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Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
April, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 04
Announcing the Massage Therapy Foundation's Research Column
Massage Benefits Brain Cancer Patients
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) is committed to advancing the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education and community service.As part of its continuing goal and commitment to the industry, MTF is pleased to announce that it will publish a new research project synopsis, with a reference to the original article, right here at MassageToday.com. This month, we are pleased to report on an exciting MTF-funded study that examined the potential effectiveness of massage on stress levels and quality of life in brain tumor patients.
Anyone who has ever experienced a traumatic illness such as cancer knows all too well the toll such a diagnosis can take on one's physical and emotional states of being. In addition to apprehensions over treatment and subsequent outcomes, there are many other concerns that can affect a patient's stress level and quality of life, including worries over health insurance, financial security, and various other issues. Moreover, previous research has shown that patients who have been diagnosed with a brain tumor tend to exhibit higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than those suffering from other forms of cancer.
Research has demonstrated that massage therapy has a variety of positive effects on people suffering from various forms of cancer, most notably reductions in pain, anxiety, and depression.1 However, little is known about the efficacy of massage on patients specifically diagnosed with brain tumors.
Researchers at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University conducted a pilot study to ascertain the effectiveness of massage therapy treatment on stress levels and quality of life in newly diagnosed brain tumor patients.
Twenty-five patients (ages 18+) received two weekly 45-minute massage therapy sessions for four weeks for eight total sessions by two licensed massage therapists, each of whom had more than 600 hours of training. The therapists employed techniques consisting of classic Swedish massage: long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage and shaking. As part of the study, participants completed questionnaires at baseline, at the end of weeks one through four, and one week after the conclusion of the final massage session.
Keir employed the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10) to assess stress and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) to assess quality of life. According to the Keir, "The PSS-10 is the most widely used psychological instrument for measuring the perception of stress" and scores range from 0 to 40 points, with "the mean threshold for stress in the general population [being] 12.1 and 13.7 for men and women, respectively." The FACT-Br includes two components: the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General version (FACT-G), which consists of 33 questions that assess well-being in physical, social/family, emotional, and functional domains, as well as an additional brain subscale that assesses key components of the quality of life of brain tumor patients.
Keir found a significant drop in the group's stress levels between weeks two and three and a continued reduction in stress through week four. At the end of week four, all of the study's participants "were below the threshold for being considered stressed." One week after receiving the final massage, participants' PSS-10 scores had increased but had not climbed above the participants' baseline score.
Regarding quality of life, participants also reported significant improvements in emotional well-being, social/family well-being, and brain tumor-specific concerns, as well as nearly significant improvements in physical well-being. Improvements in the areas of emotional and physical well-being continued one week after receiving the final massage.
Keir concluded, "The results of this study suggest that the effect of massage therapy [on] stress may be additive or cumulative and that once massage therapy is discontinued, stress returns but not to original levels." He added that he believed the massage intervention played a role in reduction of stress for study participants as the health of brain tumor patients typically declines over time. The topic of massage frequency's role on stress and other symptoms in patients with brain tumors begs for additional research.
Commenting on quality of life issues, Keir noted that other studies have demonstrated that massage has a positive effect on one's well-being, continuing, "This study validates those findings in a brain tumor population, as participants in this study reported experiencing improvements in emotional, social, and physical well-being, [and areas of additional concern] specific to brain tumor patients."
Among the study's limitations were the small study group, the lack of a control group, and the participants' limited geography, which was a 60-mile radius. Because of a lack of a non-massage group or "sham treatment" group, it is impossible to differentiate the effects of the massage from other effects, such as patients educating themselves about their treatment, thereby reducing their own stress levels. Keir recommended that future similar studies could benefit from being longer, using a control group, tracking outcomes at the conclusion of the intervention, and incorporating physiological and biological markers into the objective assessment. Adding a qualitative component to future studies would also help us to understand any other benefits that were experienced by participants but were not measured directly.
Source: Keir ST. Effect of massage therapy on stress levels and quality of life in brain tumor patients—observations from a pilot study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 2010 Nov 3 [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1007/s00520-010-1032-5
For more information about the Massage Therapy Foundation, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.
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