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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.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
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.
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.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
July, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 07
Aging Gracefully: The Timeless Benefits of Massage
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
Massage therapy as an industry has come a long way since I began my career in the 1980's. Instead of using just the traditional "Swedish" massage, most practitioners now need to learn special techniques to work with different populations such as athletes, infants, pregnant women and seniors.Americans are also indicating they view massage therapy as a vital part of staying healthy. According to the 2013 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet, more than half of those surveyed want insurance companies to cover massage therapy. One group of people who would reap the benefits of this, when it happens, are the elderly.
Massage is a non-invasive, enjoyable way to help alleviate the symptoms of many age-related diseases and improve a person's quality of life. With thousands of baby boomers now retiring every day, learning how to safely work with elderly clients is something every practitioner should consider. Your clients will not only benefit from massage, but you will as well, by making yourself more marketable and reaping the rewards of working with this very special group of people.
Older Americans represent the greatest challenge to massage therapists. When working with this group, you could help prepare a 70-year-old marathoner for the next event, or you could simply hold an exhausted hospice patient. The effectiveness of massage rests in the fact that it impacts the whole body. Not only does massage ease muscle and joint pain, it also reduces stress, which often increases in old age. When using proper geriatric bodywork technique, it is almost impossible to do damage to patients - which sounds much more attractive than what all those warning labels say on medication bottles. These are just some of the reasons why massage is increasingly employed in the care of both the robust and the frail elderly.
In fact, Krista Broshears, a Wellness Director, is charged with doing just that: making sure massage therapy is part of her residents "health care" regiment. Like many retirement centers across the country, Hoosier Village Retirement Center in Indianapolis has changed its model from focusing on illness, to focusing on wellness. As a result, it now has a Wellness Director, responsible for offering programs that address the physical, mental, social, intellectual and emotional needs of clients. Enter Krista, who organizes and oversees activities such as personal training, group exercise, support groups, Bible study, Happy Hour, "Brain-Fit" and massage therapy.
"Massage therapy has been a wonderful addition to the Hoosier Village wellness menu. Residents are using the massage therapy services to compliment their traditional medical services. Residents use massage as a natural way to deal with multiple symptoms caused by chronic ailments. These residents are experiencing a decrease in pain, more energy and an over-all sense of well-being," said Krista. "With much success, our massage therapy participants have sought massage to alleviate problems due to Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, poor circulation, diabetes and arthritis. Massage therapy is a wonderful benefit to our residents and it has made the facility more marketable to prospective residents."
The positive effects of massage rest on sound science. Even a gentle massage has a proven effect on blood circulation and the nervous system. These two body systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of aging. Geriatric massage stimulates these systems in a natural, pain-free way. Because of this, there are none of the side effects that are present in many medications. This is important for those who are being treated for Parkinson's disease, diabetes, depression and many other conditions requiring regular medications. In many cases, a regular massage (once a week) enables the physician to reduce medications. Proper geriatric massage also helps strengthen muscles weakened by disuse and helps reduce pain and stiffness in the hip, knee and shoulder joints. This is why the professional geriatric massage therapist routinely asks for permission to talk with or get written permission from a physician for an elderly client's massage.
There are many age-related conditions that can be improved with a weekly half-hour massage. Research has shown that even people living with chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease respond positively to the skilled hands of a geriatric massage therapist.
Definition of Geriatric Massage
Geriatric massage is a form of massage designed to meet the specific needs of the elderly population. It involves using massage hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to improve blood circulation, relieve pain and increase range of motion. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of geriatric massage.
Elderly people often suffer from a variety of such age-related diseases as Parkinson's, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or strokes. As a result, they have poor circulation and limited physical capability. Many of them are also anxious, depressed and lonely. Geriatric massage can help them maintain and improve their overall health, as well as regain certain physical functions that have been reduced or lost due to aging. In addition, it can relieve anxiety and depression and provide comfort to touch-deprived elderly patients and improve their quality of life.
Geriatric massage offers the following benefits:
Geriatric massage uses some of the same basic massage techniques as other modalities. It is, however, tailored to the specific health conditions and needs of the elderly population. Geriatric massage has the following characteristics:
Whether you are beginning your career as a massage therapist, or you have been at it for 15 years, if you do not already have training in geriatric massage, you should seriously consider pursing it. Classes specializing in geriatric massage techniques are taught all across the country, throughout the year. If you consider pursuing it as a specialty, please make sure you take classes from a program offering certification in geriatric massage. It is a worthwhile and rewarding way to expand your business, and most importantly, experience the satisfaction of helping amazing senior clients through geriatric massage.
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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