resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
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 previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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