resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.