welcome to anxieties 102!

lifestyle relaxation

anxiety disorders
anxiety disorders with depression
generalized & social anxiety disorders
panic disorder
obsessive compulsive disorder
post traumatic stress disorder
how it all works
young adults...
lifestyle diet
lifestyle exercise
lifestyle sleep
lifestyle relaxation
lifestyle counseling
lifestyle medications
archived info!

click here to send me an e-mail!

it's in the news on the web....


Does massage therapy belong in the nursing home?

Nursing Homes,  June, 1996  by Millie R. Hynes

It is low-cost, low-tech, and benefits residents and staff

In the interest of improving quality of life, can alternative medicine therapies such as massage be offered in retirement/nursing homes, especially since few insurance companies or Medicare pay for them? Yes, it can be done but only with the cooperative efforts of the therapist, administration, and staff.

I was fortunate to have an administrator who previously worked at a nursing home where a massage therapist came to the facility on a regular basis. He said, "I don't exactly know why, but I know people always seemed rejuvenated when they came out of the treatment room." I provided him with research articles about touch therapies and brought to his attention a growing number of corporations that include massage as an employee benefit to relieve stress in the workplace.

I worked as a nurse in this facility. When I explored the possibility of going to a year long massage therapy school, I became acquainted with Dietrich Meisler, founder of the Geriatric Massage Project, now a national organization. He told me, "With massage, we do not strive to add years to life but to add life to years." I became a member of the Nurse Massage Therapy Association and joined another 700 nurses nationally who incorporate massage into their nursing practices.

As I circulated around the nursing home, I became aware of how many residents were experiencing pain, depression, anxiety, immobility, and social isolation. I knew I could not change their chronic disease or aging process, but I suspected that massage therapy would be an important adjunct to the mission of the facility - nurturing those we serve by offering them the very best quality life.

Eighteen months ago, we began a massage therapy program in the facility, available to both residents and employees. Startup costs were minimal - less than $1,080 - because every effort was made to use items either donated or already in facility storage. My husband assembled the on-site chair from a kit, remodeled a physical therapy treatment table that had been discarded, and constructed a privacy screen for a fraction of the cost of buying one. The "tools" of massage therapy are not expensive, the principal ones being the hands of the practitioner.

The success of the program is reflected in anecdotal data from families, staff and physicians. Two physicians called me personally to express appreciation for the massage given to their patients, and I receive prescriptions from physicians as they become aware of the service.

One family who lives at a distance called to report that they "heard a difference" in their mother's voice: "She sounds so much better. Whatever those treatments are, be sure she continues to receive them." This about a resident who told me on her first appointment, "I am only here because my granddaughter insisted and I know she thinks I won't do it." (She's missed only two appointments in the last 18 months.) Another woman, wheelchair-bound, often remarks after her massage, "My legs were dead and now they are alive!"

Massage is not a cure-all but implies a compassionate, caring respect for others, and it enables the body to respond so as to heal itself. Research supports that regular massage over a period of time increases red blood cell counts, serotonin levels and absorption of medications, and decreases post-surgical healing time.

Residents report decreased problems with constipation, insomnia, and appetite. Pain is reduced and stress relieved. One resident, a retired nurse with dementia, had been verbally abusive to other residents. As she came down the hall following her massage, she greeted a group from her floor with friendly salutations, prompting exclamations of, "What happened to her? Is that who we think it is?"

Often residents with dysphasia speak in complete and appropriate sentences after a massage. One woman who only muttered continually about "the man and the thing" said, as she got up from the massage table, "My back feels better but everything else feels funny." A complete sentence, a new sense of proprioception.

As Juhan writes, "Some of the most tangible and troublesome features of age itself are simply conditions of muscular activity, activities that bow the posture and rigidify the joints, that collapse the chest cavity, that put the squeeze on peripheral circulation, that create all kinds of limitations to movement and that waste precious vitality." Health maintenance and wellness programs like massage effect the frequency of falls, opportunistic infections, and contractures effecting the elderly's independence to perform tasks of daily living.

