Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Research Thursdays Summary

key words:  research literacy, funding and grants, sharing related research in the field, research in integrative health

The February Research Roundup

Review of the "Research and Metrics Thursdays" theme from the public Facebook Page and newsletter

At the Hospital-practice Handbook Project, we encourage practitioners to cultivate mentor-relationships and practice research literacy.




  • Resource: The PCORI ambassador program supports the forward movement of patient-centered care metrics.  Did you know they have an Ambassador program you can connect to?  According to their website:  
    • "PCORI Ambassadors represent the entire healthcare stakeholder community and the program is open to anyone interested in advancing patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).  Get connected to PCORI Ambassadors and learn more about them."  
  • Do you know where your nearest Teaching Kitchen or Community Health Kitchen is located?  Learn more about this resource and the research being presented at past Teaching Kitchen conferences, the Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives annual conference. 
  • The 2018 National Academy of Medicine (NAM) "Non-Pharm Pain" Conference recordings are available.  These are a recommended lunchtime listen and there is more information on the Lunchtime Listen page.  Or you can go directly to the YouTube playlist. 
  • The U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) call for research papers on acupuncture for low back pain and on the training and education of acupuncturists ended February 14th, 2019.  See the related blogpost for more information on it.  Several national and international organizations submitted white papers to CMS and will be publishing their white papers on their websites by spring, including the American Society of Acupuncturists and the Acupuncture Now Foundation.  I will add those links, when they are available, to the CMS blogpost.  The CMS call reference the AHRQ paper published in summer 2018.  The link to this paper is also in the CMS blogpost.
  • Latest update in the FDA Roadmap Series by the National Health Council published late February 2019.  See this post for the link to the video.  (audiovisual presentation on patient-centered metrics)
  • The Massage Therapy Foundation is hosting a free webinar series on the basics of research on select days in 2019.
  • The winter issue of Meridians: Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is out.  If you have membership with your state professional acupuncture organization, you have free access to the full electronic edition.  Or you can buy access to a specific issue or a subscription through their website.  Send me a message through The Hospital Handbook Project website contact page or write in the comments below your favorite article of this issue or another issue!
  • NCCIH and the National Cancer Institute hosted a workshop on "translating the fundamental science of acupuncture into clinical practice" earlier this month (February 2019).  


Funding Announcements



Recommended Study to Read this Month 



For more on the topic of research
  • follow the tag/label in this blog for "research literacy"

Other monthly research summary blogposts



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February Leadership and Workplace Mondays Roundup

keywords:  leadership, workplace, workplace culture, being an employee, teamwork and team communication

Inspiration for Employees and their Leaders 

Review of the "Leadership and Workplace Mondays" theme from the public HHP Facebook Page, February 2019



"To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation.  And, probably more importantly, armor is not necessary or rewarded." 
"If we want people to fully show up, to bring their whole selves, including their unarmored whole hearts, so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people, we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard and respected." 
"Daring leaders must care for and be connected to the people they lead. Care and connection are irreducible requirements for whole-hearted, productive relationships between leaders and team members."  
-Brene Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.  quoted from the audiobook.  chapter 9.

How to build a dream team in 5 steps--an interesting read on building a dream team with links to a free access lecture on the topic from LinkedIn learning.

How to have a productive conversation--how to talk with your manager/hospital admin about additional training, expanding a program, funding, or time.  The LinkedIn Learning article and video give 5 steps for a productive conversation:
  1. present your case and state your goal
  2. offer supporting evidence
  3. check in
  4. show you heard the feedback
  5. restate or refine your request
See the open (free) video "making your case", within the larger course, Having an Honest Career Conversation With Your Boss.  



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For more recommended reading (books and audiobooks) on leadership, see our Reflecting on Leadership post. 

More posts on Leadership

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February Self Care Saturday summary: ideas for your home self-care practices

key words:  self-care, practitioner resilience, wellness, mindfulness practices, movement (walking, tai chi, qi gong), spending time outdoors, nutrition for health, the quadruple aim research paper

The February Self-Care Roundup

Some inspiration from the Self-Care Saturdays theme over at our public Facebook Page

Taking time for self-care in your day and week, from a few minutes here to 30 minutes to several hours at a time, are drops of water into your resilience bucket.  A full resilience bucket makes it easier to weather the storms of life and work.  A half-full or empty bucket provide little defense or support when the storms hit and make it easy to get swept away or feel like you are drowning.  Fill your bucket, minutes or seconds at a time. Make regular drops or cups of self-care into your bucket part of your daily and weekly routine (habits) to keep it closer to full.  Consider the following categories of self-care when you are filling your bucket:


  • Movement:  any movement from walking, hiking, dancing, tai chi, bicycling, swimming, or other forms of active movement and exercise
  • Mindset/inspiration and reflective reading:  any activity that encourages you to slow down and self-reflect.  Forms this may take:  journaling, qi gong/nei gong (inner-work qi gong), several types of mindfulness practice, reading poetry, some forms of prayer.  
  • Spending time outdoors in nature:  going outside into fresh air and "green space" whether it is your backyard lawn, working in the garden, the local town park, pond, or creek, time at the beach, the botanic garden/arboretum/conservatory, doing chores at your friend's farm, or a trip to a state park or national park/federal lands.
  • Breathwork:  practice basic diaphragmatic breathing.  Can be a simple breathing exercise, like the one below. Or maybe your breathwork self-care practice takes the form of any of the following:  yoga, mindfulness meditation, qi gong, or tai chi
  • Nutrition/Food as fuel:  everything in moderation.  talk with your health care provider before making any major changes to your food intake (diet), especially if your have a chronic health care condition.
  • Time "having fun", socializing, connecting to your community.


