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Dealing with a Pain in the Butt
The patient came into my office with the classic antalgic stoop. She was bent over almost to ninety degrees, leaning on her husband for support and staggering to walk. She had been under supportive care for a long time, but this new pain scared her.
Letter to the Editor
On December 7, 1999, the U.S. FDA reclassified the status of acupuncture needles from class III (investigative devices subject to investigative device exemptions...) to class II (special controls).
The Lung Official
The Lung is known as the "Official Who Receives the Pure Chi From the Heavens." The act of breathing in, known as inspiration, brings oxygen into the body from the atmosphere. Each exhalation or expiration removes and releases carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body, into the atmosphere.
HVLA Technique: Addressing Myths
In the annals of chiropractic history and literature, and in the imagination of the public, there is one manual adjusting technique that can produce a wide range of responses, both from patients and casual observers.
The Most Important Vitamin You've Never Heard Of: K2
Imagine if one in every three patients who walked through your door was afflicted with a debilitating, yet completely preventable and treatable disease.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion: Where's the Wisdom?
We should be very skeptical of the purportedly less invasive version of the already defrocked sacroiliac fusion surgery, "minimally invasive" sacroiliac joint fusion; and concerned this procedure simply represents the device manufacturer's attempt to find yet another new market.
Case Study: 2-Year-Old Suffering From Urinary Reflux
A19-month-old female child presented to my office for treatment. Her mother reported the child had been diagnosed with urinary reflux and associated urinary tract infections, recurrent bouts of otitis media and inability to sleep.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Medicare Challenges Aren't an Education Issue; Passion to Succeed: More Pivotal Than GPA?
Six Things Every Chiropractor Should Know About Opioids
An increase in addictions and deaths due to opioids has raised significant concern and media attention. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing chiropractor.
Patience vs. Patients
How long have you been in practice? I began my journey more than 20 years ago and opened my first acupuncture clinic in 2008. Just like you, I've learned a lot over the years. Recently, I sat in an interview and was asked what made me successful.
Infertility: Managing Irregular Menses
Infertility is an area where Chinese medicine is particularly helpful. In the main, in women below the age of 38 without organic disturbance, the success rate using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) should exceed 85%.
News in Brief
F4CP MEmbership Milestone Reached; ICA Challenging New California Vaccine Law; TCC Names New President; New Provost at UWS.
Physical Examination in an Evidence-Based World
I have always had a fascination with physical examination procedures, particularly orthopedic tests. The origin of my fascination began just after graduation when I began the chiropractic orthopedics program.
Concerns Regarding CDC Guidelines for Pain Management
In response to the epidemic rates of opioid and heroin addiction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set new guidelines for physicians regarding treatment for pain.
Forward Head Carriage and the Feet: What's the Connection? (Pt. 2)
Clinical evaluation of standing posture using relatively low-tech tools has been confirmed as valid and reliable by several studies. The original device used to evaluate posture was the plumb line, which served as a reference line for the effects of gravity on body alignment.
University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Students Make Rounds at Sisters of Notre Dame
Nuns are not stereotypical acupuncture patients, Dr. Jennifer Brett acknowledges with a laugh. But then again, acupuncture has gone mainstream, just like cappuccinos and recycling. "It's changed a lot from the '70s and '80s," said Brett.
Acupuncture Earns BLS Unique Code
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that acupuncturists will have their own unique occupational code in the 2018 BLS Handbook. The new Standard Occupational Code (SOC) is 29-1291, will be included in the next edition of the BLS Occupational Handbook, which will be published in 2018.
Putting POLITE Into Practice
First came the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), which eventually became PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Then in 2015, we started hearing POLICE (Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Comparing Costs of Care: DCs, MDs or PTs - Who Costs More?
In a health care era where evidence is increasingly the benchmark for insurance coverage, patient care and even cultural authority, we get plenty of it courtesy of a retrospective cost analysis spanning 10 years, more than 660,000 "covered lives" and nearly 7.5 million claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
The Drug Epidemic: Are You Guilty, Too?
Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become epidemic among children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of school-aged children diagnosed with ADHD has grown from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 11.0 percent in 2011.
CE Regulations Are Hurting Chiropractic
During my 35 years in the chiropractic profession, I have been forced to attend available continuing-education programs that were occasionally incredibly beneficial, but frequently not worth my time.
Acupuncture's Essential Role
Acupuncture should play a more prominent role in U.S. healthcare during and after this post-Affordable Care Act era when chronic care and population health management are key concerns for all healthcare providers.
NBCE Fumbles Computerized Testing Process
Imagine being a student again, about to take one of the four tests required to become a doctor of chiropractic. You've studied almost nonstop for the past few weeks. You can feel your anxiety level rise as you sit down in front of the computer screen.
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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