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Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
Massage and Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 2
What does the literature say?
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
Mary, an 81-year-old female, has resided in a nursing home for seven months. Her medical history reveals that she has Alzheimer's disease; anxiety (state unspecified); dementia with behavior disorder; insomnia; osteoarthritis; osteoporosis; and recurrent urinary tract infections. She requires a wheelchair because she no longer is able to safely ambulate and has fallen several times; she has increasing difficulty communicating her needs because she cannot find the appropriate words to express herself; she has recently begun to yell out and, at times, bangs on her wheelchair for long periods of time. She relies on staff to assist her with activities of daily living; she is incontinent of urine; she attends group activities, but the yelling and banging is upsetting to the others and she is removed from the group. She spends much of her time in her room or in the hallway. She has difficulty sleeping and is often anxious at night, which increases her yelling behavior. This concerns staff because they have difficulty calming her and other residents are awakened.
Following a referral for massage therapy, I arranged for sessions twice a week and it was agreed the need for continued session would be determined after six weeks. I saw Mary in her room while she was sitting in her wheelchair. Each session lasted 20 to 30 minutes and typically took place in the morning before lunch. Mary was receptive to having massage lotion applied to her hands in the form of a hand massage and she seemed to enjoy the one-to-one attention.
Following three weeks of sessions, the activity director reported that Mary was able to remain in more group activities without disruptive yelling and only occasional banging on her wheelchair. This resulted in less isolation and opportunities for social interaction for Mary. After six weeks, I demonstrated a simple hand massage technique that the staff could use in addition to continued weekly massage therapy sessions. The nurse assistant reported that Mary was more cooperative during self care activities and that she had decreased restlessness and agitation at night. The overall impact of massage therapy was an increase in the quality of life for Mary and decreased job stress along with increased feelings of satisfaction for the staff.
This scenario illustrates that, indeed, massage appears to have a positive impact on the care and quality of life of an elder living with the effects of Alzheimer's disease. I'm not alone in witnessing these effects -- many of my colleagues share similar stories that point to the efficacy of massage in Alzheimer's care. But our stories may not be enough to substantiate what we experience during our sessions. As massage therapy becomes more recognized as a health care profession we are expected to back up our stories with data. Like it or not it is the world we live in. Fortunately there is a long-standing and growing body of evidence that substantiates the value of massage and touch in Alzheimer's care. While there is need for further research, studies indicate that the use of some forms of massage are effective in managing challenging behavior often exhibited by elders living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. What follows is a brief report on a few such studies and articles. While this is surely not an exhaustive collection of articles, it will give you some interesting data on which to hang your hat (or your holster!). I've included Web links so you can access the full text of each article.
Studies in Dementia
Editor's note: The following abstracts were taken from various Internet sources; author, title, publication and Web links of each abstract are cited.
Hicks-Moore S, Robinson B. "Favorite Music and Hand Massage: Two Interventions to Decrease Agitation in Residents with Dementia." Dementia, 2008;7(1):95-108. http://dem.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/7/1/95
Agitation in individuals with dementia living in the nursing home environment affects care and quality of life. Relaxation techniques such as music and massage are showing promise to decrease agitation and improve quality of life in individuals with dementia. Using an experimental 3 x 3 repeated measures design, 41 residents with mild to moderate dementia participated in a study to test the effectiveness of favorite music (FM) and hand massage (HM) in reducing agitated behaviors. Agitated residents were randomly assigned to either the treatment or control groups. Residents in the treatment group received each of three treatments, HM, FM, and HMFM, with each treatment lasting 10 minutes. Residents in the control group received no treatment. Agitation was measured using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) at three different intervals. The results suggest that FM and HM individually and combined are effective in significantly decreasing agitation immediately following the intervention and also one hour post intervention.
