resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Role of Massage Therapy in Dementia Care
Our aging population is having a major impact on hospitals, nursing homes and hospice providers. Clinicians and front-line staff will serve more people over age 75 than any other age group and prevalence of dementia is being seen in every sector of senior services.
About one-quarter of all older hospital patients are people with dementia. People with dementia constitute about half of all nursing home and assisted-living facility residents. An estimated 15 million family and friends in the U.S. provided care to a loved one with dementia in 2013.
Federal and state initiatives aimed at changing dementia care are calling upon providers to integrate practical tools that create positive outcomes for elders with dementia and their caregivers. One such initiative strives to reduce unnecessary use of anti-psychotic medication by replacing or supplementing them with non-pharmacologic approaches and strategies.
The Role of Massage
At the core of each of these initiatives is human interaction. Care for people with dementia rests on relationships, underpinned by a strong evidence base. Massage is a powerful, yet under-utilized means to address the urgent need to find alternatives to medication to ease behavioral symptoms common to dementia.
Some forms of massage are evidence-based, relationship-centered, practical and pro-active. As a tool, massage can help establish holistic dementia care while helping providers meet regulatory requirements. Skilled human touch brings together the world of medical technology with the human side of care.
Lack of human touch is real for the medically frail elder, leading to feelings of isolation, anxiety, poor trust in caregivers, insecurity and decreased sensory awareness. Older adults living with serious conditions are often especially receptive to touch. Unfortunately, they are least likely to receive expressive human touch from health care providers. Nursing students have been shown to experience anxiety about touching older patients. Yet elders report that touch communicates safety, care, reassurance and makes them feel more trust in caregivers.
Since touching the hands is so familiar, hand massage may be gladly accepted by elders living with dementia. Even five-minutes of hand massage have been shown to elicit a physiological relaxation response and decreases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands during prolonged stress and is often used as an objective marker of stress. When cortisol levels are lowered it enhances sleep quality and the immune system. Massage has also been shown to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurochemical that regulates mood; feelings of calm; and subdues anxiety and irritability.
A five or ten-minute hand massage protocol has resulted in:
One study by Suzuki (2010) evaluated the effects of hand massage on physical and mental function and behavioral and psychological symptoms consistent hand massage protocol. Both aggressive behaviors and stress levels decreased significantly.
Slow-stroke Back Massage
Slow-stroke back massage uses effleurage, moving the palm of the hand in long, rhythmic, firm strokes. One method applies effleurage in a figure-eight formation on both sides of the back. Massage stimulates production of endorphins which are compounds produced by the body that suppress pain and uplifts mood. Massage also has a generalized effect on the autonomic nervous system, producing a relaxation response.
Three-to-five minute protocols have shown slow-stroke back massage to:
Mok (2004) investigated the effect of slow-stroke back massage (SSBM) on anxiety and shoulder pain in hospitalized elderly patients who had suffered a stroke. The study compared scores for pain, anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate of two groups of patients. The intervention consisted of 10 minutes of slow-stroke back massage (SSBM) for seven consecutive evenings. The results revealed that the massage intervention significantly reduced the patients' levels of pain perception and anxiety and blood pressure and heart rate changed positively, indicating relaxation.
Foot massage is considered "boundary-safe" and frail older adults may readily accept having their feet rubbed. Evidence reveals that foot massage:
Moyle (2011) explored the effect of a 10-minute foot massage on agitated behaviors in older people with dementia. The most common agitated behaviors observed in the research group were verbal aggression, wandering and repetitive movements. Results showed that daily foot massages reduced agitation after just two weeks, irrespective of gender. Changes were maintained for at least two weeks without massage.
Skilled, compassionate human touch helps ease physical, emotional and psychosocial distress that leads to behavioral symptoms of dementia and is a feasible intervention to curb the use of medication. When used proactively, elders experience greater satisfaction in their care. A hand massage, back massage or simply holding a person has the power to elicit positive, life-affirming feelings and responses. For the person with Alzheimer's, touch becomes a language of the human heart and a remembrance of his place in the world.