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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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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