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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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 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?
March, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 03
Communicating With Stroke Survivors: What Matters Most?
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
It is likely that at some point, someone you know - a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend, neighbor or client - will suffer a stroke. It is one leading cause of long-term disability in the United States.I've met literally hundreds of stroke survivors while working as an occupational therapist in rehabilitation programs, and my grandfather suffered a stroke when I was a child. Even though I've had all this experience, the one thing that stands out as challenging, yet critically important, is communication. The topic of stroke, or cerebral vascular accident, is very complex, and people who suffer a stroke commonly experience physical, behavioral and communication effects.
The focus of this article is communication, so it's important to have a basic understanding of what happens during a stroke that leads to serious communication impairment. The term stroke refers to a situation that occurs when blood flow to the brain cells is interrupted. There are basically two types of stroke. An ischemic stroke is when an artery becomes blocked by a blood clot, depriving cells of oxygen. About 83 percent of strokes are ischemic. Hemorrhagic stroke is when there is actual bleeding from the arteries into the brain tissue, accounting for about 17 percent of all strokes. The resulting functional impairment or disability following a stroke depends on the location of the vascular lesion in the brain. Speech and language is a function primarily of the left hemisphere of the brain, so when the stroke occurs in the left hemisphere, communication - the ability to speak, understand, read and write - will possibly be affected. The extent is determined by the severity of the damage to the brain.
This brings me to the point I really want to make. What does the stroke survivor experiencing communication disorders need from us? I know what my own observations tell me, but I wanted to see what others say about it so I set off to find out. In the process, I found a jewel of an evidence-based report called "The Psychosocial Spiritual Experience of Elderly Recovering from Stroke." The elders recalled that the early period following the stroke was terrifying. Connection with others was important in recovery, and communication difficulties led to feelings of isolation. They stressed that the work of recovery requires a great deal of physical and psychological effort, and that hope and inner strength were important.
What people who survive strokes may need most from us is not found in any kind of therapeutic technique or approach. It's found in our ability to show up and be real in our caring. It's found in the simple gift of touch and heart-to-heart connection. It's found in acknowledging that the stroke survivor is a person whose life has been altered, but the individual inside the body remains the same. It's found in shared hope. I'll leave you with this poignant story called "Poor Thing" by Judith A. Russo, who cared for her husband following his stroke.
"Did you hear that Joe had a stroke?" asks Person A.
"Oh yes, poor thing!" says Person B.
"He was such a good person and a good worker," says A.
"Yes, too bad, isn't it?"
My husband had a stroke in February 2000, which left him with Broca's aphasia. Do you know what Broca's aphasia is? What you need to know is that he is not a "poor thing." And he still is, not was, a good person. He is a survivor who is living a richer life now than he was before. He was in the rat race of existence, going round and round with the dizzying effects of a non-stop merry-go-round. Now, he has time to smell the lilacs, watch the egret fish for its dinner and marvel as his granddaughter grows inch by inch. How poor can that be?
He is, perhaps, disabled, but the same person he was before the stroke. Most folks become so intimidated with the affliction "stroke" that they forget there is a real person living in that body, a person who thinks, hurts, laughs and cries just like you.
"I don't know," replies Person B.
"Well, I won't bother him now, or call or visit. After all, he's probably busy, and I don't know how much he understands anyway."
"I agree," says B. "He probably wouldn't know who we are, and we don't want to embarrass him."
By the way, Broca's aphasia is the inability to communicate effectively by speech. What is the therapy for people with aphasia? Talking to the survivor and encouraging them to respond. You might have to wait for two or three awkward moments for them to think about what to say. In the meantime, you may see the egret fish for its catch of the day. You may see the lush brown velvet cat-o'-nine tails waving in the wind, or the rabbits playfully goading each other on the lawn, or the huge turtle crawling along the banks of the pond with a goldfish in its jaws. Come at dusk and perchance you will see the deer as they come to the pond to drink. You will go away richer for the visit because you will have escaped the runaway merry-go-around, if only for a few moments. You will feel rich and will have blessed the heart of the "poor one who was such a good person."
When a stroke happens to a relative, friend or co-worker, please do not put them into an isolation they never asked for. Reach out and touch someone today.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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