resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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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