The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: An Acupuncturist's Inside Perspective of Addiction Treatment
My husband and I have four grown children, but we still sleep with a phone next to our night stand just in case they need us. But nothing could have prepared us for a 1 a.m.
Power of the Talk: A Simple Way to Attract New Patients
One of the most effective ways to bring patients in predictably, especially if you enjoy teaching, is by doing talks. Talks can also bring in another stream of income beyond just seeing more patients one on one.
Who's the "Father of Corrective Traction" in Chiropractic?
History teaches that a Presbyterian minister, Samuel Weed, coined the name for the profession of chiropractic from the Greek cheir for "hand" and praktos for "done."
How to Reduce Metabolic Endotoxemia
Approximately 50 percent of the Western population suffers from a condition known as metabolic endotoxemia (ME). The condition is characterized by increased serum endotoxin concentration during the first five hours of the post-prandial period.
The Medicine of Peace in a Land of Conflict
We often read about violence, despair, and political stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic. And yet there are Israelis and Palestinians working together to transform conflict into cooperation.
Weight Watchers Goes Wellness
Goodbye Weight Watchers, hello "WW." The company has changed its name to reflect its new WW brand not only on its website, but also on every aspect of its public expression, including every studio.
ACA, ICA at Odds Over H.R. 7157
While the American Chiropractic Association recently penned an open letter – signed by not only the ACA, but also the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Clinical Compass and a number of state associations.
Winter Joint Health: Looking at Seasonal Influences
One of the most common clinical issues I see during the winter season is joint / muscle pain. These issues often appear due to the activities of winter sports or may appear due to seasonal influences on old chronic injuries.
An East & West Perspective on Sleep
You, your patients, and people all over the world are sleeping less. In 1979 a team led by American psychiatrist Daniel Kripke did a large-scale study of over a million people, which indicated that most people slept between 7-8 hours.
Dehydration ... A Commonly Overlooked Etiology
Water covers 71 percent of the earth's surface. It's found in every living organism and is considered the "universal solvent," yet we take it for granted as the foundation for optimal health.
Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?
Until recently, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug per the federal Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same class as marijuana (and heroin, by the way).
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and the Science of EMFs
Movement of planet Earth's molten iron core generates a weak static geomagnetic field that varies in strength over millennia but currently ranges from 0.25 to 0.65 gauss. This is the native field in which all life has evolved.
3 Tips to Get New Patients After a Talk
One of the most effective ways to bring in new patients predictably, especially when an acupuncturist enjoys teaching, is by doing talks. It can also bring in another stream of income, beyond just seeing more patients one-on-one.
Differentiating Qi Under the Needle (Part 2)
While classic sages have said a lot on this topic, I will share my own experience with the sensations under the needle with you. You, in turn, will also need to gain your own understanding of them through daily clinical observation, thinking, and practice.
Neuroscience 101: Understanding Opioid Addiction and How Chiropractic Can Help
Opioids now account for nearly two-thirds of all overdose-related deaths in the U.S. This insidious bane is no respecter of gender, age, race or ethnicity, with nearly all categories experiencing increases.
Case Study: Forefoot Pain
Patient presents with a history of forefoot pain. Discomfort has become worse in the past six months. He has difficulty completing his four-hour shifts as a part-time hairdresser.
Pain in the Butt (Pt. 1)
Many of my patients (and probably many of yours) come in with pain and/or tenderness in the buttock region. First, I assess where the painful and/or tender spots are located and what these points represent.
Flying Into the Year of the Pig: Making Way for the Impossible
The first of the new year has passed, and some of our New Year's resolutions may have already come and gone. Fortunately, we will celebrate the Chinese New Year this month, and will welcome in the Year of the Pig.
Quickie Seminar Adjustments Have No Place in Chiropractic
Recently, I observed chiropractors treating each other in the vendor area at the annual meeting of a chiropractic association. "Quickie" chiropractic adjustments and other hands-on procedures were administered without appropriate history taking, physical examination, diagnosis or informed consent.
The Role of TCM When Treating Mental Illnesses
Mental illness is common in the U.S., nearly 20 percent of adults live with a mental illness which vary in degree of severity—ranging from mild to moderate, to severe. It is not exaggerated to say that mental illness is an epidemic.
Simple Screening Tests for Stroke and Other Brain Lesions
The drift test, arm rolling and finger rolling are three useful assessments in the identification of upper motor neuron dysfunction.
Top Social Media Do's & Don'ts for Chiropractors
For years, health care practitioners have avoided embarking on the social media highway, primarily due to patient HIPAA privacy issues and the time needed to give the process due diligence.
Outcomes for Any Occasion
Outcome assessment tools (OATs) are a necessary part of documentation and patient care. They are used to show patient progress and help practitioners show changes as a result of their treatment interventions.
Quick Sacroiliac Assessment: Treating Different Types of Pain
The lower back is a generator for a number of types of pain. The lower back involves several different articulations – the lumbar spine with vertebral bodies, discs, and facets – the sacroiliac joints – and the lumbosacral junction.
Know Your Clinical Flags: 5 Different Colors to Consider
In health care, the term red flag is used to describe signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of serious health conditions. These conditions generally carry an increased likelihood for serious complications, disability or even death.
October, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 10
Connecting and Expressing a Language of the Human Heart
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
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.
Click here for previous articles by Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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