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5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
March, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 03
Understanding Alzheimer's Part 2
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
Part one of this article dealt with facts about Alzheimer's disease. As an educator, I believe that facts are a good place to start to understand a topic.Facts give us the big picture about the disease, demographics and guidelines. I've been around people with dementia my entire professional career. I've seen how this disease takes the brain a little at a time and the heartbreaking loss that families endure. My formal education focused on impaired intellectual and functional abilities as the phrase "death by a thousand subtractions"1 reflects.
But facts are only part of the story when it comes to understanding Alzheimer's disease. A new body of knowledge is emerging that shines a light on the inner life of the person living with Alzheimer's and what remains intact. I'm excited to find others speaking out about what I've witnessed for years - that, in spite of the disease, the individual within remains and is capable of a worthwhile life.
Personhood is defined as "the state of being an individual or having human characteristics and feelings". A person living with Alzheimer's is often thought of as a former person - one who has lived but is no longer "there". New perspectives beg to differ. We now see that Alzheimer's is about much more than memory loss, but rather complex layers of both cognitive deterioration and largely intact abilities. The key, it seems, is to find ways to focus on the abilities. John Zeisel in his book, I'm Still Here2, tells us:
I couldn't agree more. Through my work as a Compassionate Touch practitioner, I've witnessed the profound impact of touch in bringing forth the intact person within the fog of the Alzheimer's. A gentleman, I'll call James, resided in a skilled nursing facility. When I met him he was able to share much of his life and was very engaged with his family. James had been an entertainer and a businessman.
As a young adult he was a radio broadcaster and loved to sing. He shared with me a recording of him singing a beautiful Italian song. His young tenor voice was lovely. We played that recording many times during our visits and, while I gave him a back massage, he would tell me stories that music brought to mind. As his condition worsened and he no longer knew who I was when I arrived, the touch and music helped him access the memory of our relationship. One day he surprised me by asking about my son, clearly remembering things I had told him months before. Even near the end of James' life he enjoyed the connection we had through the medium of touch.
Touch As Connection
What is it about touch that is so powerful? That is a complicated question but two reasons are near the top of the list in my opinion: oxytocin and hardwiring. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter in the brain related to childbirth, sexuality and social behavior. Touch stimulates production of oxytocin leading to feelings of safety, caring, trust and decreased anxiety. It's been called the "care and connection" hormone.
Zeisel talks about hardwired human abilities. These are universal abilities all humans share. He explains that touch is one, along with emotions, singing and facial expressions. People with Alzheimer's don't lose the capacity for human emotion or recognition of a caring touch. What I've seen is that even a person in the very late, severe stage of Alzheimer's retains all these capacities.
A case in point is a woman who was largely non-verbal, her muscles were contracted and she barely could move. She could no longer feed herself or tell someone if her nose itched or if she was in pain. Her days were spent either in bed or in a reclining chair with very little interaction with others except during her physical care.
I saw her weekly for 30-minute sessions. Sometimes I would see very little obvious response to the hand, shoulder or foot massage I provided. But I had a sense that there was more than met the eye happening. She seemed to relax into her bed a little and her face relaxed. And sometimes she would look me in the eye with a little smile. One day as I massaged her hand she held my hand, turned to me and said in a weak voice, "You are very kind. I love you." Not only was she capable of receiving love, she was capable of giving it - also a hardwired human trait.
Benefits of Sensitive Massage and Focused Touch
I believe that touch - in the form of sensitive, gentle massage and holding - taps into reserves of hardwired abilities resulting in the following special benefits for those living with Alzheimer's disease:
A hand massage, back massage or simply holding a person has the power to elicit positive, life-affirming feelings and responses. For the person with Alzheimer's, touch becomes a language of the human heart and a remembrance of his place in the world.
Along with the references listed, the following books are great resources for more information on this topic: Alzheimer's Disease: The Dignity Within by Patricia R. Callone et al (Caring Concepts, 2006); and Inside Alzheimer's: How to Hear and Honor Connections With a Person Who Has Dementia by Nancy Pearce (Forrason Press, 2007).
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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