resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
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 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?
Connecting and Expressing a Language of the Human Heart
There is growing awareness of the value of massage for people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Anyone caring for someone with dementia is faced with the challenge of guiding the person who is confused or agitated, while at the same time assisting with personal care, mobility and other functional tasks.
Touch has the power to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. A hand massage elicits positive, life-affirming feelings and responses. Hands reflect the landscape of a person's life and when you touch someone's hands with compassion and sensitivity, you acknowledge their whole life experience. For caregivers, touch becomes a language of the human heart.
Evidence suggests that 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.
The only essential supply is massage lotion. A standard -size pillow and hand towel is also used in this protocol. While a pillow adds comfort, it isn't absolutely necessary in order to provide a soothing hand massage.
Center yourself and take a cleansing breath to focus your attention and intention. Take a moment to establish trust with the elder and gain permission to provide the massage. Sit facing the person, to the side. Be sure that you can reach the shoulder area without strain. A simple way to add comfort is to place one end of the pillow under the person's arm which provides support for the massage and creates a connection between the two of you. Cover the pillow with a hand towel to keep the pillowcase clean.
Begin with focused touch; simply hold the person's hand. Place your attention on their hand and think about all the ways their hands have served their life. Notice the lines, the elegance, the strength or the fragility, whatever is there. Linger here a moment, simply enjoying the connection.
Apply massage lotion to the hand. If the person has on long sleeves, push the sleeve up a little to expose the forearm.
Open the palm. Access the palm by reaching around the hand from above to gently squeeze and spread the palm. This softens and warms the hand, preparing it for the finer strokes that follow. Turn the hand onto its side with palm facing center. Using the palm of your own hand, apply broad circles into the palm, using your other hand as support.
Turn the hand palm up. Provide thumb circles on the palm, covering the entire surface inch by inch, with a slow, rhythmic motion. You may be able to apply a little more pressure to the fleshy areas of the palm base of thumb and outer edges.
Grasp each finger near its base between your thumb and index finger and spiral them around, moving from the base to the tip. The flowing stroke provides a soothing touch to the entire arm as a way to close the hand massage. Place both your hands on the shoulder and gently glide your hands down the arm and off the tips of the fingers. Repeat by starting again at the shoulder. The stroke is only moving down the arm. This touch is with full-contact, fingers relaxed as you flow your hands along the arm.
Repeat sequence on the other hand and arm.
A Case Study
Mary was an 81-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease. She experienced anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. She required a wheelchair because she no longer was able to safely ambulate and had fallen several times. She had difficulty communicating which frustrated her. She sometimes yelled out and banged on her wheelchair. She attended group activities, but the yelling and banging was upsetting to the others and she often was removed from the group. She spent much of her time alone in her room.
I saw Mary for sessions twice a week. Sessions took place in her room while she was sitting in her wheelchair. Each session lasted 20 to 30 minutes and typically took place in the morning before lunch. Mary was receptive to having her hands massaged and she seemed to enjoy the attention of a visitor. I used a hand and arm massage protocol similar to the one described above.
After three weeks, the Activity Director told me that Mary was able to remain in more group activities without disruptive yelling or banging behavior. This resulted in more opportunities for social interaction for Mary. After six weeks, I demonstrated a simple hand massage technique that the staff could use in addition to our continued sessions. The nurse reported that Mary was less restless and that she slept better at night. The overall impact of our sessions was an increase in the quality of life for Mary and decreased stress for the staff.
Compassionate, skilled touch has specific therapeutic applications in dementia care. Human touch eases distress while fostering positive relationships. In his book, Dementia Beyond Drugs, Dr. Allen Power agrees: "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.