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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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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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