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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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