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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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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