resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
Help in Understanding Parkinson's Disease, Part 1
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
More people over the age of 60 are turning to massage therapy for self-care and to help ease symptoms associated with chronic ailments. If you have clientele in this age group, it's possible that you will eventually have a client who is living with Parkinson's disease (PD).It's estimated that at least 500,000 people are diagnosed in the United States. It's important to have at least a basic understanding about this disease, what to expect and how you can best serve your client. Here, I will offer an overview of PD and how it impacts daily functioning of the persons who have it.
What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive disorder of the central nervous system. In other words, the symptoms of PD grow worse over a long period of time. PD is classified as a movement disorder. It's called Parkinson's disease because in 1817 a British physician named James Parkinson first described the symptoms. Such symptoms are caused when neurons in brain stem known as the substantia nigra die or degenerate. When functioning properly these neurons produce a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine carries signals between the substantia nigra to an area of the brain responsible for movement. When dopamine levels are depleted, impaired movement results. Other changes in the brain may occur as well, such as Lewy Bodies, an abnormal protein deposit that impairs cell function. It's not known what actually causes these neuron changes. Experts believe that genetics and exposure to environmental toxins are possible culprits.
Symptoms and Function
People who have PD experience a wide range of symptoms that affect people in many different ways. Here I'll focus on common movement symptoms and illustrate how these might affect a person's function in daily activities.
Early in the progression of PD these motor symptoms are considered classic.
As the disease progresses into advanced stages these symptoms emerge.
It's easy to see how a person with these movement impairments would have trouble with daily tasks. What was routine becomes a frustrating and time-consuming challenge. People with advanced PD need a great deal of assistance from caregivers for day-to-day activities and may even require nursing home care.
Treatment for PD typically consists of a combination of medications that help control symptoms and lifestyle changes. Some people have surgical interventions as well. Commonly prescribed medications decrease movement symptoms by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. One such drug is called Levodopa (L-dopa). Other drug therapies may be used for other symptoms such as depression, sleep disturbance and pain. Many of these drugs can cause severe side effects that negatively impact quality of life even further. Recommended lifestyle changes include diet modifications, regular exercise, balancing rest and activity, stress management and participation in a support group. Physical, occupational and speech therapies are commonly prescribed. Surgical interventions have been found to help manage symptoms in some people. One example is called deep brain stimulation where electrical stimulators are placed in the areas of the brain that control movement. Clinical trials for stem cell transplants are being studied.
I encourage you to take a look at these two short videos on Youtube to gain a better understanding of Parkinson's disease and how it impacts people's lives. This first video, is Joseph H. Friedman, MD, is chief of Butler Hospital's Movement Disorders Program and an international expert in Parkinson's disease (www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHDFQfmkKlg). The second video is called: A look into Parkinson's: what it is and how it affects the lives of my parents by Tommy Dimmel (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggNlPYGuAAg).
In part II, I will explore how massage therapy can contribute an important approach in easing symptoms and improving quality of life for the person living with Parkinson's disease.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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.