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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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 08
The Rewards of Working with Dementia Patients
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
I'm a brain/behavior geek from way back. In college as an occupational therapy student in the 1970's, I added a semester just to take more psychology classes. An internship was spent living and working at a large state mental hospital in Wisconsin.I loved it! My first jobs were in acute psychiatric units. I loved that, too. I spent ten years working in a rehabilitation center for people with traumatic brain injuries. I really loved that! Then I started working in nursing homes and began to learn about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Fast forward to the present time and my favorite work is sessions with people with advanced dementia and teaching massage therapists and other professional caregivers how they do it, too. As our population ages, we will see greater numbers of people with cognitive impairment. Did you know that of people over the age of 85, about half have some degree of dementia? This is an issue that will affect almost all of us personally or professionally.
Geek that I am, I like finding a new piece to the puzzle of dementia and the inner world of people living with it. One piece I'd like to share with you is that not all dementia is the same. What follows is a description of the most common forms of dementia and the conditions that create it. Dementia is a general term meaning loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. It's important to understand that no two people are alike when it comes to dementia, even if the diagnosis is the same.
Alzheimer's disease (AD)
This is the most common type of dementia and accounts for about 60 percent of cases. AD is a progressive, degenerative disease that results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior reducing the ability to perform routine activities; common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion, difficulty in communicating, disorientation in time and place, mood swings, restlessness, sleeplessness, behavioral disturbances, personality changes and perceptual motor problems. Abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells, leading to brain atrophy. Plaques and tangles are deposits of protein fragments that bind together over time. Experts believe they play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive.
It's the destruction of nerve cells that causes symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. If AD is diagnosed prior to age 65, it is considered early onset. The course of the disease is similar as described above. Researchers have identified a possible genetic or familial link in people who develop the disease in their 40's or 50's. Early onset AD is relatively uncommon.
Vascular dementia is the second most common. It's caused by decreased blood flow to parts of the brain, depriving cells of nutrients needed to live. Onset can be sudden following a cerebral vascular accident (stroke). In others, onset is more stepwise. This happens when the person has a series of small strokes, known as transient ischemic attacks. Unique symptoms may include emotional outbursts and weakness in one or more extremities.
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is progressive and caused by abnormal protein structures in the brain called Lewy bodies. Symptoms are similar to AD, except that visual hallucinations and paranoia is a unique feature. People with LBD have symptoms very much like Parkinson's Disease including muscle rigidity and tremors and stooped posture. LBD is the third most common form of dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is caused by cell degeneration and tissue shrinking in the brain's frontal or temporal lobes, which control functions of personality, behavior and language. Symptoms vary, depending upon the portion of the brain affected. Some people with FTD have dramatic personality changes and social behavior is inappropriate and impulsive while others lose language abilities. Most people diagnosed with FTD are in their 50's or 60's.
Dementia is a growing concern in healthcare, our communities and families. Sound information gives us a foundation from which to act and increases our comfort level to serve this special population. My next article will explore how focused touch and sensitive massage can improve the quality of life for both the person living with the disease and their care partners. Until then, take good care.
Want to learn more?
These links take you to brief videos.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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