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News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
Searching for Medical Massage
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
I suppose I share a personality trait with a notable orange cat that once graced my life. Upon hearing a fence-top "discussion" among others of his kind, he would head toward the fray, rather than away from it.Only this trait can explain my entering into the current fray on the definition of medical massage.
If we are to call an area of massage "medical," then it seems it should have connection to those who practice medicine and the treatments they provide. To be both relevant and comprehensive, medical massage should both fall within medical interest in massage and be broad enough to span the scope of such interest. Because medicine directs its efforts toward the treatment of dysfunction, medical massage also would be expected to produce measurable outcomes within the context of such treatment. Where integrated with medical efforts aimed at preventative intervention, preventative use of massage also would be medical massage. Outcomes might be directly observable based on patient reports, or on third-party diagnostics such as laboratory blood analysis.
These thoughts gave me a sufficient focus to search the PubMed database (January 1997 through August 2005) for indexed articles with massage in the title and without the terms cardiac or carotid as a keyword; using the latter terms often retrieved massage in a medical context outside of our interest.4 Prior to 1997, the number of articles with online abstracts dropped off sharply, motivating the limit on how far back to search. What I retrieved for my efforts was 463 articles, from which I was able to visually select 172 as addressing the use of massage in the context of specific medical treatment. Of the initial 463, I first eliminated those not identifiable as relevant to massage as we mean the term. I next excluded articles simply introducing massage to another professional audience or describing the setup of a massage or CAM program. I also eliminated papers on sports recovery facilitation apart from injury treatment.
For each of the remaining articles, I attempted to identify the patient population that was targeted and the goals of the treatment. In Table 1, I've presented a summary of the populations served and in Table 2, the goals of the treatments provided. For several of the articles, either the population, treatment or both fell into multiple categories, such as children who are burn patients being treated for pain and discomfort as well as stress, anxiety and depression. Thus, my totals for treatment populations and treatment goals are both greater than 172.
While this survey of PubMed articles is far from being a complete and rigorous characterization, it clearly indicates the medical application of massage extends over a range of treatment needs and uses techniques from simple touch to highly clinical. The goals involve changes that are physical, neurochemical, emotional and behavioral. For me, a picture emerges from which I draw several conclusions.
First, the con-siderations of whether massage is medical and whether it is clinical-orthopedic are separate. Medically oriented massage draws on a diversity of skills and techniques. Similarly, orthopedic techniques can be used in a medical context or in, for example, the context of sports facilitation and maintenance. That a technique is not tissue-specific does not imply the absence of assessable outcomes. The only conclusion we can draw as to technique is that the practitioner should be working within his or her training.
A second conclusion is that those practicing medical massage will need to communicate and integrate within the medical environment, including having knowledge of terminology, privacy requirements, record-keeping and facility protocols. Dunn and Williams note, for example, changed expectations for physical privacy, uninterrupted time and presence of monitoring equipment and wires while working in hospitals compared to individual practice.2 This area of communication and protocols for medical integrations defines the single core area of training and knowledge pervasive to the medical use of massage.
Finally, a practitioner working in a medical context will need to know the needs of the specific population served on physical, emotional and social fronts. Renee Gecsedi points out, for example, the need for specific knowledge in working with cancer patients.3 "LMT's need information about a patient's cancer diagnosis, comorbidities, type of treatment and response to treatment to safely provide massage therapy. Nurses play an important role in conveying this information and [other] information LMT's [require] about any special considerations, such as the presence of neutropenia or thrombocytopenia. Safe and effective massage therapy to patients with cancer only is achieved when the patient, healthcare providers and LMT collaborate effectively."
Applications in gynecology and urology, while outside the current scope of practice in many states, were within the discussion of practice submitted for consideration to the British Columbia Health Professions Council in a relatively recent comprehensive review of health professions. In its reply, the HPC noted that norms on and availability of training are, as yet, inadequately developed.1 Lacking clearly identified areas of application and norms for the corresponding knowledge and skill requirements, likely are the greatest deficit we encounter toward medically-orient massage. We still need to work with other health care provides to create norms and guidelines for most applications.
To the extent medical massage is definable separately from massage in general, it is defined by its integration into a medical context and by its focus on treatment outcomes. We have a great diversity of opportunities for practice, and equally great opportunities to benefit our fellow inhabitants on this blue-green planet by realizing the full potential of massaging "medically."
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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