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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
Consumer Reports Survey Shines Positive Light on Massage Therapy
Public Gives Massage Consistently High Marks
By Editorial Staff
Twelve years ago, a groundbreaking study co-authored by Dr. David Eisenberg took a hard look at the use of alternative medicine in the United States.1 Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Eisenberg's study found that one out of every three adults in the U.S.had used some type of "unconventional therapy," with massage ranking as the third most-popular therapy in the study. Subsequent studies by Eisenberg and other researchers have found that the use of alternative therapies has remained relatively stable, and that massage is being used to treat a wide variety of conditions, ranging from back problems to fatigue, arthritis, and muscle sprains.
As these reports indicate, "alternative medicine" has become something of a misnomer. Just as the scientific world has investigated the use of alternative medicine by the American public, so have more mainstream media outlets. A case in point is Consumer Reports, a monthly magazine with a subscription base estimated at more than 4 million. In late 2004, Consumer Reports surveyed its readers regarding their use of both alternative and conventional therapies. The results of that survey, published in the August 2005 issue of the magazine, reveal that massage is one of the most popular forms of alternative care on the market, with both doctors and patients finding it extremely valuable in the treatment of certain conditions.
More than 34,000 readers participated in the survey, which asked them to rate the effectiveness of both conventional and alternative forms of care for their two most problematic health conditions experienced during the past two years. Readers were asked to rate each treatment depending on whether it helped "a lot," "somewhat," "a little," or "not at all." Respondents based their opinions of the effectiveness of care on personal experience, rather than scientific measurements.
Forty-seven percent of the respondents reported trying at least one alternative remedy in the past two years, a figure slightly higher than reported in the Eisenberg studies, yet in keeping with other national surveys on alternative medicine use. In addition, women were more likely than men to have tried, and liked, "hands-on" treatments such as massage, chiropractic and acupuncture.In terms of managing individual conditions, deep-tissue massage ranked first out of five methods of treating fibromyalgia (deep-tissue massage, prescription drugs, general exercise, physical therapy, and over-the-counter drugs), and first out of 10 methods of treating osteoarthritis (deep-tissue massage, prescribed exercise, physical therapy, general exercise, prescription drugs, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, special diet, glucosamine, and over-the-counter drugs). Specifically, for both conditions, more readers said deep-tissue massage "helped me feel much better" than any of the other treatment strategies. Over-the-counter drugs finished last in both categories.
Massage also received high ratings among readers who turned to alternative treatments for back and neck pain. In both categories, deep-tissue massage ranked a close second to chiropractic treatment, with nearly three-fourths of readers saying massage either "helped me feel much better" or "helped me somewhat."
In another sign of massage therapy's popularity and effectiveness, massage appeared to have the approval of many of the doctors Consumer Reports' readers spoke with. Of those readers who had used an alternative therapy, approximately 75 percent told their doctors about it. Twenty-five percent of those readers told Consumer Reports their doctor suggested the alternative treatment in the first place. In fact, massage was the second most frequently recommended alternative treatment by the readers' doctors, ranking just behind the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin.
In a review of the Consumer Reports survey, published on WedMD.com, Dr. Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, Fla., observed that the right amount of pressure applied to the body's muscles and soft tissues could produce a "cascade" of biological effects responsible for the positive sensations associated with massage.
"We are finding that moderate pressure is essential for any of the effects we see from massage," Field said. "That may be one way chiropractic works, because typically a chiropractor applies moderate pressure. So does just about any sport that you do - or any self-massage exercises like yoga. Anything that stimulates the body's pressure receptors will help."
It has been 12 years since the publication of David Eisenberg's landmark study on "unconventional medicine." While the Consumer Reports survey can't be considered in the same vein (scientifically speaking) as that study, several important points from the survey's results are evident - and in some ways, just as relevant. First, alternative medicine is continuing to increase in popularity; nearly half of those taking the survey reported using at least one form of alternative treatment in the previous 24 months. Second, the American public is relying more and more on alternative forms of care such as massage therapy to help them. And third, the survey shows what millions of Americans already know: Massage is popular, safe and extremely effective for a variety of complaints and conditions.
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