resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
In Life, as in Work, Never Forget the Power of Laughter
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.