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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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