Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pushing the Point: Integrating Acupressure and Chinese Medicine in Psychiatric Nursing Practice

Integrative therapies are all the rage, particularly in psychiatric and mental health settings. It is an honor to be accepted for a pre-conference session at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association's 26th annual conference in Pittsburgh this November. Check out the abstract! 

ABSTRACT: With the rising costs of care, decreased reimbursement for services, and shortage of mental health clinicians, patients and providers are increasingly researching and incorporating integrative therapies as part of a holistic care plan. A review of the literature revealed a growing evidence base for the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies with allopathic medicine. This has prompted nursing schools across the country to include education on TCM in their curriculums, encouraged hospitals and clinics to add TCM therapies to their list of psychiatric services, and resulted in development of new protocols for addiction, PTSD, and pain management. Acupressure, a component TCM, is a noninvasive, integrative modality that can help alleviate common symptoms such as stress, anxiety, depression, mental fatigue, and insomnia, while reducing barriers of cost, time, and deleterious medication side effects frequently found in PMH treatment. The session will review basic TCM theory and evidence base, describe the function and energetics of acupoints useful in a variety of Psychiatric/Mental Health settings, and provide a live demonstration of common techniques.

PRESENTATION SUMMARY: Part of the greater system of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure is an effective yet underutilized modality for relieving common psycho-emotional symptoms. In both the inpatient and outpatient setting, TCM principles can be adopted to help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, mental fatigue, and insomnia. This session introduces basic evidenced-based acupressure theory and techniques through discussion and live demonstration.

OBJECTIVE 1: Describe the theory and benefits of using Traditional Oriental Medicine techniques in the psychiatric and mental health setting

OBJECTIVE 2: Identify the functions of ten commonly used acupoints that can be integrated into treatment plans of patients with psychiatric and mental health disorders

OBJECTIVE 3: Discuss methods for integrating TCM modalities with conventional PMH nursing practice.