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News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
The Benefits of Infant Massage
By Christie Bondurant
For centuries, massage has been used to promote wellness: a healthy circulatory system, improving immune function and releasing emotional stress. More and more studies are showing that infants may enjoy these same healthful benefits.
Infant massage is an age-old parenting practice used in many cultures such as Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. As a daily routine, mothers in India have been massaging their newborns since 3000 BC, much longer than their Western counterparts. It's only in the last 30 years that infant massage has taken hold in the West. For massage therapists specializing in infant massage, calming a baby never became so easy. There are many reasons for infant massage therapy, from serious problems preterm infants face to common discomforts healthy full-term infants endure.
Preterm infants, along with their parents, face some hard realities. Licensed massage therapists can help soothe the daily discomforts of these tiny frames, and in some cases promote a faster recovery. In a recent study, preterm infants exposed to daily stressors in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) showed reduced stress behaviors after massage therapy (December 2007 issue of Infant Behavior and Development). "Infants received three 15-min. massages administered at 9, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day for five consecutive days. The massages were started on a Monday and ended on Friday of the same week, for a total of 15 massages. The preterm infants received their massages from licensed massage therapists who were trained on a structured protocol." The study concluded that even after such limited exposure of only five days, preterm infants "showed fewer stress behaviors from the first to the last day," suggesting that the therapy "desensitizes the preterm infant to the stressful environment of the NICU, perhaps by enhancing longer periods of parasympathetic activity." The study also suggests that over time, massage therapy has a stress-reducing or "pacifying effect" to infants.
For those familiar with infant massage, you are more than likely aware of the studies showing improvements in weight gain in preterm infants who receive infant massage; however, other benefits may occur from weight gain. The Journal of Pediatrics (July 2005) reported, "The weight gain experienced by preterm neonates receiving moderate-pressure massage therapy may be mediated by increased vagal activity and gastric motility." The study concluded that the weight gain in preterm infants might be directly related to "massage-induced increases in vagal activity, which in turn may lead to increased gastric motility and thereby weight gain."
In healthy full-term infants, massage therapy can relieve common discomforts such as colic, gas and constipation. It also has been shown to improve sleep, reduce stress behaviors, and regulate and strengthen the baby's digestive and respiratory systems, as well as stimulate circulatory and nervous systems.
Vimala McClure, founder of the International Association of Infant Massage, is known as one of the pioneers who brought infant massage to the West. She has written books on the subject and developed techniques for teachers and parents all over the world. In her book Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents, McClure expresses the need for newborns to experience massage. "For an infant, massage is much more than a luxurious, sensual experience or a type of physical therapy. It's a tool for maintaining a child's health and well-being on many levels."
For massage therapists interested in infant massage, put down the Baby Massage for Dummies text and listen up; the following techniques will be more familiar to you than you think. Here are some of the techniques you might learn after taking infant massage courses:
If you are a licensed massage therapist interested in adding infant massage to your practice and/or teaching infant massage courses, visit the following Web sites for more information: Touch Research Institute (www.miami.edu/touch-research), International Association of Infant Massage (www.iaim-us.com), American Massage Therapy Association (www.amtamassage.org) and the International Loving Touch Foundation (www.lovingtouch.com).
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