resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
Opening Doors to Eldercare and Hospice
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
It's no secret that the fastest-growing segment of our population is over the age of 65 -- and the greatest increase is occurring in those 85 and above. At the same time, there is growing awareness of the benefits of massage for people who are affected by debilitating illness, injury or cognitive impairment.There is clearly a burgeoning market for massage therapists who want to work in eldercare or hospice. But the people whom massage may benefit the most -- and who make up a big portion of this market -- are often embedded in a system that is full of intimidating obstacles for the therapist. They are behind the doors of long-term care and hospice organizations. You may discover that the door into these organizations seems closed -- closed not because you lack skill or passion for the work, but because you don't know the system and its jargon or how to get past the gatekeepers to the potential client. This article offers a key to open that door: knowledge of the system and how to navigate through it to help you succeed in expanding your practice to eldercare or hospice settings.
Types of Eldercare and Hospice
First, you must become familiar with the various types of eldercare or hospice organizations: assisted living, skilled nursing (nursing home), continuing care retirement and hospice.
Assisted Living The emphasis in assisted living settings is to support mentally or physically limited persons who need help with activities of daily living, but do not need the skilled medical care provided in a nursing home. Facilities consist of private rooms or apartments as well as common areas. These facilities provide 24-hour staffing, meals, housekeeping, social activities and limited nursing services such as management of medications. Some assisted living facilities provide specialized care for elders with Alzheimer's disease.
Skilled Nursing (Nursing Home) People enter a nursing facility usually as a result of illness, injury or mental or physical debility that requires 24-hour nursing care and continuous assistance with activities of daily living. Some require this level of care temporarily, and then return home. Others require permanent care. Facilities consist of semi-private or private rooms, a common dining room and social areas. Services include 24-hour nursing and personal care, meals, psychological and spiritual support, and planned social and recreational activities. Physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as specialized care for those with Alzheimer's disease, may be available.
Continuing Care Retirement Community This is typically a campus setting with multiple levels of care including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. Residents can remain in the same community even if their needs change. Communities provide an array of services and amenities including dining, housekeeping, recreational activities, health care services, personal care assistance and nursing care.
Hospice is not a place but a concept of care. Eighty percent of hospice care is provided in the patient's home, family member's home and in nursing homes. Inpatient hospice facilities are sometimes available to assist with caregiving.
Most of these organizations will not have considered massage as an ancillary service. The following questions will be on the mind of a potential employer--be proactive in answering them.
How does massage help our residents or patients?
Not all administrators share your awareness of the benefits of massage. Remember that YOU are the expert on how massage therapy impacts the body, mind and spirit. These points will make a convincing case.
1. Massage alleviates aches and pains, resulting in:
2. Massage increases circulation, contributing to:
3. Massage provides tactile stimulation, which:
4. Massage induces a relaxation response, leading to:
5. Compassionate and caring touch supports emotional well-being by:
6. Focused touch enhances spiritual well-being, resulting in:
"It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can improve the quality of life for those in hospice and palliative care." AMTA evidenced-based position statement 2009
How do massage services benefit our profession?
Eldercare and hospice organizations are in business, too. They will want to know how massage services will improve their bottom line. Tell them that an organization that offers massage:
How does massage therapy help meet federal guidelines?
Massage services can be integrated into the resident or patient's plan of care. Documentation of your service contributes evidence of:
Who pays for massage therapy services?
The answer to this question lies in the structure of the agreement you have with the organization. You may be hired as a staff member, in which case you would be paid a salary to provide massage with or without employee benefits. More likely, however, you would be brought on as an independent contractor. In this case, there are two possible options for payment.
Option #1: The organization pays you an hourly rate for a set number of hours per month.
This offers them two advantages: any resident or patient may receive massage, and they can offer your services as a "value added" amenity, something that may be attractive to their potential customers. The advantage to you is reliable hours of work. The organization may also agree to pay you for staff massages or educational presentations.
Option #2: The organization permits you to offer massage on a fee for service basis. In this case, the resident or patient or his responsible party hires you directly; therefore you would work only with those individuals who have contracted your services. With this arrangement, there is no cost to the organization, which may appeal to the management. The challenge is that you have to attract and retain clients Ask the administrator or director to distribute information about your services. One suggestion is to place
your service brochure in the materials that all new residents or patients receive upon admission. Offer to give a short presentation about massage at family meetings or create a display for the lobby to announce the new service.
Other funding sources may include:
Is a physician's order required for massage therapy?
No. There are instances where you should consult with the physician to insure safety--for example, if the resident or patient has had recent surgery, acute illness, or chemo-therapy.
Can our staff members receive massage?
Care professionals can benefit from on-site seated massage to reduce the effects of job-related stress and prevent burnout. Massage is perfect for incentive programs to reward employees for a job well done! Offer to provide this service on a regular basis.
What qualifications should the massage therapist have?
Provide your license or certification credentials and proof of professional liability insurance. Highlight any specialized training in meeting the needs people in later life stages.
Including this special population in your practice can be professionally and personally rewarding. It requires specialized skills, sensitivity, and compassion--as well as a bit of a pioneering spirit. You can succeed in opening the door to eldercare or hospice organizations and in doing so reach out to those who need your touch.
Eldercare and hospice has its own jargon. Knowing how to communicate with the professionals who serve as gatekeepers in these settings will help you establish credibility and build relationships. Here are some terms that will help you "speak the language:"
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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