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TCM & the Caregiving Population: Treatment Considerations & Our Vital Role
Informal caregiving is increasingly a reality for many Americans who find themselves providing unpaid care for a loved one or a family member with a long-term, terminal, or chronic illness.
Reader Beware: Consider the Source
The aftermath of last year's presidential elections brought a running conversation on the role played by "fake news" that was largely presented via social media.
Chiropractic in Texas Is Under Attack
The profession of chiropractic faces an unprecedented challenge in Texas, an attack that is more aggressive, sustained and dangerous than anything previously seen. The medical lobby has launched a coordinated, multi-front assault.
AOM Residency at NUNM
Imagine you're a recent acupuncture graduate, worried about making enough income as you forge your new career and seek more in-depth training in a particular treatment style.
Paperwork Done Wrong, Done Right
I was visiting a doctor's office recently and a member of his staff brought a stack of forms to his private office and laid them on the doctor's desk. She informed him he needed to complete the forms for patients and a few third parties.
A Brief History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctoral Programs
A doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been a goal of the profession since its beginnings in the late 1970s. At that time, however, the maturity of the educational institutions and the regulatory environment made it a goal with only a distant completion date.
Gather & Grow
I recently attended a faculty seminar held by one of the acupuncture schools. There was a facilitator who led us through some very interesting experiences. The attendees were a diverse group with varying opinions.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 2)
The primary channels (main channels) are introduced in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, these channels are referenced in many chapters throughout the Su Wen and the Ling Shu. The primary channels have become the main channel system used in TCM.
ICA Goes on the Vaccine Offensive
Have you watched the vaccination documentary, "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," by Andrew Wakefield MD, director, and Del Bigtree, producer? This is the documentary Robert DeNiro was pressured to remove from his Tribeca Film Festival.
Latest Cassidy Study on Stroke Risk Published
The latest study to investigate whether a unique association between chiropractic manipulation and risk of cervical artery dissection / stroke exists has yielded similar encouraging findings, with the authors noting "no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care" and no significant risk difference between patients receiving care from a DC or a primary care medical provider.
The Large Intestine Official
The large intestine (AKA colon) is the great eliminator, or as J.R. Worsley called it, "The Drainer of the Dregs." Dregs are defined as the remnants of liquid with its sediment left in a container, or the basest, least valuable portion of anything.
VF Works / DMX Works Epilogue: Almost Two Decades Later, the Lawsuits Continue
An article in the March 8, 1999 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic examined whether then-VF Works / Nu-Best Franchising was selling its franchises illegally to doctors of chiropractic.
Correcting Rib Dysfunction: Improve Patients' Pain, Posture and Breathing
As chiropractors, we tend to focus on the spine, and rightly so. Many problems our patients face can be corrected by manipulating the correct spinal level.
Advancing the "Whole Organ" Spine Model
Historically, the human spine has been organized by body region utilizing specific anatomical landmarks and transition zones.
Helping Patients With Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD), a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects motor function, has a slow onset over time.
4 Things Every DC Should Know About Levels of Care & Prevention
As health practitioners, we help people with their health problems and assist them with health promotion and disease prevention.
Treating the Lower Pelvis (Pt. 2): Midline Structures and Fascia
My previous article [October 2016 issue] outlined evaluation and treatment of pelvic issues involving the sacrotuberous ligament and the pubic symphysis. Now let's discuss two case studies that illustrate how to address additional problematic areas of the pelvis.
Near-Infrared Therapy for Diabetic Neuropathy
The pain experienced by people with diabetes is a symptom of diabetic neuropathy. The impact on quality of life is significant. Pain makes walking difficult, sleep troublesome, and eventually contributes to a decrease in social interaction.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter
New estimates suggest more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. The medical significance of this statistic is astounding.
House Calls With Dad
My father was a chiropractor and he did house calls. On Wednesday nights, while my mother attended the weekly women's meeting at the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs hall in our small town, dad loaded up the portable adjusting table, fired up the Pontiac and drove off to treat a few patients in their homes. I went with him.
News in Brief
The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) board members recently met with the Korean Customs Service, which is similar to the FDA, to discuss herbal safety and importation issues.
Getting Unstuck: Healing From Trauma With TCM, Qigong & Movement
We all come into this world vulnerable, with seeds to grow into our strength. Some of us — through a combination of good fortune (i.e., family and culture we are born into, constitutional inheritance, or ability to learn) grow with minimal interruption from traumatic injuries and experiences.
