resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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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