Thursday, November 10, 2011

Acupressure Massage Therapy from a Licensed Massage Therapist or LMT Helps Calm Dementia by Chris Lontok

The most effective acupressure massage therapy can be availed of only through a licensed massage therapist or LMT. Such acupressure massage therapy can be used to soothe the agitation and aggression of patients with dementia.

Restlessness and anger are common characteristics of patients with dementia. They show anti-social behaviour and can become violent at times. They act without logic. If left without supervision they tend to wander and could get lost. Alzheimer’s Disease is one case of dementia.

A study showing how acupressure calms the aggression of patients with dementia was done in Taiwan and published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. The study observed 31 participants, all of whom were patients afflicted with dementia coming from a nursing home. During the first four weeks of treatment, the patients received 15 minutes of acupressure massage therapy twice a day, five days a week. During the second four weeks of treatment, the patients received daily 15 minute visits from the researchers who talked to them.

Results of the study showed that acupressure massage therapy produced more immediate results and was more effective in comforting and calming down patients with dementia as compared to just talk. During the four weeks of acupressure massage therapy, the patients showed decreased instances of aggressive behaviour overall.

These results were consistent with those of another study which has proven that touch therapy can soothe the agitation of people with dementia. The common factor between touch therapy and acupressure massage therapy is the human touch.

Acupressure combines elements of acupuncture and massage and has always been part of traditional Chinese medicine which is several thousands of years old. While acupuncture uses needles, though, acupressure is done with the bare hands, fingers, knuckles and even elbows of the therapist, sometimes assisted by blunt devices.

Traditional Chinese medicine maintains that the life force called qi flows throughout the body to maintain optimum health. It flows through 14 primary meridians which have 400 to 500 points called acupoints. Blockages along the meridians cause illness. Acupuncture releases blockages by inserting very fine sterilized needles in the affected acupoints. Acupressure on the other hand releases blockages by applying pressure on the affected acupoints.

Western medical science does not recognize the theory of qi, and believes that the meridians and the acupoints do not have any anatomical basis. Even if Western medicine cannot explain how acupressure massage therapy works, though, it cannot be denied that results of scientific study prove its therapeutic effects. In the abovementioned study, for example, acupressure massage therapy was shown to be able to calm the aggression of patients with dementia.

Aside from providing proper acupressure massage therapy, a licensed massage therapist or LMT can also provide many other massage therapy modalities. These include reflexology massage therapy, shiatsu massage therapy, craniosacral massage therapy, deep tissue massage therapy, sports massage therapy and pregnancy massage therapy. Because licensed massage therapists often care for clients who have met vehicular accidents, it is not unusual to find a licensed massage therapist who does insurance billing for people in auto accidents.