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01
A Promising Future Comes From Serving Special Populations
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I bring good news to those of you wishing to expand your practice to special populations! Massage is finding an accepted place in traditional settings that care for our elders, individuals with life-limiting illness or disability. Many of your peers are discovering opportunities in eldercare facilities, hospice and hospitals:
This is good news for us all. And thanks to the increased public awareness of the value of massage, the success these massage therapists are enjoying is being repeated across the country. But there are other influences at work here, too. Societal trends lend promise to this ever-growing specialized market for massage therapists.
Current Trends Support the Growth of Massage Therapy
We live in a society that loves to keep track of facts and statistics. Many of us in the massage profession don't get too excited about this kind of detail. We like to experience the world through other means, kinesthetically, for example. But my own experience and observation as a therapist and an educator prompted me to ask a key question: What are the forces driving the increased opportunities for massage therapists to serve elders and other special populations? Part of the answer to my question can be found in demographic and society changes occurring at the same time that massage therapy is being recognized as a valuable, if not essential, form of service. Call it synchronicity or just old-fashioned good timing, but the end result is that we are in a good place at the right time. Here is what I discovered about current trends.
There are increasing numbers of older adults. In 2006, there were 37.3 million people in the U.S. over age 65. By the year 2030, it is estimated there will be 71.5 million.1
People are living longer. The fastest growing segment of our population is 85 years and older. In the last century, our country has experienced enormous change in how long people live. In 1900, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47.3. Today it is 78. Advances in medicine and health care along with lifestyle changes have contributed to people living longer.2
The types of diseases have changed. In 1900, the leading cause of death among adults was infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and influenza, as well as accidents. Today, adults are affected by more chronic illnesses and living for years with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.2,3
More people are turning to complementary and alternative therapies. Individuals are using complementary and alternative therapies in growing numbers. Studies have shown that common reasons for this trend include: increased desire to participate in one's self care; concerns regarding side effects of medications; concern about health care costs; and consumer dissatisfaction with conventional medical care. One study showed that adults over 65 were most motivated to use complementary modalities for pain relief, to improve quality of life and to maintain health and fitness. The complementary and alternative therapies most commonly used by these older adults were chiropractic, herbal medicine and massage therapy. According to a 2006 consumer survey by the AMTA, the use of massage therapy among those 65 and older has tripled since 1997.4,5
There is greater public access to hospice care. Hospice is a relative newcomer to the health care system. Hospice today refers to specialized care of dying patients and can be traced back to 1967 when Dame Cicely Saunders founded the first modern hospice near London. She, along with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, introduced holistic hospice care to the U.S. and the first hospice in America, the Connecticut Hospice, was opened in 1974. Today, there are more than 4,000 hospice organizations in the U.S.6,7
Hospitals are developing palliative care programs. (To palliate means to make comfortable by alleviating symptoms from an illness.) Hospices have traditionally provided palliative care to individuals suffering from terminal illness. Now, more hospitals are turning to palliative care for patients with advanced chronic or life-threatening illness, emphasizing symptom management, communication and other means to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Larger hospitals, university medical centers and not-for-profit hospitals are where most palliative care programs are found.7,8
Hospital-based massage programs are growing in number. A 2006 national survey by the AMTA showed the number of hospitals offering massage increased more than one-third over the previous two years. Of those hospitals, 71 percent indicated that massage therapy is offered for patient stress relief and comfort; 67 percent utilized massage therapy for pain management; 52 percent provided massage for cancer patients and 37 percent offered massage for end-of-life care.9,10
The Culture Change Movement is impacting nursing home care. This is a grass-roots movement, transforming the culture of aging in America and bringing person-centered care to the nursing home industry. Spearheaded by the Pioneer Network, this movement is about fundamental change in nursing homes, creating a less institutionalized and more humane environment that supports the elder's life, dignity, rights and freedom.11,12
So, what does all this have to do with you? If you are a massage therapist who feels drawn to work with elders, the ill or those in end-of-life care, it has a great deal to do with you. As our population ages, greater numbers of older adults will be seeking ways to live well longer or to find relief from the symptoms of the conditions affecting them. If you have the knowledge, skills and sensitivity to meet their needs, there is potential for your practice to thrive. Many elders will require the assistance of a care facility due to debilitating illness or injury.
The doors are opening for massage therapists to work in long-term care facilities as evidence shows that skilled touch improves the quality of life for the individuals who reside there. Public awareness and access to hospice and palliative care will continue to expand; and massage is an effective, non-pharmacological approach for comfort care. Keep in mind that nursing homes, hospice organizations and hospitals are businesses too, and they are continually looking for innovative programs to attract customers in their changing and competitive market. Bringing a massage therapist on board does exactly that.
The good news is that the potential for you to successfully expand your practice will only increase. What's more, working with individuals in this special population gives you the opportunity to serve others in a way that is profound. It can be the most uplifting and deeply rewarding work you will ever do. Now that is really good news!
Click here for previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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