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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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
January, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 01
Spotlight on Research: Massage Effective in Treating Young Children's Skin Conditions
By Michael Devitt
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 projects planned or in progress are reproduced verbatim whenever possible.This month we look at the effectiveness of massage in treating young children's skin conditions.
Burns and eczema are among the most common pediatric skin conditions experienced in the United States. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) estimates that up to 20 percent of all infants and young children suffer from eczema at any given time. While much less common, pediatric burns often are just as painful and, by some accounts, even more stressful; the procedures associated with changing burn dressings can be particularly traumatizing, and might cause anxiety in both children and their parents.
It is well-known that skin conditions such as eczema and burns can be stressful and harmful to children. It's also well-known that while these conditions usually are treated with medications or other standard procedures, a variety of alternative therapies also might be used to treat them, with outcomes similar, if not superior, to traditional care. In a recent issue of Dermatologic Clinics, researchers from Florida examined the use of massage in two studies on pediatric burns and atopic dermatitis. The studies, published as a single article, suggest massage can play a significant role in the treatment of both conditions, and can be a useful complement to standard methods of care.
Massage for Burns
In the first study, 24 children (average age 29.3 months) admitted to a burn unit at a large university hospital were randomized to either a massage therapy group or a control group. All of the children were scheduled to have the dressings on an existing burned changed. Approximately 30 minutes prior to dressing change, 23 of the children were administered an analgesic to help relieve pain.
In the control group, a massage therapist spent 15 minutes with the children prior to dressing change, sitting next to the child's bed and talking with the child. In the massage group, the children received a 15-minute massage from a trained therapist, with strokes applied to areas of the child's body that were not burned, using moderate pressure.
Dressings were changed by nurses unaware of which group each child had been assigned to. To determine incidence of pain between groups, an observer (also unaware of each child's group assignment) recorded a series of six "distress behaviors" in the children just prior to, and during, the dressing change.
Children given a massage before the dressing change "showed only an increase in torso movements" while their dressing was changed. The nurses "also reported less difficulty conducting the procedure" on children who had been massaged prior to dressing change.
In contrast, children who did not receive a massage showed increases in all of the other distress behaviors.
The authors concluded that children who had received a massage prior to dressing change "showed minimal distress behaviors and no increase in movement other than torso movement." They suggested future studies examine the effectiveness of teaching parents to perform massages on their children before burn care procedures, which could help to reduce the stress levels of all involved.
Massage for Atopic Dermatitis
In the second study, scientists recruited 20 children ages 2 to 8, all of whom had been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema that causes severe itching and a red, raised rash on the skin. The children were randomized into two groups: half received "standard care" (consisting of emollients and topical corticosteroids) from a dermatologist, while the other half received standard care along with a daily massage.
In the massage therapy group, massages were performed by the children's parents. During the first session, a therapist gave the parents a 20-minute massage to familiarize them with massage techniques and how the massage felt. The therapist then demonstrated the same massage techniques on the child. At the end of the first session, the parents were given a videotape and a written description of the massage to take home and review.
The massage consisted of two standardized phases. First, the child was placed in a supine position, with the dermatitis medication applied as a moisturizer to ensure smooth stroking movements. Next, five regions of the child's body (face, chest, stomach, legs and arms) were massaged in sequence, with different techniques performed on different parts of the body. Any severely affected, sensitive areas of the body were avoided. Massages were administered daily for one month, with each massage lasting 20 minutes.
Regions of the Child's Body Massaged in SequenceFace
When compared to the standard care group, children receiving a daily massage showed a "statistically significant improvement" in a variety of symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis over the length of the study period. The only factor both groups showed similar improvements in was scaling.
The daily massage protocol appeared to have a positive affect on both parents and children. Parents who administered massages to their children, for example, showed decreased anxiety levels after the first massage session and by the last day of treatment, and reported their own feelings about their children "improved." Receiving massages had a likewise effect on the children, whose anxiety and activity levels improved throughout the course of care.
While the length of the study was rather brief, the researchers suggested continued massage likely would have improved the children's condition even further, and at worst would have maintained the improvements seen during the initial one-month treatment session.
"Although this study did not assess the long-term effects of the massage intervention, it is hypothesized that the observed improvement in the children's condition would stabilize or continue to improve if the parents continued to administer the massage protocol," they wrote. They added that parental massage "is a very cost-effective adjunct therapy" to standard care for atopic dermatitis, costing an average of $30 for patient.
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