resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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