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Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
"Doctor ... Always Do the Right Thing"
So says "Da Mayor" in the iconic Spike Lee movie. As a fresh grad questioning in-network versus out-of-network, it struck me that some doctors have explicitly skirted the issue, while others have argued adamantly for the latter and "sticking it to the man."
The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
Deciphering the New CMS-1500 Claim Form
Q: I am confused about how and when to use the new 1500 form, particularly block 14 and block 15. What is required and how do I properly fill out these fields? And do I actually have to use this new form or may I continue using the old version?
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
CRREW Rallies for Ongoing Acupuncture Relief Effort in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made her way through the Philippine Islands, leaving in her wake at least 7,000 people dead, millions homeless and complete communities destroyed.
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
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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