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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
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 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.
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.
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?
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
Massage Combats PTSD
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops in response to a traumatic event.The event often includes physical and/or psychological harm to an individual or a loved one. Triggers of PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or man-made disasters, accidents, or military combat. Post-traumatic stress is the inability to dissociate the trauma from the past and live without fear of the future. Evidence demonstrates that massage therapy eases suffering caused by this disorder and assists in the recovery process.
Trauma and PTSD
After the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the perspective of the world changed forever. Since, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Chilean and Kasuri earthquakes, hurricane Katrina, countless wars and famine, PTSD has risen to unprecedented levels. According to the National Center for PTSD, 7.7 million in the United States have suffered from PTSD.
Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a major RAND study.1 Most of the 1.64 million will return home from war without problems and readjust successfully. However, 18.5 percent of all returning service members meet criteria for either PTSD or depression.1
Symptoms include: flashbacks and/or nightmares, avoidance/numbing, a feeling of estrangement from others, hyperarousal/hypervigilance, and a feeling of constantly being in danger. Other common symptoms include: sleep disturbance, physical pain, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts, and no longer feeling at home in one's body.2
However common the disorder, stigma may hinder individuals from receiving treatment. In 2008, it was reported that only half of military service members who have returned from Iraq with PTSD or major depression have sought treatment.1 Stigma includes factors such as being concerned that one will be viewed or treated differently by peers or military leaders if they are receiving mental health treatment. Other barriers to receiving care include not being able to get time off work, lack of information about where to find help and not having adequate transportation to get to the location where care is available. Stigma and barriers seem to affect both genders, especially males, who are not as likely to pursue professional help as females.3
Sgt. Travis Runnels, Combat Veteran of the 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army, (himself a sufferer of PTSD) said, “Team strength is emphasized within the units and nobody wants to feel like the loose link. Sometimes a cry for help is confused with being weak, instead of taken for the serious disorder it is. Understand that PTSD needs proper medical treatment and sometimes intervention.” Runnels found that massage and alternative medicine were a real compliment to his conventional treatment. However, for a long time he had a hard time with doctors touching him, let alone someone that he was not comfortable with. Ultimately, at the right time with the correct counseling resources, he was able to control his reactions and unwind enough to the point where he was able to receive massage. “Massage helped me to learn to relax, let my guard down, and begin to feel safe and comfortable within my body and mind,” said Runnels.
Traditional treatment includes pharmacology and psychotherapies, cognitive behavioral programs, exposure therapies, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Cognitive behavioral treatments include: psychoeducation, anxiety management, exposure and cognitive restructuring. According to the National Center of PTSD,4 specific cognitive behavioral therapies including prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy and EMDR are best used as initial treatments of PTSD. Group and family therapies along with alternative methods continue to be studied.4
Treatment is provided by TRICARE Prime, a health care plan for active duty military personnel, the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Since 1998, the DoD has required soldiers to complete a pre-and post-deployment health assessment, and more recently has mandated a post-deployment health reassessment to be completed six months after the service member returns home.5
Based on the combined screening, clinicians identified 20.3 percent of active duty and 42.4 percent of reserve soldiers as requiring mental health treatment, according to a 2007 study.6 Mental health treatment by the Veterans Administration is helping those with PTSD; 49-59 percent of those who had PTSD symptoms identified after the first assessment, report improvements six months later.6 However, those who didn't initiate treatment at that time, tend to get worse. Several community health programs are also becoming more readily available, one being a DE-STRESS program (Delivery of Self-Training and Education for Stressful Situations), that utilizes an interactive Web site to complete an eight-week program designed to help manage and treat PTSD.5
A revolutionary change in the treatment of PTSD has begun with a holistic approach at the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center in Texas.7 The program, created by clinical psychologist John Fortunato, was launched in the summer of 2007 after a long struggle for funding. His six- to nine-month program includes a rigorous 35-hour treatment week that combines group and individual therapies that include alternative therapies such as: massage, reiki, qigong, tai qi, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, exercise, games, hot-stone therapy treatments and "rehearsal therapy", which includes telling your most painful memories over and over until they lose their power.
Fortunato uses acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety, panic and tension-induced pain. Reiki treatments are used to assist in treating hyperarousal symptoms. According to Fortunato, "In order to stay alive, their bodies have been hyperaroused for so long, that they come back and cannot turn it off. Their body doesn't even remember how to relax again, and because of that they don't sleep and are irritable. ... The massage has helped soldiers sleep."
And the holistic healing approach for soldiers is paying off: 12 of the 37 soldiers have returned to their units and only two have ended up having to take medical discharges from the army.
According to a 2005 study,8 positive changes have been shown in biochemistry following massage therapy including reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine. By decreasing the clients' cortisol levels with bodywork, a client can reduce the constant feelings of hyperarousal and danger. By increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain, an ease of suffering and anxiety is felt.8
A study on sexual abuse victims suffering from PTSD conducted by Cynthia Price, concluded victims of PTSD showed a significant decrease in physiological and physical symptoms, after massage and body-oriented therapy (in addition to psychotherapy).9
Alternative medicine, massage and bodywork, along with traditional methods, can help victims of PTSD in the recovery process. With PTSD numbers on the rise, and more troops coming home every day, there are plenty of sufferers in need. In the hands of a well-intentioned therapist, massage for clients with PTSD acknowledges and helps to restore the most basic human needs of safety, trust, control, self-worth and intimacy. When these needs are satisfied in the context of a healthy therapeutic relationship, an individual may not only succeed but re-learn or discover for the first time how to thrive.2
For a comprehensive list of PTSD resources go to: http://ptsdcombat.blogspot.com/2007/01/need-transition-help-free-resources.html.
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