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Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
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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