Self-care practice could include more than one of these categories in just one activity

  • Depending on what you do for your self-care, it likely fits into more than just one of these categories, or it could.  For example, practicing Tai chi outdoors is "movement", "outdoor", and "breathwork".  Stretching exercises at your desk could be "movement".  Or, if you add a breathwork exercise to it, could be both "movement" and "breathwork".  


Ideas from the Self-Care Saturdays theme on the public Facebook Page from February

  • The Research--the Quadruple Aim study
    • "quadruple aim" added a 4th component to the well-known "triple aim".  What is the 4th component?  clinician well-being and resilience.  The triple aim doesn't work when the system is burning out clinicians.  Adding the 4th aim, focus on healthy workplace environment for clinicians, provides a compass for implementing the ideals of triple aim.  Read more in the research paper.
  • Nourishment/Food

    • Breathwork exercise, "belly breathing"
      • Breathwork is the conscious control of your breath.  "Belly breathing" is practicing diaphragmatic breathing.  This type of breathing induces the "rest and digest" phases of our nervous system, the parasympathetic response.  This is an important practice because, in our modern world, we are often going about our day rushing, in a full or partial sympathetic (fight or flight) state.
      • Practice (self-care):
        • Take a few moments to check in our breathing.  One hand over your heart, one over your belly.  Practice belly breathing (where your belly hand moves more with each breath than your heart hand does). 
        • Breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7.  Repeat 20 times.
      • If you want, you can watch one of these videos while you practice:




    • May you have some peace in your day.  Remember you can come back to this breath-centering practice any time.


    Mindset/inspiration and reflective reading
    Outdoors/Time in Nature
    • You can read more about the health benefits of spending time outdoors in the book, Nature Fix. You can follow the link to the Amazon store for this book in paperback or audiobook at our gift ideas page under "outdoor fun and health benefits of nature".   It is packed with scientific study references!
    Mindfulness

    Related blog posts


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    Friday, February 1, 2019

    January Self-Care Saturdays: inspiration for your home self-care practices

    key words:  self-care, practitioner resilience, wellness, mindfulness practices, movement (walking, tai chi, qi gong), spending time outdoors, nutrition for health

    The January Self-Care Roundup

    Some inspiration from the Self-Care Saturdays theme over at our public Facebook Page


    Breathwork, the basics of breathing for self-care
    • As an east Asian medicine practitioner (acupuncturist) I have been teaching my patients diaphragmatic breathing on day one and reinforced practice throughout treatment course with related self-care homework. This breathing practice often also called "belly breathing" has been known for a long time to help us consciously switch our breathing state into the parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Because, in our modern world, most people go about their day in sympathetic state of breathing (fight or flight). Breathwork, the conscious control of your breath, is the foundation of qi gong and mindfulness practices.  More recently, research has been conducted to test these age-old practices, such as this article available on PubMed.      --Megan
    • Now, practice (self-care):
      • Take a few moments to breathe. Check in on your breathing. One hand over heart, one over your belly. Practice belly breathing. Breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 7. Repeat several times.
      • If you want, you can watch this 1 minute video of a sunrise over a bay of the Salish sea while you practice.   
      • Have a wonderful day! Remember you can come back to this breath-centering any time.


    Food as Fuel, everything in moderation

    • Everything in moderation.  Coffee is more than just caffeine.  There is wisdom to consuming foods in the traditional way.
      • For example, a cup of warm black coffee (traditional) vs. iced, extra sugar, etc (modern).
      • Water is the best liquid to drink. If you drink caffeinated beverages, you need to be drinking more water than coffee. Drink less coffee than water. Stay hydrated. See your licensed and board-certified acupuncturist for more specific advice. www.nccaom.org
    • Note on coffee research from NIH:
      • “Two substances from coffee, acting together, may protect against nerve cell damage and improve behavior in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and a related disease called dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). This is according to a new study funded by NCCIH and conducted at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
      • "The two coffee components, eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT) and caffeine, were evaluated separately and together in mouse models of the two diseases. Both diseases are associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. The two substances administered together for 6 months, decreased the buildup of alpha-synuclein and led to better nerve cell function, less nerve inflammation, and closer-to-normal behavior.
      • "These findings may help to explain the link between coffee consumption and reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease; however, other components of coffee—a complex mixture of more than a thousand different substances—may also be involved."
    • You can read more about nutrition for health at our Nutrition Learning with Your Family post.


    Mindset/inspiration and reflective reading
    • Setting your new year resolutions--know your "why"
    "Why? It’s a small word, but a mighty question, especially when it comes to setting a New Year’s resolution.... When you get right down to it, your why is about authenticity. And authenticity falls in lockstep with trusting yourself. What do you need this year and why?" Go to the Chopra.com article.
    • Poetry
    "Snow was falling,
    so much like stars
    filling the dark trees
    that one could easily imagine
    its reason for being was nothing more
    than prettiness."
    -Mary Oliver

    Movement:  Tai Chi


    • The health benefits of regular movement practice, particularly practicing Tai Chi, includes improved balance and strength.  More at the NY Times article, "Using Tai Chi to Build Strength".

    Outdoors/Time in Nature

    • You can read more about the health benefits of spending time outdoors in the book, Nature Fix. You can follow the link to the Amazon store for this book in paperback or audiobook at our gift ideas page under "outdoor fun and health benefits of nature".  I have been listening to the Nature Fix as a audiobook throughout January.  It is packed with scientific study references!

    Mindfulness

    Related blog posts



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