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The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
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.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
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.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
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.
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Nurturing Touch in the NICU
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
When a baby is born prematurely, parents and caregivers of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) may face some serious challenges. One of the main challenges is likely providing appropriate tactile stimulation.This can be difficult given the number of doctors rounds, medical equipment and requirements for medical interventions. Not only are there the physical limitations, but also consider the emotional component of seeing your baby covered in medical tubes, much smaller in size than you imagined, and the insecurity of not knowing what would be appropriate or might cause harm. When baby does become stable enough for touch, what can a parent or caregiver do to provide comfort to their child? One of the best approaches can be infant massage.
Touch therapy research has demonstrated that nurturing touch for an infant is critical in establishing the foundation of their psychological well-being. When it comes to babies born prematurely, this can become even more important. Evidence has shown that massage therapy provided for neonates:
These recent research findings show there are significant benefits to infant massage that out weigh over-stimulation. Even a simple intervention of massaging a baby's leg prior to a heel stick might decrease pain responses. A nurse I trained at the Sutton's Children's Hospital used this very technique. With the parent's permission, she provided a gentle massage to a neonates lower extremities prior to rounds for blood draw. When the healthcare provider "poked" baby's heels and began to take the sample, he commented about how quickly it worked, and the need to only "poke" once. The nurse shared with me, how she smiled and let the healthcare provider in on her secret. A little massage goes a long way! Now, the healthcare provider plans to massage each baby's legs before administering a heel stick. Not only did it make his job easier, the baby cried less. Sounds like a win-win for all involved. Properly applied techniques produce increased benefits and should be used safely to ensure effectiveness.
Due to the baby's immaturity at birth, it is not appropriate to immediately begin providing massage therapy, but rather to implement nurturing techniques employed by parents and healthcare providers. Once the infant is stable enough, skin-to-skin contact should be utilized to provide appropriate stimulation and encourage bonding between parent and child. This skin-to-skin contact might be in the form of placing the baby securely on the parent's chest as is done with the technique of Kangaroo Care. Kangaroo Care can be a very simple, but powerful intervention providing the infant with stability in regulating heart rate, respiration and body temperature.
There are specific guidelines and protocols to follow prior to introducing infant massage in the neonatal intensive care unit. In addition to providing regular attentive care such as cuddling, holding and comforting, massage should be introduced slowly and with extra care. The baby must meet minimal weight and neurological requirements prior to introducing infant massage. However, as the baby shows stability in response to Kangaroo Care, nurturing touch and containment holds are the next steps to safely progress towards the introduction of infant massage therapy.
Containment holds are performed while always being mindful of the baby's states, cues and all verbal and non-verbal communication. Caregivers are encouraged to watch the baby closely for physiological cues (color changes, tremors, startles), motor state (tone, reflexes), behavioral state (alertness) and skin state (response to stimulation) responses. Whenever the baby exhibits any stress cues or overstimulation cues, it is time for the baby to have a break from tactile stimulation.
The best way to perform containment holds is to first ask the caregiver to relax and then proceed slowly. It is always optional for parents and caregivers to provide nurturing touch, as opposed to outside healthcare providers. This is due to the fact that the caregivers need to feel competent caring for their baby, as well as to encourage bonding to take place between parent and child.
The caregiver should always ask the baby's permission prior to beginning, by speaking gently, warming their hands and asking if it is okay to continue. Throughout the hands-on session, caregivers must watch baby's cues and follow their lead. Mindful of any medical apparatus, hands placed in two safe locations on baby's body. Common places to begin include head and feet, both arms/shoulders, and back/abdomen.
First, caregivers consider each baby's individual touch history and medical intervention history, and caution is used in areas where we believe the baby may have experienced discomfort. Especially on the heels, time must be taken before ever touching the heels. Due to the repetitive heel sticks these infants receive, touching this area might not immediately be well received.
It is imperative that any and all monitors are watched for changes, and that direct placement over medical apparatus is avoided. No lubricant is used on the hands while performing containment holds, as doing so may cause hands to slip, increase possibilities of infection or possible dislodgement of medical lines.
Parents are reminded to always watch baby's cues and make eye contact. Due to an infant's compact sensory receptors and their developmental immaturity, a little touch goes a long way. It can be very easy to cause over stimulation. This is never our goal. Sometimes, just placing your hands on two areas, then pausing and starting again another time, is the best route to safely introduce nurturing touch and containment holds without overstimulation.
Safety and precaution is always the best way to introduce touch in the NICU. Due to their baby's compromised health, many families with babies in the NICU have some delays in bonding. Delays in the bonding process might occur for a variety of reasons, and nurturing touch, along with infant massage, can be very beneficial in contributing to establishing the bond between parent and child.
Nurturing touch and massage contain all of the elements necessary to begin the process of bonding, introduce appropriate tactile stimulation and encourage healthy development. When provided safely, infant massage might be just the nurturing intervention an infant needs to cope with medical interventions and encourage optimum development.
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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