resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
November, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 11
Using Touch Therapy to Care for the Dying Child
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Owen was a young teenage boy with a brain tumor and he came to the hospital as an outpatient toward the end of his life. Candace Linares, Pediatric Massage Therapist, remembers what he said to her on one of her visits, "Massage is the only thing that makes me feel better." He was in and out of the hospital for a total of three years, and during that time was able to tell her what helped him feel better. "I like my feet massaged," Owen said. "Today can you help my shoulder?"
As Owen became increasingly ill and began to enter the dying process, his requests for the massage therapist became less about actual massage techniques and more about to simply "be" with him. Two days before Owen's death, Candace entered his hospital room. At this point, he was unable to speak and in an unresponsive condition. Owen's nurse asked Candace to give him a massage. She began to massage his hand and then stopped. "I felt a very strong sense to stop and wait," she said. "I spoke to Owen and, at that moment, I realized that what would be most helpful was to be completely honest, and I said, ‘Owen I really do not know if you even want massage at this moment.' I instead quieted myself and held his hand." Owen passed three hours after this last visit.
No one wants to think of a child being too ill to play with their friends, or to even venture outside. Our hope is that they will get better and the memories of time in the hospital will be in the past. This is not always the case with children in palliative care. As a child's condition worsens, their palliative health care team begins to discuss options with the family. There are lots of considerations. Does the family want to let the child die naturally? Would they leave the hospital and make their child comfortable at home? More and more, parents are opting to make their child comfortable and enjoy those last precious days of life.
The Difference Between Pediatric Palliative Care and Adult Palliative Care
The causes of childhood illness and death are different than those of adults. So, the care of pediatric patients is also different. Not only are healthcare providers faced with difficult decisions, so are the pediatric patient's parents. They are faced with the reality of choosing between the benefits of using medical technology and improving the child's quality of life.
Palliative care for children aims to improve quality of life for the pediatric patient, as well as for their family. This is done through management of pain and other physical symptoms, as well as emotional and spiritual support. There is growing evidence that the health care system is failing children and families when they are confronted by a life-threatening illness. Children continue to undergo painful procedures and suffer from the symptoms of their diagnosis without ample relief.
In addition to the many traditional pharmacological approaches, there are numerous other pain management strategies and approaches, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is becoming increasingly popular for individuals with chronic or life-limiting illnesses. The term CAM is often used as an umbrella term to encompass many different approaches. This is where it is important to take a closer look at each intervention for its effectiveness. In regards to pain reduction in palliative care, the most utilized CAM therapies include massage, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy and reflexology.
Massage Therapy For Pediatric Pain Relief
Pediatric massage not only provides for pain management without the use of invasive interventions, there are a host of broader benefits for the pediatric client. Massage may aid in the reduction of stress, anxiety and other psychological symptoms, which in turn may improve their quality of life. Cortisol (stress hormone) has shown noted reduction in the use of massage therapy. However, when it comes to children living in palliative care, pain management is of serious concern.
Tragically, each year 50,000 children in palliative care die, with less than 1 percent receiving the care and pain management they need. Every one of these fragile lives deserves to pass free of avoidable pain. Pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of children in palliative care. A child's pain may increase along with the stress and fear associated with the life-threatening diagnosis, as well as the discomfort associated with their growing symptoms. Despite the fact that the modern medical system has the means to relieve a child's pain, many children suffer with their discomfort.
Pediatric massage is a gentle, noninvasive therapy which supports the physical and emotional health of pediatric clients, is one of the most commonly utilized CAM techniques, and has been shown to provide many benefits to the pediatric client including a reduction in pain. There are two theories that have been commonly used to help us to explain how massage therapy may be helpful in reducing pain. In the Gate Control Theory of pain, it has been suggested that therapeutic massage blocks pain signals from reaching the brain (i.e. "closes the gate"), which in turn reduces the experience of pain. The Deep Sleep Theory suggests that massage therapy slows substance P (a pain chemical) production and increases production of serotonin. These changes might increase the amount of time an individual spends in deeper sleep and minimizes their pain.
Living in the Moment
When working with children in hospice and palliative care, listening and living in the moment is very important. In some cases, if you have an appointment scheduled, call to confirm in case the young client has passed before you have your first session. This can happen at any time, but is even more common when working with this population. Knowing that the session you share may be the one and only requires focus and living in the moment. Listening can be one of the most important components to working with children using massage. It becomes even more important when there is chaos surrounding the environment. When a therapist enters a room where there is suffering and pain, you must listen. Not only do you need to listen to the words that are said, but also to words left unsaid.
Listen to Your Heart
As much as it is crucial that we listen to our client, their parents and the environment, we must listen to our heart and provide ourselves with self care. We talk about self care for therapists when working with all populations. However, when you are working with children who are terminally ill, self care is critical to provide the best care for not only yourself, but also your young clients.
Self care can take make many forms. From taking a day to relax, meditate and practice yoga, to having a massage yourself and/or speaking to a counselor or therapist. In doing this work, I often advise pediatric massage therapists to keep a confidential journal. A journal where we can relate our experiences, joyful memories and those moments we don't want to forget. Taking the time to write out our thoughts, gives you a chance to express your feelings without having them be so raw and on the surface.
Working with children who are dying brings out many emotions; happy, sad and calming. Knowing the child you have worked with has finally becomes comfortable, falls asleep and passes, is a wonderful benefit that gives the family comfort. Because they now know their little one is finally able to rest in peace.
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.