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Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
September, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 09
The Rewards of Working with Dementia Patients, Part 2
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
In my last article, I compared four types of dementias: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Now, I'll explore how touch can improve the quality of life for the person living with the disease.
Touch deprivation in old age is real. Simington (1995) relates that older persons report that touch conveys fondness, security, closeness, warmth, concern and encouragement, and makes them feel an increased sense of trust and well-being. They report that touch helps them to develop close, trusting relationships with staff and other residents. As tactile sensitivity decreases, the need to receive expressive touch may increase. Nature can be cruel however, and the elderly person often may have no one to provide this increased touch. The children are gone and the partner has died. One elderly woman put it this way, "Sometimes I hunger to be held. But he is the one who would have held me. He is the one who would have stroked my head. Now there is no one. No comfort."
Touch is one of our most basic human needs throughout our life. Clearly our situation, age and condition changes, but the need for human contact does not. As Simington pointed out, as the body or mind declines, the need for human touch may increase as we search for reassurance and comfort.
Touch in the form of gentle and sensitive massage or attentive holding has the power to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. A hand massage, back massage or simply holding a person's hand has the power to elicit positive, life-affirming feelings and responses. Touch becomes a language of the human heart and a remembrance of one's place in the world.
An underlying principle is that we each have within us a compassionate presence. Sensitive massage and focused touch are mediums used to offer the gift of this natural presence.
Unique benefits of sensitive massage and focused touch:
Hands reflect the landscape of a person's life. When you touch someone's hands with compassion and sensitivity, you acknowledge their whole life experience. In our society, we touch hands as an accepted means of interaction to greet one another, offer support and to show affection. Since touching the hands is so familiar, hand massage may be gladly accepted by your care partner. Evidence suggests even a simple ten-minute hand massage can go a long way in helping people with dementia feel calmer and more connected with others and their immediate environment.
Suzuki (2010) explored the effects of hand massage on physical and mental function and behavioral and psychological symptoms among elderly patients with dementia. The group received a consistent hand massage protocol a total of 30 times each for 20 to 30 minutes between 4p.m. and 5p.m. Both aggressive behaviors and stress levels decreased significantly after six weeks.
The story of Mrs. A is paraphrased from the Suzuki Study. Mrs. A was an 84-year-old woman with AD. She had delusions that people were stealing things and was easily angered. She needed partial care for activities of daily living and used a wheelchair. Short-term memory impairment was evident, but she was relatively competent in communicating. She enjoyed hand massage and would come over in her wheelchair to ask, "are you doing massage today?" From about the fourth week of intervention, she said, "the circulation in my hands is better and it's nice having warm hands. I always used to wake up in the night, but these days I've been sleeping right through till the morning, and it's because of this massage."
After 6 weeks of hand massages, Mrs. A. showed slight improvement in motor function and she was much calmer and better at communicating. Paranoid delusional symptoms disappeared and she showed a decrease in wandering and aimless activity compared with before the intervention. She went from being quick to anger to smiling more frequently after the massage. She started being able to sleep through the night after receiving the massage and nurses noted a decrease in anxiety.
Dr. Allen Powers, author of Dementia Beyond Drugs and an advocate of touch in dementia care, adds to the conversation: "Modalities like massage ... can provide a balm for anyone who is in need of more human connection. I will confess that I have occasionally ordered moisturizing creams twice as often as needed for people with dementia who are disengaged merely to increase the frequency of hands-on contact."
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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