resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
Touch Matters: Massage for Children With Cancer
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Receiving a thank you call is one of the biggest compliments you can receive from your client, post massage. Even better though, is when the call comes from a parent after you have massaged their child.However, the thank you changes and becomes even more meaningful when the parent calls to thank you for massaging their child so they could finally be free of pain, fall quietly to sleep and pass while they rested. This has been my experience, time and time again, as I work with children with a variety of medical diagnoses, in hospice and palliative care.
Initially reading this, many people will feel sad or have grief at the loss of a child. However, there is a very positive side. What would be better, a child passing comfortably or in agonizing pain?
Not Necessarily a Death Sentence
Not all children with cancer will die. The American Cancer Society states that approximately 12,060 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012, with an estimate of one in 330 children to develop cancer by age 20.
Due to the major advances in treatment and care, 80% of diagnosed children will survive five years or more. This is a significant increase from the survival rates of the 1970's when the five year survival rate was less than 50%. Although the five year survival rate is steadily increasing, one quarter of children will die within five years from the time of diagnosis. Different types of cancers have different rates of survival, and cancer kills more children each year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.
Luckily, childhood cancers are rare, making up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. However, childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades. Despite its rarity and the major advances in treatment and supportive care, cancer is still the second leading cause of death, after accidents, in children younger than 15 years old. Approximately 1,340 children are expected to die from cancer in 2012.
Complementary therapies are increasingly integrated into mainstream cancer programs and centers. According to Harvard Medical School researchers, almost 12% of children and adolescents in the United States use complementary or alternative medicines, known as CAM. About 66% of children with cancer use some type of CAM. Although most studies have reported the effects of massage in adult patients, pediatric cancer patients also experience reduced pain after massage therapy. Massage is one of the most commonly used pain management strategies for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia.
Research has suggested that massage therapy can ease both physical symptoms, as well as emotional discomforts associated with pediatric medical conditions. Studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine show that massage can alleviate pain, anxiety and depression in pediatric clients. No one likes to think of a child being in pain, let alone having anxiety or depression. However, it is a reality for these children and their families.
For cancer patients, especially pediatric cancer patients, even just a little relief can mean a lot. In general, about a third of all cancer patients experience significant pain. According to the National Cancer Institute, 15% to 25% of cancer patients become clinically depressed at some point during their illness. And of course, the very nature of possible hospitalization, isolation and the treatment for this very serious illness often makes things worse.
During massage, levels of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine spike, oxytocin (nurturing, cuddle hormone) is increased, while measures of the stress hormone cortisol drop. Massage can be just the supportive therapy a pediatric oncology client needs.
Massage therapy can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated pediatric massage therapist.
When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential. Most types of massage (i.e. Swedish massage, light nurturing touch) result in various levels of symptom relief for patients; however, those patients receiving Swedish or light touch massages report significantly greater reduction in symptoms.
Not only is it imperative that you are trained in pediatric oncology massage prior to working with this population, but you must also consider all of the emotional and physical aspects associated with illness.
When working with children, you must always ask their permission to provide massage and nurturing touch. You are never to provide touch "to" a child, but rather with their absolute permission. As you are providing care to a minor, their parent's and physician must also be involved in this consenting and permission process.
Parents may be under an enormous amount of stress and anxiety, which causes the task of relating accurate information to be clouded. It is possible that they may not fully understand all of our questions, or may answer them incorrectly. They may give the wrong medication names, or even fail to mention something that we need to know to make the best care plan for the child. So, it is always a good idea to do a professional assessment and get further consent from the child's physician with express permission from the family to discuss private health information.
Working with the Healthcare Team
Communicating with physicians is not always easy. Many massage therapists feel their credentials are not comparative to that of a medical doctor. This can create tension during a conversation, as the massage therapist may doubt their ability to communicate in a manner familiar to medical personnel. This is why it is even more important to take the time needed to adequately asses the situation, diagnosis, possible indications and contraindications and write up a detailed care plan based on your assessment. When you present a physician with clear, concise information that has been well thought out, you can more effectively communicate the need for the noninvasive care pediatric massage therapy can provide.
Even just the act of holding a sick child's hand, communicates they matter. Finding your passion and believing that what you are doing is making a difference, makes getting up and going to work each day possible. When I started Liddle Kidz Foundation, I began with the thought that one person can truly make a difference and I have found this to be true. We all have the ability to make a difference everyday and should practice with this thought: "Children are our greatest gift, and should be treated with extraordinary care!"
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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