care measure counts - if not for our clients, at least for ourselves.
Click here for more information about Tracy Walton, LMT, MS.
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