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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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