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Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
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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