In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- Massage Benefits for Hospitalized Children
- Discussing CAM Can Lead to Better Health Care
- A Holistic Approach to Parkinson’s Disease
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
July 11th-13th: (Friday – Saturday)
Vietnam Stand Down – San Diego Campus
July 20th-26th: (Sunday - Saturday)
International Massage Week
July 23rd: (Wednesday)
Chicago Open House All Programs
Massage Benefits for Hospitalized Children
A study conducted at University of Miami Medical School in Florida revealed that massage might offer considerable benefits for children suffering from stress-related disorders. A 30-minute back massage was given daily for a 5-day period to 52 children who were hospitalized due to depression and adjustment disorders. Subjective assessments were made by the children themselves and by the nurses based upon perceived anxiety levels, sleep patterns and the willingness of the child to be co-operative. Evaluating stress hormone levels in both the urine and saliva also made objective analyses. The results were then compared to a control group who were shown relaxing videotapes for 30 minutes instead of massage therapy.
Study results revealed that the children receiving a 30-minute massage were less depressed or anxious and had lower saliva cortisol levels after their massage. In addition, nurses rated the massage group as being more co-operative on the last day of the study, and noted that the children were not only sleeping better than the children in the control group, but that that their night-time sleep had increased over the 5-day period.
Tina Allen, founder of the children’s health and nurturing touch organization, Liddle Kidz™ Foundation, and internationally respected educator, author and expert in the field of infant and pediatric massage therapy, has appeared on NBC, The Learning Channel’s “Bringing Home Baby”, KCET, and PBS’ “A Place of Our Own.”
Allen understands the varied physical and emotional needs of hospitalized and medically complex infants, children and their families. As a volunteer, she has provided massage to individuals with advanced HIV/AIDS, children with special needs and senior citizens at the end of life. Most recently, as Director of the Children’s Program for The Heart Touch Project, she provided specialized education and inspiration for massage therapists committed to addressing the needs of medically challenged infants and children who are hospitalized or in hospice care. She developed pediatric massage programs at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as well as developed a program focusing on introducing gentle compassionate touch to women and children who have survived domestic abuse.
Asked how the medical profession has accepted massage therapy for helping hospitalized children, Allen replied,” Before beginning any program for children in the hospital, there is a large educational component for the healthcare faculty. This can be from as little as explaining the type of massage used to actually providing a demonstration for the healthcare team. Once they understand the pediatric massage treatment, reviewed the literature and witness a session, they understand the benefits and are very willing to work with you to offer these services to more children in their facility. Over time, I hope to see massage therapy as a regularly prescribed form of treatment for all children who can benefit from this nurturing touch.”
Asked how her treatments have helped others, Allen offered this example, ”In one instance I was working with a 2-year old girl diagnosed with Retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye) and she had been visiting the hospital every three weeks for procedures. Children with Retinoblastoma are put under anesthesia every time they visit the hospital, even for something as simple as an eye exam. When I provided her with massage therapy prior to her procedure, she demonstrated much less anxiety, which I did expect; however, in the recovery room, she woke up much more relaxed, especially when her mother was taught to immediately comfort her by gently stroking her back.”
Allen then recalled another instance; “A 14-year old girl undergoing rehabilitative treatments for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in her legs had difficulty sleeping and was very uncomfortable. During her massage treatment, she reported feeling much more relaxed and much of her pain had diminished. After her session, I learned from the nursing staff, and the child's parents, that she slept for a long time, which in the words of her father, ‘provided her with the medicine she needed to heal.’”
Allen will be returning to Bangkok Thailand for two weeks to help instruct caregivers and parents responsible for over 600 children.
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Discussing CAM Can Lead to Better Health Care
By, Kathleen Rushall
The acronym ‘CAM’ stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that include treatments such as herbal remedies, naturopathy, acupuncture, and meditation. CAM is currently not considered to be a part of conventional medicine, and because of this, it is not covered by all health care providers. However, CAM is becoming increasingly popular and accepted by the medical community and many hospitals are beginning to include these alternative services. Helping the public to become more aware of the benefits CAM can offer is the first step to improving its availability for patients in need.
