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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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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."
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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!
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.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
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.
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.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
May, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 05
Spotlight on Research: Massage Helps Improve Grip Performance, Recovery Time Following Exercise
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.
Grip strength or "grip performance" is a general term used to describe the amount of power a person can generate with his or her hands.While often overlooked, grip strength plays a significant role in the performance of athletes such as weightlifters, rock climbers, martial artists and others who rely on strong hands and forearms for athletic success. Of course, grip strength is beneficial to just about everyone in a variety of day-to-day situations, particularly tasks that involve lifting and/or carrying.
Although the effects of massage on increasing muscle performance and recovery time are well-known, the majority of studies that have examined massage and physical performance have focused on large muscle groups in the lower extremities. A new study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine evaluated the ability of manual massage to improve the performance of smaller muscle groups in the forearms and hands. The study found that a brief massage produces "greater effects" on grip performance after exercise, and helps fatigued muscles return to normal performance levels more quickly, compared to a placebo massage or no treatment.
In the study, researchers recruited 52 healthy volunteers (39 female, 13 male; average age 39 years) from a suburban allied health school. Forty-nine of the patients were right-handed; 58 percent exercised at least three times per week. After baseline measurements were taken, each patient was subjected to up to three minutes of maximal exercise, using a commercial isometric hand exercise machine that fatigued each subject's grip performance to 60 percent of his or her baseline strength. The exercise protocol was performed on the subject's non-intervention hand first to familiarize the patients with the exercise equipment and to measure natural muscle recovery times.
Following the exercise and a five-minute rest period, grip power measurements were taken on the non-intervention hand with a commercial hand dynamometer to compare them with baseline. The entire procedure was then repeated on the other hand, with one of four interventions performed immediately after grip performance fatigued to 60 percent of baseline:
All treatments were delivered by senior therapeutic massage students experienced in providing massages to the public. Final measurements were taken following exercise, the intervention and a five-minute rest period using the same dynamometer. For all measurements, subjects sat in a standardized measurement position, with the test shoulder adducted and neutrally rotated, elbow flexed at 90 degrees, forearm in neutral, and the wrist in slight extension and ulnar deviation, with the dynamometer facing away from the patient.
According to the researchers, the effect of manual massage on grip performance "was greater than no massage or than placebo" after the occurrence of fatigue. Interestingly, massage appeared to have a greater effect on recovery on the nondominant-hand group than the dominant-hand group. The authors stated that while this finding "demonstrates limited influence of massage on stronger, highly conditioned muscle," it also indicates that the effects of massage "may be more easily demonstrated in untrained versus conditioned muscle."
In addition, the researchers found there was less natural muscle recovery measured in the groups who received massage compared to the shoulder/elbow group and the no-treatment group. This suggested that in the period immediately following isometric exercise, "the effects of massage are greater than the effect of natural muscle recovery alone."
While previous studies examining the effects of manual massage on muscle performance have presented differing conclusions, the JACM study utilized several methods to ensure the validity of the testing procedures, including a standardized massage protocol, measurement of only one outcome, and the use of placebo and control groups for comparison. As a result, the authors felt firm in their conclusion that massage was effective in improving grip power and helping fatigued muscles recover more quickly:
"This is the first study to show that massage can improve immediate grip performance after fatigue in healthy adults. Furthermore, even though natural muscle recovery affects overall muscle performance up to five minutes after fatigue, the effects of massage are greater than with natural muscle recovery alone. Finally, differences in natural muscle recovery between the dominant and non-dominant hand may also influence the effects of massage after exercise in healthy subjects. Following this preliminary assessment, it is suggested that future prospective studies be designed to determine post-exercise differences in natural muscle recovery between dominant and non-dominant hands of healthy individuals and to ascertain the effects on response to massage."
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