resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
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.
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.
June, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 06
Age-Related Changes and Conditions, Part 1
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
Older adults make up a growing clientele for massage therapists. According to the 2006 AMTA consumer survey, the use of massage among older adults has tripled in the past 10 years. Serving clients who are over age 65 requires that you have a basic understanding of age-related changes and the conditions many older adults are living with.While no two older adults are exactly alike, there are more or less typical changes that occur in physical and mental condition and function as we age.1,2
Vision: Changes in eyesight often are one of the first noticeable signs of aging. The eye lens stiffens, making focusing on close objects harder and seeing in dim light more difficult. The eyes produce less fluid, making the eyes feel dry. Depth perception can be impaired as the number of nerve cells decrease.
Hearing: Many people experience a decreased ability to hear high-pitched sounds, including consonants, making it difficult to understand words or certain tones in music.
Taste: The sense of taste is duller because the taste buds decrease in number and are less sensitive.
The skin tends to become thinner as the fat layer under the skin thins. The body produces less collagen and elastin (the fibrous tissue that makes skin strong and flexible) resulting in skin that tears more easily. Circulation in the deeper layers of the skin decreases, making the skin slower to heal when injured. There are fewer nerve endings in the skin, leading to diminished sensitivity to pain, temperature and pressure. Blood vessels become more fragile and the skin is more easily bruised. The skin also might be more vulnerable to chemical irritation.
Changes Affecting Physical Activity
Bones and Joints: Bone density tends to decrease somewhat in both men and women; however bone loss increases in some women after menopause due to lower estrogen levels. Less synovial fluid in the joint capsule is produced, leading to stiffness and decreased joint mobility, especially in weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees and spine. The tendons and ligaments around the joints become weaker and stiff. The joint cartilage might erode.
Muscles: Muscle mass and strength decrease due in part to changes in hormones that regulate muscle development. The degree and impact of muscle loss is affected by the activity level of the individual. Those who do some form of weight-bearing exercise lose less muscle mass.
Balance: Unsteadiness might be a problem when structures in the inner ear that help regulate balance deteriorate. Some people experience dizziness upon standing because the heart pumps less blood to the head, and blood pressure is less able to respond to a change in position.
Changes in Mental Function
The number of brain nerve cells tends to decrease; however, the brain can compensate for this loss by establishing new pathways and connections. Levels of neurotransmitters change and blood flow to the brain decreases. There might be mild decline in some mental abilities such as short-term memory, recalling words, the ability to learn new material or performance under pressure. However, these normal changes do not greatly impact the person's daily functioning.
The motility of bowel contents slows, increasing the risk of constipation. Liver cells tend to decrease in number, decreasing blood flow through the liver, and liver enzymes work less efficiently. The liver then might eliminate toxins less effectively.
The kidneys become smaller and they remove wastes from the blood less efficiently. The bladder holds less urine, causing the need for more frequent urination. For some, this might interrupt restful sleep. The urinary sphincter may be weaker and less able to prevent urine leakage.
Immune System Changes
Immune cells tend to function more slowly, contributing to greater susceptibility to infectious disease such as pneumonia or influenza.
Massage therapists have much to offer older adults living with these changes. Aging, like massage, is a holistic event, not just a physical one. Physical changes are accompanied by psychological, social and spiritual alterations and adjustments as the gradual process of aging unfolds over time. For the older adult receiving massage, the benefits include decreased physical discomfort, greater ease of movement, an improved immune system, emotional support, spiritual acknowledgement and the empowerment of self care.
In Part 2 of this article, common conditions and disease in older adults will be explored, along with considerations for assessing the needs of older clients.
Click here for previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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