resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
In Life, as in Work, Never Forget the Power of Laughter
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
A few weeks ago, I was teaching a workshop at a retirement community. A therapist in our group asked a woman who was hard of hearing and a little confused if she would like to receive compassionate touch. The woman replied, "I could use some passionate touch, honey, but not from you!"
When people find out I work with people in long-term eldercare and hospice, they comment about how depressing it must be. Of course, there are sad and serious times but being a care-partner isn't always heavy and burdensome. It carries with it the whole range of human emotions from sadness to anger to joy to fear to humor. All emotions have their place, even in end-of-life care. But sometimes things happen that are just plain funny. A lot of comic relief can come from remarks and situations that happen when serving as a caregiver.
The Best Medicine
One day I walked by a woman sitting in the hallway at a nursing home and she grabbed my arm and said, "Have you peed? If you need to go, go on in. You can go first." It's okay to laugh. More than okay, it's therapeutic.
Think about the last time you had a good belly laugh. You know the one, when you had tears running down your face. Hopefully it wasn't that long ago! Why does laughing feel so good?
Laughter has been shown to have psychological and physiological effects. During and immediately after laughing, heart rate, respiration rate and oxygen consumption increases. After a few moments, heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure decrease and muscles relax. The stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine decrease, too. Sounds a lot like an overall relaxation response we seek out to ease stress, doesn't it?
I remember a frail woman that lived in a skilled nursing facility who I saw for several sessions. She had many serious medical issues including diabetes that had claimed both of her legs and affected her mental abilities. Her mood seemed very sad to me. Somehow, our conversation led to talking about, as young women, we both had a habit of biting our fingernails. I noticed that her nails now were long and recently manicured. I asked her how she managed to quit biting them. For the first time, she smiled widely and said, "I lost my teeth!" Then we both burst out laughing. After that, her smile came more easily during our visits.
When I share a sense of humor with a client, our connection is stronger. Even just a moment of joy opens the way for a positive relationship. My client is more open to receive the benefit of any hands-on techniques and is more likely to understand self-care instruction. I find humor to be especially helpful in connecting with people living with Alzheimer's disease. The ability to recognize and experience human emotions is a strength that remains intact far into the disease. This includes the ability to smile and laugh, offsetting feelings of fear and loneliness that come from memory loss and sensory deterioration.
One day, I used lavender oil in the massage lotion and a client exclaimed brightly, "You make me smell like a princess!" Caregivers who develop a healthy sense of humor suffer less from exhaustion and frustration. Sharing stories of funny things that happen provided a healthy outlet during a time laden with lots of not-so-funny circumstances. I've attended caregiver support groups where people were doubled over with laughter. I wish I had written those stories down! Here's such a story I found on the caregiver support website www.AgingCare.com:
"I came home yesterday from work and Mom came out to the kitchen to greet me. I said, 'Mom, you have on my sweat pants!' We each have a pair of soft, comfy pea green sweats. Hers are a size 14 and mine are a few sizes bigger. She says, 'I thought I had lost a lot of weight!' Then she pulls up her shirt to show me she had them pinned to her bra to keep them up! We had a good laugh!" - Patti4Mom
Sometimes, unexpected humor arises from poignant situations. Tim is a Pastoral Thanatologist who attended a recent workshop. He shared this story:
"Out of concern for the sorrow of a recently widowed resident, a nursing staff called me to the unit for a bereavement visit. I was informed that the resident had dementia due to a CVA (stroke) and spoke very little. When she did speak, it was usually after a three or four minute delay. Outwardly, I just smiled at the staff, but inwardly I was screaming, 'What are they thinking? What do they expect me to do with her?'I looked her right in the eyes as I explained to her why I was visiting. I told her who I was, what my role was and reviewed the death of her husband. I let her know that I was aware that it may take her several minutes to respond. I informed her I would wait in silence for her to respond. Then the waiting started. Minutes passed with nary a movement by the woman. Then, she took off the sunglasses she wore to protect her from the brightness of lights and handed them to me. An eternity later she said: 'How did he die?' I repeated the story of his death in the hospital. I became silent once again and stared deeply into her eyes anticipating what marvelous statement she might make next. An eternity elapsed as I looked at her. And then she said, 'Are you going to stare at me the whole time?' I quickly recovered, apologized and moved my chair to a position that allowed for personal space. For forty minutes we danced this dance, talking, waiting and being graced with her response. She made seven statements in total. As our visit came to a close, I slowly stroked her arm and finished with an attentive touch of her hand. As I prepared to take her back to the dining room, she looked up at me and asked, 'Do you have a business card?'"
Stillness overcomes agitation.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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