resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04
A History of Russian Medical Massage
By Zhenya K. Wine
Russian massage virtually was unknown in the U.S. until the 1980s. Upon my immigration to the U.S. in 1980 and during my occupational therapy internship at Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, I found out firsthand how little "hands-on" therapy was used by physical medicine in this country. It was a great surprise to me since massage has been a part of almost every treatment Russian patients receive during their inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation..
It took me a few years to realize, however, that Russian massage has been in the forefront of physical rehabilitation due to the extensive research that has been done in Russia and the Soviet countries for more than 130 years. To this day, Russian massage is still a virtual unknown in this country.
The main distinction of Russian massage is its 100 percent use by the Russian medical community since its inception in the late 1700s. Until the 1990s (perestroika), Russian massage was taught in medical and athletic establishments only. The only two ways someone could receive massage in Russia were to have a physician's prescription or to be a member of an athletic team. Massage for pampering and relaxation was only available as a part of a facial cleaning or for the super rich. Although practices and education have changed since that time, massage still is one of the most requested forms of physical rehabilitation in Russia to this day.
Russian massage has a long history, having been used by medicine women along with herbal preparations for centuries. The first recorded form of manual therapy done by the ancient Slovaks (later called Russians) at a bania (sauna) was called "twigging." It was done with branches of birch (Slovaks believed the birch had the best medicinal effects and properties). The leafed birch twigs were gathered in the late spring when the properties of the birch were supposed to be superior. They were then dried and used throughout the year. Russians, after bathing, would go to a very hot steam room (70 percent humidity - not quite as humid as the Turkish sauna), where a specially trained man or woman would hit the body with softened leaf-covered birch twigs and would follow by rubbing the body with the branches. After this part of the therapy was completed, the masseur would pour water - hot first, followed by cold - on the body.
This process of twigging, as some suggest, is nothing more than very deep friction. In fact, we do see a great amount of hyperemia in the skin due to both the twigging and the heat of the sauna. This process was repeated several times during bathing (followed by rest), and concluded with the bather going for a dip in the snow or in a stream of running water. The severe amount of friction the bather received prevented the body from serious overcooling and helped them to adapt to the cold temperatures of Russian winters and strengthen their immune system. The bania still is in use today, and many Russians have their own outside saunas where they go to detoxify, usually once a week.
Although used as a part of folk medicine for centuries, manual therapy or massage was not studied or used scientifically in Russia until 1860. The catalyst came from the interest of French physicians in hands-on treatment protocols. Russian society, which was heavily influenced by the French at the time, found it easy to adapt new French practices which included physical rehabilitation. The massage done in Russia today is called classical massage, and it was first formulated in the middle of the 18th century. An internal medicine physician, Dr. M. Y. Mudrov, is responsible for bringing this classical form of massage to Russian medicine. He believed that in treatment of any illness, manual therapy and movement are necessary for getting well. At the end of the 19th century, pediatricians Drs. S. G. Zibelin and N.M. Ambodik thought it absolutely necessary to use manual therapy for the proper development of infants, so Russian infant massage was born.
Unlike other infant massages I have observed being done slowly and deliberately, Russian infant massage is very quick and light, involving fast and superficial brushing strokes over the skin using the fingers and no pressure. This is followed by swift and gentle spiral rubbing with the pads of the fingers. Each body part is massaged for one to two minutes, and the full procedure does not exceed 10 minutes. The goal of Russian infant massage is to increase blood circulation to the periphery, which in turn is believed to promote better physical and mental development of the child.
The main contention of Russian massage is that when the rest of the world started studying more "advanced" forms of rehabilitation therapy (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, infrasound and many others), Russian physical medicine did not stop its use of massage therapy in the treatment of patients or its research into the effects of massage. The research history of Russian massage begins with Russian internal medicine specialists Drs. S.P. Bodkin, A.A. Ostroumov and G. A. Zaharyin. These physicians saw manual therapy as one of the best clinical modalities for the treatment of many internal problems.
One of the most prominent Russian physiologists, V.A. Monassein, along with his students, conducted several studies to scientifically show how massage influences functions of the body. In 1886, Gopadze studied manual therapy influence on nitrogen metabolism in the body after the use of massage. I. Stabrovsky (1887) researched performance of the lungs after manual therapy and B.I. Kiyanovsky (1889) analyzed the influence of massage therapy on the metabolism of fats and nitrogen in healthy people.
At the end of the 19th century, centers for studies of massage were founded all over Russia and the Ukraine. These centers were located in a variety of medical schools - medical military academies taught massage and gymnastics (Dr. V.A. Monassein in 1876); obstetric centers taught their delivery nurses gynecological massage (Dr. D.O. Ott in St. Petersburg in 1888); and medical schools taught massage after surgical intervention (Dr. V.P. Dobrolubov in 1893). More than 20 different centers that taught, treated and researched the use of massage therapy were opened in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone from the 1860s - 1920s. Based on the research during this time, classical massage techniques were created, their performance was explained from the physiological perspective, and indications and contraindications in the use of massage were discussed.
Manual therapy was used extensively during World War II as a part of complex rehabilitation treatment of the wounded. After the war, such prominent Russian physicians as A.F. Verbov, V.N. Moshkov and L.A. Kunichev developed special methodology for manual therapy use in all dysfunctions.
In the 1960s, both major universities in Russia and specially formed Institutes of Resortology and Physiotherapy conducted in-depth research of manual therapy and its uses. Today there are hundreds of massage schools open all over Russia, but the fact still remains: Massage therapy is alive and well in the medical schools, hospitals, clinics, and sanatoriums (inpatient medical spas). Massage therapy continues to be heavily supported by the medical community and plays an important part in almost every physiotherapy treatment protocol for musculoskeletal, neurological, internal, cardiovascular and many other dysfunctions. Russia continues to be at the forefront of massage therapy research. Russian athletes still acknowledge the instrumental role massage plays in their performance and recovery, and most of them will tell you massage has prolonged their athletic ability. As massage assumes a more prominent place in the U.S., my hope is that it will gain the same prestige here that it has held in the Russian medical community. It definitely deserves it.
Zhenya Wine has practiced and taught Russian medical and sports massage and physiotherapy for 31 years, and runs the Kurashova Institute in Rock Island, Ill.
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