resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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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