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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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