resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
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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