To help spread the word, The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched Time to Talk. Time to Talk is an educational campaign to encourage patients – particularly those age 50 or older -- and their health care providers to openly discuss the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As evidence for CAM’s popularity, a consumer survey recently conducted by NCCAM and AARP showed that almost two-thirds of people age 50 or older is using some form of CAM. The only problem is that less than one-third of these CAM users talk about it with their providers. An increase in the discussion of CAM between patients and practitioners can lead to an increase in the availability of CAM.
According to the NCCAM/AARP survey, some of the reasons why this
doctor-patient dialogue about CAM does not occur includes reasons such as the physician never asked about the patients treatments outside of their records, the patient did not know they should discuss CAM, and that the doctor’s visit was too short for such a talk. More than one-half of respondents who had talked about CAM with their physician said they (not their physician) initiated the CAM discussion.
The Time to Talk campaign is aimed at addressing the need for this
dialogue to help ensure safe, coordinated care among all conventional and
CAM therapies. Talking not only allows integrated care, it also minimizes risks of interactions with a patient's conventional treatments. When patients tell their providers about their CAM use, they can more effectively manage their health. When providers ask their patients about CAM use, they can ensure that they are fully informed and can help patients make wise health care decisions.
A Holistic Approach to Parkinson's Disease
By Alex A. Kecskes
Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of dopamine-producing brain cells that control movement. The second most common neurodegenerative disorder in America (after Alzheimer's), Parkinson's affects about one percent of all people over the age of 50.
The holistic approach to treating this disease combines nutrition, environment, emotions, and spirituality. These include an array of mind-body techniques like meditation, biofeedback, Reiki, and spiritual healing, as well as traditional Eastern remedies like herbal therapy, homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicine. Yoga, Tai ji, and a variety of vitamin, enzyme and other natural supplements have also been proposed. Some of these therapies are described below:
Ayurvedic medicine -- Practiced in India for thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine relies and focuses on maintaining health through the body, spirit, and mind. It begins by establishing one’s metabolic type, then examining other factors such as a person’s environment. Treatment consists of detoxification, restoring the balance to the body through palliation, and finally, tonification.
Yoga --A complement to Ayurvedic medicine, Hatha yoga, which involves performing a series of poses and breathing awareness, has been shown to help with motor-skills symptoms of Parkinson's disease when practiced on a regular basis.
Acupuncture --Based on achieving a yin-yang balance in the body, acupuncture may help return this harmonic balance by inserting fine needles into certain points on the body.
Massage therapy --Therapies like reflexology and therapeutic massage can help sufferers of Parkinson's by keeping joints and muscles supple. Most commonly used massage therapies that may alleviate Parkinson’s symptoms are shiatsu and acupressure, which is a touch-based therapy along certain pressure points on the body.
Tai-ji --An ancient Chinese healing therapy, tai-ji is based on slow movements or exercises that may help Parkinson's sufferers keep their joints and muscles supple.
Exercising regularly boosts both oxygen and blood sugar levels to the brain. All it takes is a daily 20-minute walk. In fact, it has been observed that regular exercise can actually slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease, the same seems to hold true for deep R.E.M. sleep.
A detailed discussion of the various therapies can be found in the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease: A holistic Program for Optimal Wellness by Jill Marjama-Lyons, MD and Mary Shomon.Feeding the Body
In terms of general nutrition, recent research has shown that people with Parkinson's disease respond better to treatment when placed on a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet. This would include whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, and fruit, as well as occasional low-fat animal foods, like fish. Eating healthier gives your body the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids, and proteins it needs. It’s important to adopt a diet that ensures your brain is nourished with high levels of oxygen and glucose. This means you should eat foods extremely low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A high fat diet reduces oxygen levels to your brain, so it functions at less than optimum levels. The same is true when glucose levels drop. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates (eating whole grains, vegetables, and fruit) helps ensure optimal blood sugar levels.Nutritional Supplements
Taking the nutritional approach one step further, food rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 and CoQ10 seem to slow down Parkinson’s. Some alternative health practitioners feel that free radicals (damaging molecules such as heavy metals, organic solvent chemicals and other unstable molecules) created in the body may contribute to brain cell death/degeneration and ultimately lead to Parkinson's disease.
Finally, some believe that a person’s structural misalignments (caused by accidents, poor posture, etc.) in the upper back and neck can sap energy flow to brain cells and accelerate the effects of free-radical damage.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.