resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
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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