Forbes D et al. "Nonpharmacological Management of Agitated Behaviours Associated with Dementia." Geriatrics & Aging, 2005;8(4):26-30. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/503816
Abstract: Strategies such as simulated presence therapy, pet therapy, light therapy, validation therapy, music, massage, therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, and multisensory stimulation have shown promising results in decreasing physical aggression, physical nonaggression, verbal aggression, and verbal nonaggression in older adults with dementia. Further research is needed to identify which strategies are most effective in managing symptoms of agitation associated with the different types of dementia and at different levels of cognitive impairment.
Nonpharmacological approaches have several advantages. They address the psychosocial and/or environmental reason(s) for the agitation, and compared to pharmaceutical interventions they avoid potential side effects, drug-drug interactions, and masking of behaviour that may serve as a signal for a need. The purpose of this review is, therefore, to assess and summarize research evidence on the efficacy of nonpharmacological strategies in managing agitated behaviour associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Cohen-Mansfield J. "Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Inappropriate Behaviors in Dementia: A Review, Summary, and Critique." American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2001;9:361-81. http://focus.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/2/2/288
Abstract: Inappropriate behaviors are very common in dementia and impose an enormous toll both emotionally and financially. Three main psychosocial theoretical models have generally been utilized to explain inappropriate behaviors in dementia: the "unmet needs" model, a behavioral/learning model, and an environmental vulnerability/reduced stress-threshold model. A literature search yielded 83 nonpharmacological intervention studies, which utilized the following categories of interventions: sensory, social contact (real or simulated), behavior therapy, staff training, structured activities, environmental interventions, medical/nursing care interventions, and combination therapies. The majority are reported to have a positive, albeit not always significant, impact. Better matching of the available interventions to patients' needs and capabilities may result in greater benefits to patients and their caregivers.
Massage/Touch. Six articles report studies of massage or therapeutic touch. Usually, the procedure took about five minutes and was performed once or twice per day. One study reported unequivocal success (using a combination of massage and verbalizations). The other studies reported either a positive trend, partial effects (on physical and verbal behaviors) or no effect of the intervention (on aggression).
Snyder M et al. "Efficacy of Hand Massage in Decreasing Agitation Behaviors Associated with Care Activities in Persons with Dementia." Geriatric Nursing, March/April 1995:60-3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7774819
Summary: The purpose of this study was to explore if administering hand massage before care activities that were often associated with agitation behaviors would reduce the frequency and intensity of these behaviors during these care activities. Both aggressive and non-aggressive forms of agitation were studied. A hand massage protocol that took five minutes to give was chosen as the intervention. Hand massage was performed in the morning and afternoon for ten days. Results showed that hand massage decreased the frequency and intensity of agitated behavior during morning care routines, although not during evening care. Staff reported that reducing the intensity of the behavior made it easier to care for the elders.
Kilstoff K et al. "New Approaches to Health and Well-Being for Dementia Day-Care Clients, Family Carers, and Day-care Staff." International Journal of Nursing Practice, June 1998;4(2):70-83. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9748936
Abstract: This study was conducted in one multicultural dementia day-care centre over a period of 18 months. It introduced a gentle hand treatment for clients using three essential oils. The study evolved out of the process of action research where the family carers and day-care staff participated with the researchers to choose, design, develop and evaluate a hand treatment program. Data was collected through in-depth interviews pre-and post-treatment, focus group discussions, client observation logbooks and a disability scale. The findings indicate a positive strengthening of the relationship between the person with dementia and their family carer, and an improvement in feelings of health and well-being for both. The specific improvements for clients include increased alertness, self-hygiene, contentment, initiation of toileting, sleeping at night and reduced levels of agitation, withdrawal and wandering. Family carers have reported less distress, improved sleeping patterns and feelings of calm. They also found the treatment useful in helping them manage the difficult behaviors exhibited by their relative with dementia. The benefits of this treatment for nursing practice are that it is safe, effective and easily administered by staff in any setting.
Want to learn more?
I invite you to explore this topic further. Who knows; maybe the next study will be conducted by YOU! Additional online resources that I have found helpful are:
I leave you with this quote: "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it." Margaret Fuller
Read Ann's previous article "Massage and Alzheimer's Disease, Part 1 What would Maslow say?"
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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