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Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
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.
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.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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.
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.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
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.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
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.
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?
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
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.
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.
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.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
Nurturing Touch for Pediatric Cerebral Palsy
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Working with children teaches you many things, and makes you realize that being fully present is the difference between a positive session and one where nothing is accomplished.
his is extremely important when you are working with someone who is nonverbal. You have to work together to find the best way to communicate. Of course, you should inquire as to any methods a family or healthcare team is already using to communicate with the child. However, as a massage therapist, your first thought might be of the tactile sense. We should actually use all of our senses to make that first connection.
The opportunity to work with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy has presented me with many occasions to communicate with children in a variety of ways. Some of my clients have specific ways they move their eyes to signal yes or no. Others can give you their version of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," while some use communication devices or a few words. It is important to establish communication when providing massage therapy. Not only to explain a session or positioning, but also to establish rapport and request permission prior to applying nurturing touch. In order to provide massage for anyone, especially a child, you must have their express consent.
Many people believe that if someone is nonverbal, you cannot communicate with them. This is obviously not true. Our work is founded in communicating in a nonverbal manner. We use our first language, touch, to really communicate with our clients. I've probably learned some of most valuable lessons working with clients who speak in a different way.
Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disease, meaning it does not worsen. However, there are many conditions that develop as a result of cerebral impairment. Remember that the child is a child with a diagnosis. The diagnosis does not give you the full picture. Take the time to really see the client.
A child with cerebral palsy might present with very mild symptoms or a combination of symptoms.
Some of these symptoms and conditions include:
As with any diagnosis, it is important that we meet our client and consider an individual approach of what they might need. One big consideration is positioning. Children with cerebral palsy experience spasticity. In addition to touch, positioning may increase spasticity as well.
Pediatric massage is also more effective with a foundation of strong communication. So, working with children who are nonverbal creates a special opportunity to connect through touch. Once you have established this connection, your hands-on work may provide a multitude of benefits.
The benefits of massage for children with cerebral palsy are unquestionable. These potential benefits include:
As much as the physical benefits are important, the emotional benefit of providing nurturing touch for a child that has been exposed to repetitive medical interventions is profound. Even if a child hasn't had numerous medical interventions, when a child appears unlike others, many people in our society treat them differently. In our culture, people fear those who look, act or sound differently from themselves. Many times, isolation and depression are side effects of being "different" than others.
The best approach with cerebral palsy is to realize massage therapy is not a cure, but can be an effective non-invasive intervention to address the various symptoms that are associated with this diagnosis.
One little boy I worked with recently showed me this first hand. During my work in orphanages in Vietnam, his eyes called to me. Immediately, I noticed he was so severely contracted and lying in one position that there were wear marks in the wooden slats where his body touched and wore out the wood. As I lifted him from that crib, I wondered what he was thinking. Doing my best to explain, still I wondered if he understood I was there to do no harm. Using nurturing massage and some range of motion, I tried to loosen his tight muscles and frozen joints. This proved a challenge to find any movement. We spent a majority of our time making eye contact, while I held him, rocked him and spoke to him. It wasn't long before he laughed. He laughed, it was amazing! He understood my safe touch, funny faces, songs and stories. It didn't matter that we didn't speak the same verbal language. He understood through touch and eye contact. I wasn't initially sure if this little boy understood what was happening, but now I knew that he did. My dear little friend now knows someone in the world loves him enough to hold him and treat him just like another child. He is not different from another child. He just needs love, attention and nurturing to find his childlike giggle.
Sometimes, it is not so much about using our hands to affect muscle tone, increase range of motion and ease constipation, but rather to make a connection and allow a child to feel relaxed enough to laugh.
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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