resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
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.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
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.
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?."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
March, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 03
Creating Sacred Moments Through Compassionate Touch
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
"When we touch another with a compassionate heart, it creates a sacred moment." These are the words that filled my awareness several years ago as I was leaving the care facility after having had a particularly poignant Compassionate Touch session with an elder gentleman suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease. I noticed that in that moment, my heart was wide open and I felt deeply moved and changed in some profound way. The truth embedded in those words has been with me ever since. They guide my way, teaching me about what it really means to touch those we serve. Here is what I've learned so far.
The Nature of Compassion
Compassion is not something we learn how to do, nor is it something we call forth when we think we should. It flows naturally from our humanness and is something we all share. We each may define compassion using different words or phrases: love, empathy, being open to the suffering of others. Although the definitions vary, I believe the experience of compassion is universal. For me, it's when my own healing presence emerges and my heart cracks wide open. I especially like the words of Judith Lief: "Cultivating compassion does not mean injecting some new, improved element into ourselves so we can work more effectively. Instead, we simply uncover the compassion that is already there."1
Helping Is Different Than Serving
I've asked many people, "Why did you become a massage therapist?" Many answer with, "Because I want to help people." Perhaps what is really calling us to this profession is a desire to serve. There is a core difference between helping and serving the elders we touch. Helping implies inequality. When we help, we are doing something to or for the person which places us in a position of power over them. We subtly convey that they are needier than we are, helping perpetuate "separateness" in our relationships. Helping is about doing, and we may cling to or hide behind our techniques or our roles, which actually distances us from the one we think we are helping. I've noticed that when I approach someone with an attitude of helping, the intention and energy flows only one way - from me to the one I am helping. Helping can leave me feeling depleted and burned out.
To serve is to become a part of the experience of the person we are serving. It is a relationship of equality and a dynamic interaction that flows both ways. When we serve, we give and receive. The benefits are mutual and our hearts and souls are expanded in the process. Serving is not about doing; it's about being. It's about being authentic and allowing our innate healing presence to shine forth. In service, we offer our support in whatever way is called for in the moment, allowing our client to receive whatever is needed at the time for healing and well-being. To serve is an opportunity to explore the meaning of the self and what it means to be human. Rachel Naomi Remen reminds us that: "We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected to that which we are willing to touch."2
Relating to the Individual
For more than 25 years, I have worked with elders who require care because of the debilitating effects of aging or illness. Caregiving is certainly complex and there are many things that must be done. Personal care needs, mobility assistance, medical treatment, social activities and safety are all important. However, I've seen that so much emphasis is placed on what must be done that the caregivers often relate more to the condition rather than the individual inside that aging body.
The individual is the core essence of each person. It never changes, regardless of age or the condition of the body or mind. When my attention is focused on the individual, my hands naturally follow to touch with compassion. I've witnessed hundreds of times what happens when I, the caregiver, stop doing to simply be present and touch the individual. In these moments, I truly serve and a space for healing opens. Not healing in terms of a cure, but a sense of wholeness, acceptance and well-being. These are the sacred moments when pain and suffering are eased and we are both uplifted.
A Sacred Moment
For two years, I provided Compassionate Touchsessions for a gentleman I'll call Mr. Edwards. He resided in a skilled nursing facility and his condition included dementia and the residual effects of a stroke, which left him unable to walk. The facility's staff struggled with him because he would become combative when he felt overwhelmed or confused. He only left his room for meals, refusing to attend other activities. He asked to have massage because of back pain, but it became clear during our first visit that he yearned to be touched and to be accepted. He told me about how his mother would soothe him as a child by rubbing his back.
During our sessions, he loved to tell me about his career as the president of a large loan company, while I massaged his back or feet. He often would fall into a peaceful sleep. Although, his physical and mental condition gradually diminished, he consistently seemed to find comfort from massage. One day the facility was having a party. After giving Mr. Edwards his massage, I was preparing to leave when he sat up as straight as he could in his wheelchair, held out his hand and said to me, "May I have the honor of your company at the party?" That was a sacred moment I will never forget. And, by the way, yes, I went to the party and we had a lovely time!
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.