resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
November, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 11
Tips From the Field: Creating a Supply Kit
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
"What supplies should I take with me?" I've been asked this question a lot over the years by massage therapists anticipating work in eldercare or hospice settings. This situation is far different from having an office space with all your supplies conveniently available.Anyone who has ever offered massage at an offsite location can attest to this while lugging bags of supplies, not to mention a massage table, to the site. While you won't need to lug a massage table around when working with people in nursing homes or in hospice care, you will need certain essential items to make it a success. So just what should you take?
A bag for your supplies. I know this is obvious, but not just any bag will do. Besides keeping you organized, your bag is a tool for building relationship with your clients. I've found that using the same bag repeatedly creates a consistent identity and helps elders with memory impairment associate the bag with the experience of receiving touch. I recently was at a nursing facility and a woman wheeled herself over just to see my bag because it had cats on it. She is a cat-lover and we had a delightful conversation about her cats as she enjoyed a hand and back massage. So get creative, have some fun, and find something that you enjoy. Shoulder bags, beach bags, roller bags or craft supply bags are all good options.
Lightweight folding stool. Space in nursing homes and private homes is limited, and rooms are often cluttered. You will likely be working with someone in a wheelchair or hospital bed. Sometimes there isn't a chair for you to sit on. Other times, there's no place to put a chair even if you had one. A folding stool will be your best friend. You will always have a seat and your body mechanics will most certainly be better than trying to stand or kneel. Look at camping stores, department stores and even arts-and-crafts stores. Tri-fold camp stools and solid-seat stools make good choices.
Unscented massage lotion in pump bottle. Choose lotions that support and nourish thin or dehydrated skin: unscented, hypo-allergenic, nongreasy, pH-balanced and noncomedogenic (won't clog pores). If you have a client for whom you want to use scented lotion, you can add pure essential oils to individual amounts. I don't recommend using massage oil in care settings: It is difficult to control and a drop that accidently finds its way to the floor creates a risk for falls. Lotion is also a more familiar substance for elders and may be more easily accepted.
Bottle holster. Keeping your lotion in a holster while you work eliminates the need to set the bottle on the bed, floor or other surfaces, keeping it cleaner.
Sanitizing gel and disposable wipes. While sanitizing gel can never take the place of hand washing, it is helpful for times when you need to clean your hands or equipment and a sink is not handy. Wipes can be used to clean equipment like bottles or your stool between clients.
Nametag. It is important when working in any health care setting to have proper identification. I love my magnet-backed nametag- no pin holes in my clothes.
Documentation forms or notebook. Completing documentation while on-site will help with time management as well as accurate reporting of each session.
Hand-warmer. People with debilitating conditions are often cold. If you tend to have cold hands regularly, or only during cold weather, consider a hand warmer. I use a small flax-filled bag that I microwave to warm my hands. Wrap it in a paper towel to keep it clean. Facility employee break rooms have microwaves and many private residences will as well. Your touch will be much more welcome and your client will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Mild peppermint foot cream. What better way to provide a soothing and uplifting foot massage?
Mild natural topical analgesic. Some clients will benefit from additional pain relief. For example, pain associated with arthritis or sore muscles.
Privacy door-hanger sign. I've found this does two things: it decreases interruptions by staff and it serves as a subtle marketing tool for you. Add your name and logo to the sign and it is a way to increase your visibility to staff, elders and families.
Small CD player or mp3 player. Some clients will have CD players. Choose music that is melodic and relaxing.
Soft fabric squares. Occasionally, you may want to offer a parting gift to bring closure to a session. You can collect inexpensive remnants of soft fabric and cut it into pieces approximately 12 in x 12 in. I find this especially useful for people with dementia to provide an added sensory experience to our session.
Journal or notebook. There are times when you may want to write as a way to care for your own feelings or to capture an uplifting moment. I've sometimes written letters to clients who have made their transition to say goodbye. Other times I write down something that a client said during our session. Taking a moment to write is a way to support yourself and honor your own process in this work.
I asked some colleagues what they carry in their own supply kits. Here is what they shared with me:
Valerie Hartman is a complementary therapy hospice and palliative care nurse. She recommends: a divided bag so you can separate items; disposable pads to place on chair or floor; and aromatherapy supplies (if you are properly trained).
Susan Cunningham, LMT, includes these items when serving home-care hospice patients: paper towels in a zip-lock bag to dry your hands; lint roller (for when you are visited by the friendly family cat); and a small clock.
Annie Roberts, LMT, says, "These are nonessential items but are helpful to me: lightly scented lotions (lavender, orange blossom) for piquing interest in a session, and Dove chocolates that have a "promise" written inside the wrapper, which is a conversation starter. The Junior Mints (like at the movie theater) are small, melt quickly so little risk of choking and make a nice occasional treat. I get permission from the client's nurse before offering these treats in case there are dietary restrictions."
Lee Carpenter, LMT, suggests for clients in a long-term care facility: Tent (or self-standing) appointment cards to leave in your client's room following your visit. On one side: (your name and credentials) was here today (write in today's date) to visit (write in the name of client). The next visit will be (write in date). On the other side, include your contact information and business logo along with some benefits of massage or a quote.
Giving thoughtful attention to creating your own supply kit can enhance the quality of your service while at the same time increase your own enjoyment of your work. I encourage you to get creative, have a little fun, and build a kit that reflects your own style.
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.