resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12
Massage Therapy and Translational Research
By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in translational research.1,3-5 This research looks at ways in which the evidence that emerges from basic research in laboratory settings can become more clinically usable.In other words, how scientific evidence translates into what you and I do with our hands, assessments, treatments and re-education of patients towards better posture, breathing and ergonomics.
Translational research has become a priority for major organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which initiated the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program in 2006, as well as forming a number of academic centers to promote these ideas. For more on NIH's translational research initiatives, go to http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/clinicalresearch/overview-translational.asp.
A number of peer-review journals (several of them open access) have emerged on the topic, although none so far has focused primarily on biomechanical/manual health enhancement methods.
What therapists actually do is being translated into research, but not always in ways that will delight everyone. For example, a recent translational research study looked the effects of massage after eccentric exercise.2 The basic manual effects of Swedish massage were analyzed, and mechanical methods was developed that could apply intermittent loading to the muscles of rabbits that had been artificially exercised. This bizarre research was meant to mimic the effects of Swedish massage in order to evaluate the effects this had in preventing damage to muscles that had been eccentrically exercised.
The study reported: "The tibialis anterior muscles of six New Zealand White rabbits were subjected to one bout of damaging, eccentric contractions. One muscle was immediately subjected to cyclic compressive loads, and the contralateral served as the exercised control." These researchers concluded that subjecting muscle to such compressive loads (i.e., "massage") immediately after exercise leads to an enhanced recovery of muscle function and reduction of the damaging effects of inflammation in the rabbits.
A bout of primitive thinking suggests to me that this same information could possibly have been obtained by having volunteers exercise their legs eccentrically. This would be followed by Swedish massage on one of the legs, with a subsequent evaluation of the outcomes using perhaps real-time ultrasound, functional MRI or a simple visual analogue scale to measure pain thresholds. This could all be accomplished without bothering the rabbits.
Despite the relative craziness of this particular study (in my personal opinion), there can be very real value to ourselves, and those we treat, when translational research takes original scientific studies and applies them to our ability to better use manual therapy.
This trend will become even more valuable when scientists learn to address practitioner needs more clearly when they publish their results; for example, if they can more adequately ensure that they explain to readers, as far as possible, the clinical relevance of their research. After all, wouldn't we all benefit from knowing which methods of assessment are most clinically accurate and useful; which methods are safest and most effective in particular settings; and which mechanisms are involved when different modalities are used in different ways?
Upcoming Translational Research Events
It's possible to see that both the scientific and the clinical aspects of translational research are important. Both aspects will be discussed next spring, when the University of Ulm in Germany will be hosting a unique event in which researchers and clinicians will gather for an interdisciplinary fascia research course. The aim of this workshop (restricted to 48 participants) is to help to train clinicians in basic principles of fascia-directed research.
Participants will include physiotherapists, bodyworkers, medical doctors, sports coaches and movement instructors. The classes will include hands-on fascia explorations on human cadavers and animal tissue dissections, as well as clinical examination and palpation. For details visit www.uni-ulm.de/einrichtungen/akademie-wwt/kursprogramm/medizin-und-biowissenschaften/interdisciplinary-fascia-research.html.
Another 2010 event that has translational research as a major focus will be the Massage Therapy Foundation's second "Highlighting Massage Therapy in CIM Research" conference, to be held in Seattle May 13-15. For more information about this, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/researchconference2010.html.
The future for bodywork looks bright, with translational concepts emerging as a catalyst for enhanced dialogue between scientists and clinicians to the ultimate benefit of patients - if not rabbits.
Click here for more information about Leon Chaitow, ND, DO.
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