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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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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