Geriatric Nursing (March/April 1995) featured an article entitled, Efficacy of Hand Massage in Decreasing Agitation Behaviors Associated with Care Activities in Persons with Dementia, reporting on a study that was done at the University of Minnesota. The author points out that "Although a number of articles propose interventions for managing agitation behaviors, few studies have systematically explored the efficacy of specific interventions to promote relaxation and to reduce agitation behavior in persons with dementia."

To substantiate data, as this study did, is difficult, because the resident's behavior can be affected by the disease process, the time of day, the objectivity of the staff administering the massage, and many other factors. But what is clear is that massage supports comfort care, implies a compassionate regard, is non-intrusive, meets the unique needs of individuals, and encourages a relaxation response that causes a chain reaction of positive benefits.

What about its value to employees? Nursing assistants, of course, experience a disproportionate rate of back injury. In view of the fact that 8 of 10 Americans between the ages of 25 and 45 - even the most fitness-conscious - will experience a bout of back trouble at one time or another, it isn't surprising that the risk increases greatly with any activity that involves twisting, sudden movements and prolonged lifting. True, massage cannot take the place of exercise in strengthening muscles - but massage can increase flexibility, body awareness, nutrition of the tissues and softness of connective tissue.

Most importantly, touch provides a sensation of relaxation, of control over stress. Nursing assistants are under constant strain with work loads and time constraints. Also, they often enter their jobs each day with frustrations and conflicts in their personal lives. Massage can help.

Ron Burt, director of a wellness program for Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington, created a successful wellness program awarding employees who participate in such a program a bonus of $250 to $325. Developed in 1991, the program achieved total savings of $369,416 for 1992, at a direct program cost of only $133,700 as a result of decreased health care usage, sick time, and worker's compensation.

I usually see frail residents for 30-minute appointments, and more robust folks for 45 minutes. At times I will also work on an employee, family member, or volunteer for a half-hour. I am unable to fit more than six or seven massages into my schedule daily due to my other duties, such as following up on referrals, documentation, and billing. The revenue from this service, based on residents' and staff's ability to pay, is $1,900 a month, and I am currently seeking grant monies, facility foundation funds, and other sources to supplement the revenue generated by the program.

Can you afford to have complementary therapies that reach out in compassion and empathy in your long-term care facilities? Can you afford not to?

Millie R. Hynes, LPN, LMP, is a licensed nurse massage practitioner based in Brighton, CO.

COPYRIGHT 1996 Medquest Communications, LLC
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

source site: click here

Reflexology and Mental Health

by Simon Duncan

Executive Officer, United Kingdom Association of Reflexologists 

A reflex is a point on the body which, when stimulated, will have an effect on another part of the body. The classic one is the knee jerk reflex. If you tap the knee, the reflex action is the spasm of the thigh muscles which makes the knee jerk.

Reflexology is based on the concept that every part of the body is connected by energy pathways which end in reflex areas on the feet, the hands and the head. Reflexology is the practice of working over these reflexes in a precise and systematic way. By applying controlled pressure, the body is encouraged to achieve its own natural state of wholeness and good health. Working on the feet is especially beneficial in clearing and balancing the body.

The concept of stimulating the body's own healing energies by using pressure points on the feet is not new. It has appeared in many different cultures around the world and throughout history. Earliest traces have been found over 5,000 years ago in China, Japan, Egypt and among Indian tribes in the Americas. It spread to Europe in the Dark Ages and forms of "pressure point" therapy were used in the Middle Ages by both peasants and the aristocracy.

The therapy was rediscovered in the late 1890's by a Dr. William Fitzgerald and introduced into the United States, arriving in Britain, as "reflexology", in the 1960's.

The physical, mental and emotional benefits of reflexology make it particularly helpful for all stress-related conditions, even when there is no clinical evidence of disease. By inducing a state of relaxation, tension is eased, circulation improved and toxins released and eliminated from the body. And as the body's energies flow there is a renewed sense of health and well being on all levels. Reflexology can benefit, and be enjoyed by, everyone. 

