resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
September, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 09
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 are reproduced with minimal edits.If you would like your research abstract or summary published in Spotlight on Research, please contact us at .
Breast Cancer Patients' Immunity Improves With Massage
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women. The National Cancer Institute estimates that today, one in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime - a threefold increase from 1964.1
Although it is highly curable if detected early enough, breast cancer is also the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 15 to 54.2
Previous studies have shown that women with breast cancer are more depressed than women without breast cancer, and are more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. Stress has been linked with lowered rates of an immune cell called the "natural killer" (NK) cell in women with breast cancer, an important finding since NK cells help prevent the development of tumors, and destroy new and abnormal growths before they can proliferate.
A new study* conducted by a team of researchers at the Touch Research Institutes (TRI) examined the role massage therapy could play in strengthening the immune system, particularly in increasing the number of NK cells in the blood. The study, published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, found that massage not only generated profound changes in the women's blood chemistry, it also reduced their stress and anxiety levels dramatically.3
A total of 34 women diagnosed with stage 1 or stage 2 breast cancer were included in the study and assigned randomly to either a massage group or a control group. Women in the massage therapy group received a total of 15 massages over a five-week period. The massages were conducted in a private room on a massage table by a trained massage therapist.
The sessions consisted of three 30-minute massages per week, and employed Swedish massage, the Trager® method, and acupressure techniques over various body parts. Women in the control group received standard medical care alone, but were provided with massages at the end of the study period. Along with the massages, the researchers administered various psychological tests to the women at the beginning and end of the study session to determine changes in anxiety and mood.
In addition, all of the women provided urine samples to assess changes in hormone levels, and 27 women (15 in the massage group, 12 in the control group) gave blood samples to determine levels of NK cells and lymphocytes in the blood.
Massage was associated with a significant reduction in anxiety levels and depression, and an overall increase in the number of immune cells in the blood. In the massage group, women reported a 46 percent reduction in depression levels from the first day of the study to the last day, along with a 25 percent reduction in anxiety.
In the control group, anxiety levels remained unchanged, while the depression scores actually increased 22 percent. The improvements in mood and depression in the massage group appeared to be the result of increases in certain hormone levels. Women who received massages experienced significant increases in the levels of a number of stress-fighting hormones, including dopamine and serotonin.
"These increases complement the massage group's self-reports of improved mood and decreased depression, as both serotonin and dopamine have been noted to increase in depressed individuals following massage therapy," the scientists noted. "These and other massage findings support that massage therapy is effective in reducing psychological distress, enhancing mood biochemicals, and boosting the immune system."3
In examining the blood samples, the researchers found higher amounts of NK cells and lymphocytes in the women given massage. Comparing blood samples taken on the first and last days of the study period, the researchers noted a 12 percent increase in NK cells and a 10 percent increase in lymphocytes in the blood. In the control group, the lymphocyte level remained the same, while the NK cell count decreased 7 percent.
"NK cells spontaneously destroy a wide variety of cancer and virus-infected cells and are involved in eliminating metastases," the authors wrote. "A boost in NK cell number would be beneficial given that some cancer patients have reduced NK cell numbers."3
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and therapies like massage by the general population, has increased tremendously in the past decade. This is particularly true of cancer patients; by some estimates, up to 60 percent of all people with cancer use at least some form of CAM.4-6
The authors of the study acknowledged the need for more research on massage therapy and cancer, and recommended that future studies examine the cost of care, the use of massage to treat other conditions in addition to breast cancer, and the long-term effects of massage therapy on reducing the incidence of death and disease.
"In summary, the self-reports of reduced stress, anxiety/anger/hostility, and improved mood, and the corroborating findings of increased dopamine and serotonin levels and increased NK cell number (the primary outcome measure) and lymphocytes suggest that massage therapy has positive applications for breast cancer survivors. That women with breast cancer have lower NK cell number and that they might have higher stress hormone levels, which have been associated with tumor growth and metastases, suggest the need for further research on interventions like massage therapy that impact the neuroendocrine and immune systems while attenuating psychological stress symptoms."3
For more information on other TRI studies, visit www.miami.edu/touch-research.
*Funding for the study provided by the following: USARMMC DAMD Grant 17-99-1-9292; Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Johnson & Johnson.
Editor's note: The following abstract originally appeared in the Spring 2004 issue of the Massage Therapy Journal and was presented at the poster session during the 2003 AMTA National Convention in Richmond, Va. It appears here with permission from the authors.
The Effect of Chair Massage on Stress Perception of Hospital Bedside Nurses
Context: Studies have shown that hospital bedside nursing is a stress-loaded occupation. Massage therapy has been shown to be an effective intervention in stress management.
Objective: The goal of this study was to determine if a 10-minute onsite chair massage was more effective at reducing stress perception of hospital bedside nurses than a 10-minute break.
Design: Randomized trial with a control group, who took a 10-minute break, and a study group, who received a 10-minute chair massage.
Setting: A small suburban hospital on the maternity, medical-surgical, telemetry, and critical care nursing units.
Participants: 82 bedside nurses.
Main Outcome Measure: Stress perception was assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) in an experimental pretest/posttest design and analyzed using t-tests for independent samples.
Results: Stress perception was significantly lower in the study group after the chair massage (P<.05) and not significantly changed in the control group.
Conclusion: The results of this study support the effectiveness of chair massage in the reduction of stress perception for this population. Further research is warranted to study the feasibility of providing chair massage on a regularly scheduled basis on a nursing unit, as well as its impact on other aspects of a nursing position, such as job satisfaction, retention, absenteeism, injury and workers' compensation claims.
Additionally, it would be beneficial to study the effects of chair massage with individuals in other occupations that are identified as being high stress and burnout occupations.
For more information about this study, contact M.K. Brennan at 704-536-3446.
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