resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
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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