For clients suffering from stress-related illnesses, anxiety attacks, confidence issues or where they may be mentally or emotionally challenged, reflexology can prove to be a life-altering therapy. Self-esteem and confidence can be enhanced significantly, with recipients reporting an ability to deal with difficult situations more ably. They can feel stronger and more in control, with communication improving for some. This often leads to the ability to articulate ideas and express emotions and feelings more readily than previously possible. There may be a general improvement in being able to feel as well as assess and fulfill needs.

A treatment usually lasts between half an hour and an hour and, if possible, the client should rest for a while afterwards. Occasionally there is a temporary reaction as the body rids itself of released toxins. This will not last long and should be seen as part of the healing process. If there is a reaction, it is wise to eat lightly and drink plenty of fluids. 

When choosing a reflexologist, it is wise to make sure that the practitioner has been properly trained at a reputable school and is a full member of a professional organization.

As reflexology works so well with other forms of treatment, many doctors are finding that referring patients to reflexologists actually saves patients money. Some participants are able to reduce or stop medication in co-operation with their medical practitioner. People prescribed drugs or other medical treatment report that reflexology reduces or eliminates side effects, and so enhances the benefits of orthodox medicine. Before and after surgery, reflexology can stimulate healing so that patients can leave the hospital sooner and experience fewer complications. Studies have suggested that patients undergoing a course of reflexology prior to a surgical operation are less likely to suffer from secondary infections as a result of the surgery.

Reflexology is rapidly becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies available today. There are a number of reasons for this: reflexology is simple, safe and very effective; the patient does not need to undress and the therapist uses only his or her hands to give a treatment. Although a therapy in its own right, it works well with other forms of medicine, both orthodox and complementary.

Until recently there has been little research into the benefits of complementary medicine, and, in one way, clinical research seems inappropriate for holistic therapies, which aim to improve the total well-being of the individual, rather than cure illnesses. However, there have been a number of controlled research projects over the past few years which provide evidence that reflexology has an effect on the human body and can help to improve various conditions and general health.

Positive research findings also validate reflexology in the eyes of the general public and the medical profession and so increase public demand. As such there is an upsurge in interest for the development of appropriate controlled research projects, with a long term view to integrating reflexology with the medical profession to provide healthcare at a more holistic level.

The Association of Reflexologists was founded in 1984 with the aim of setting standards of training in reflexology and providing a network of qualified and experienced practitioners. Full Members of the Association use the letters MAR after their names and are included on the Register of Practitioners.

Further information and a full list of your local reflexology associations can be found at http://www.reflexology.org. 

For all United Kingdom residents: To receive a copy of the Register of Qualified Practitioners, details of Accredited Courses, a list of speakers or any other information about the Association or reflexology please send a C5 stamped, self addressed envelope to:

Association of Reflexologists,
5 Fore Street
Taunton, Sommerset, England  TA1 1HX
Tel:  0870 5673320 (Overseas 01823 351010)
Fax:  01823 336646
Email:  info@aor.org.uk

Or if you are in the U.K. and have a simple inquiry which is not answered by this article you may telephone the Association's Administration at 0870 5673320 during office hours.

source site: click here

Enter secondary content here

Enter supporting content here

you've been visiting anxieties 102...
please have a great day & take a few minutes to explore some of the other sites in the emotional feelings network of sites! explore the unresolved emotions & feelings that may be the cause of some of your pain & hurt... be curious & open to new possibilities! thanks again for visiting at anxieties 102!
emotional feelings - emotional feelings, 2 - emotional feelings, 3 - emotional feelings 4 - feeling emotional - feeling emotional, too - feeling emotional, 3 - feeling emotional, 4 - sorry to report that extremely emotional no longer exists! it was a sad surprise for me, believe it! now there is feeling emotional five! It's a work in progress, but you're welcome to visit when you have the chance!- your unemotional side - your unemotional side 2 - the layer down under - more layers down under - the layer down under that - the self pages - night eating - teenscene - angels & princesses - changes 101 - more changes - different religions - parental alienation - life skills 101 (not published yet) - physical you 101 abuse 101 - children 101 - try recovering 101
anxieties 101 - click here!
anxieties 102 - you are here!
almost 30 sites, all designed, editted & maintained by kathleen!
until next time: consider yourself hugged by a friend today!
til' next time! kathleen
thank you for visiting anxieties 102!