resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
May, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 05
Spotlight on Research
By Editorial Staff
Editor's note: This periodic column keeps you abreast of the latest research documenting the benefits of massage and bodywork. Published research is summarized, with references to the full study text provided; abstracts of research projects planned or in progress are reproduced verbatim whenever possible.
Factors associated with choice of massage therapy in a trial of treatments of acute low-back pain.
Purpose: The majority of patients in a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of conventional allopathic care ("usual care") versus a choice of therapies for acute low-back pain expressed a preference for massage therapy (MT) over acupuncture (Acu), chiropractic (Chiro) or usual care. We sought to understand whether those choosing MT differed in demographic characteristics or self-reported pain severity scores from those choosing any of the other three subjects.
Methods: Eligible subjects were adult members of a multispecialty medical practice who had uncomplicated acute low- back pain for less than three weeks with no co-morbid explanation for symptoms. Baseline data were obtained by face-to-face interview at enrollment. Enrollees were randomized to either usual care or to a choice of Acu, Chiro, MT or usual care. Prior to randomization, all enrollees were asked which treatment they would select if randomized to the choice group. Since most enrollees chose MT, we used MT versus all other choices as a dichotomous dependent variable in a logistic regression. Demographic and pain factors were included in this model to examine whether they were associated with massage choice.
Results: Of 2,262 subjects screened for enrollment, 477 were eligible; of those, 293 enrolled. Fifty-one percent were women; 63% were white; 57% were college graduates; and 33% earned >$75,000/year. The average age was 43 years, and the mean self-reported pain scale (0-10) was 7.23 (SD=2.13). The majority (52%) expressed a preference for MT; 18% preferred Acu; 24% preferred Chiro; and 6% preferred usual care. Other than age, (subjects aged 40-49 were less likely than other age groups to select MT; odds ratio = 1.78, 95% CI=[1.08, 2.92]), neither pain scores nor any other demographic variable were associated with the choice of MT. For those subjects randomized to the choice group, 86% of those who expressed a preference for MT select it as their treatment, indicating a high reliability of expressed preference for treatment with actual selection.
Conclusions: Prior research has shown gender, education and income to be associated with higher utilization of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); however, none of these variables predicted preference for massage therapy in our study. It appears the appeal of massage therapy is not restricted to any particular socioeconomic group, and therefore might be broadly accepted as a treatment option for back pain. Beyond demographics and baseline pain scales, further exploration of variables driving patient choices and examination of effectiveness and economics, will be important to evaluate massage therapy in the management of acute low back pain.
Massage therapy as a technique for coping with stress.
This study assessed the effectiveness of massage therapy as an intervention for coping with stress in 34 healthy university students approaching final examinations. Participants were randomly assigned to an attention control condition (watching three different television programs) or to a massage therapy group in which each participant received one 45-minute massage per week for three consecutive weeks.
Measures of blood pressure, heart rate and state anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory - short form) were taken before and after each session. Stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and coping (Coping Efficacy) were measured three times at baseline (T1), immediately after the three sessions (T2) and at one-week follow-up (T3).
Both groups reported lower anxiety after each of the sessions; however, the massage group experienced a greater reduction, compared to the television group (p<.05). Participants in the massage group also experienced reduced heart rate after each of the massages, whereas the television group showed no change (p<.05). There were no significant differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure between groups. At T2, the massage group reported a significant decrease in perceived stress and an increase in coping efficacy (p>.05); however, by T3 these effects were no longer evident. Implications for stress and coping from a self-regulatory perspective will be discussed using Leventhal's Parallel Response Model (1997).
Editor's note: Both of the above abstracts were presented at the 2002 AMTA National Convention; they appear in Massage Today with permission from the respective authors.
Correction: In the first installment of this column (Feb. 2003), we referenced Marian Wolfe Dixon's abstract, "Developing a Massage Protocol for research of temporomandibular Joint Disorders," as funded by the AMTA Foundation. Ms. Dixon's research and resulting abstract were actually funded by a developmental grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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