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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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
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.
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04
Looking Beyond the Stereotypes of Old Age
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
There's a little quip that I've heard in senior communities that goes something like this: "I'm looking for Mrs. B., can you tell me what she looks like? "Yes, she's the one with gray hair and glasses!" Not that original, really, but you get the picture.I've often been struck with profound awareness when I enter the dining room of a nursing home. At first glance it looks like a sea of gray heads and everyone sort of blends together. The quip suggests these old folks all look alike so they are alike and have morphed into some other kind of creature. At what point do we become one of "them"?
I have a psychologist friend who counsels young children. She once told me that she's effective because she doesn't talk down to the kids or treat them as "pre-people." Something about her comment rings true and, by comparison, I think we live in a society that views old people as "former people." But, when do we lose our individual identity and become a former person?
Since none of us are immune from cultural influence, perhaps it falls to each of us to question the collective attitude and see beyond the stereotypes of old age. Common language and images are a good place to start. We can pay attention to the words we use. Ever call someone a "cute little old lady?" We may as well pat her on the head! Media today is laced with messages that reinforce the idea of a monolithic group of older persons. I've used the phrase "Silver Tsunami." This term was coined in 2002 by Mary Maples to describe the aging baby boom generation that began turning 65 in 2011. But think about it. A tsunami is a force of nature that leaves destruction in its path. I went online to see how people defined the "Silver Tsunami" and on a blog I found this (sort-of humorous) explanation: "It means there are so many old people they're going to pile up in huge masses of wrinkled bodies, and they'll roll ashore, crashing into buildings and nuclear power plants." Perhaps "Silver Tsunami" isn't my best choice of words!
I can think of other times when my words really underscored the idea of an elder being a former person. I remember telling someone about a man in his nineties who "used to be a doctor!" Why are we surprised when an older adult continues to pursue activities of younger years? "Wow, she still rides a bike!" Self-reflection about our personal views of aging is important because we tend to internalize society's dialogue. Aging has become medicalized. Medicalization is when a normal human condition becomes seen as a problem in need of medical treatment. You don't have to look far to see evidence of this. Just turn on the TV or open a magazine. Aging is portrayed as something to fix, cover up, smooth out, and take (lots) of pills for. I've met many elders whose social lives revolve around going to the doctor and visits to the pharmacy. But something deeper happens in our psyche. As a society, we fiercely value autonomy, productivity and independence. But with aging sometimes comes the need to ask for help and physical decline, which we equate with a flawed existence. Feelings of failure and shame arise and we loathe the body that once served us so well. We begin to see ourselves as helpless and unworthy. We become former people even in our own minds.
Don't Touch-You Might Catch It!
Touch deprivation in old age is real. It occurs, in part, because of separation from loved ones, but mostly because of fear on the part of younger people. Fear of looking at old age up close and personal. I think that if old people are thought of as former people, the assumption is they no longer have the same needs as when they were younger. When it comes to touch, this idea really misses the mark! I'm always on the lookout for other experts who validate my convictions about the impact of massage for our elders. Jane A. Simington, RN, PhD, conducted a literature review and her findings were published in the Humane Medicine Journal. She reports that older persons report that touch conveys fondness, security, closeness, warmth, concern and encouragement, and makes them feel an increased sense of trust and well-being. They report that touch helps them to develop close, trusting relationships with staff and other residents. As tactile sensitivity decreases, the need to receive expressive touch may increase. Nature can be cruel however, and the elderly person often may have no one to provide this increased touch. The children are gone and the partner has died. One elderly woman put it this way, "Sometimes I hunger to be held. But he is the one who would have held me. He is the one who would have stroked my head. Now there is no one. No comfort."
Massage therapists can be agents of change and have the power to profoundly impact the quality of life for older adults by reversing the effects of touch deprivation. Of course, there are physical benefits of massage resulting in improved function in the activities of daily living. Massage alleviates aches and pains and improves circulation, resulting in greater ease of movement and the ability to perform physical tasks with greater comfort. We are all aware that massage induces a relaxation response, leading to improved sleep quality and feelings of calmness. Massage increases body awareness reducing the risk of falls. But focusing only on the physical benefits adds to the medicalization of aging. Rather than seeing massage as a treatment for ailments, let's look to it as a way to validate the human experience of aging. The gift of caring touch encourages feelings of self-acceptance and worthiness. But our influence goes even further. By literally reaching out to older adults, we demonstrate wholesome attitudes about aging. Maybe by our own actions we will encourage others to be more willing to touch our elders. Society as a whole stands to gain.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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