resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Healing the Qi: The Boston Marathon Bombing
On Monday, April 15 2013, locals and visitors from around the globe gathered for the world's largest marathon in the city of Boston. With 23,000 participating in the race and many more on the sidelines, the marathon represents a Boston institution.
Protein and Weight Loss
Recently I was asked by the staff at Dynamic Chiropractic to referee some of their water-cooler discussions regarding nutrition. Topping their list was this one about protein and weight loss: "Why is protein important for weight loss and how much should I eat?"
Weight Training: Are Cheat Reps Worth It?
While resting between exercises at the gym recently, a young lifter asked me for a spot on a set of barbell bench presses. The bar was loaded with a moderately heavy amount of weight that at first glance appeared to be too heavy for his frame.
News in Brief
In Remembrance: A Moment of Silence for Robin McKenzie (1931-2013); DC Re-Elected to Co-Chair AMA Code Review Board; WFC Celebrates 25 Years.
10 Life Lessons That Will Change the Way You Practice
"What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" I have posed this question for years to groups I've spoken to across the country and around the world.
A Solution for the Primary Care Crisis?
A white paper generated by the ACCAHC Primary Care Project and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Senior Research Scientist, Michael Goldstein, PhD, addresses a clear oversight noted in recent workforce analyses designed to assess the nation's primary care needs.
Becoming a Concussion Expert in Your Community: What You Need to Know (Part 2)
What makes an individual an expert in concussions? Obtaining education about concussions and treating concussed patients are two factors that lead to expertise.
Dry Needling is Acupuncture: But What of Education? What of Public Safety?
One of my patients told me recently, that their physical therapist used a "dry needle" and that it wasn't acupuncture. Apparently, physical therapists (PT) are taught to tell their patients that "only acupuncturists practice acupuncture."
It's About the Word
The new patient was already a fan of chiropractic. "I liked the guy a lot," he said of the previous DC he had consulted. "But he is on the other side of town, and I just can't get there after work. So he sent me to you, since you're his buddy."
Three Essential Herbal Products For Your First-Aid Kit
There are three Chinese patent medicines that belong in everyone's first aid kit. All three are for topical application, and all three provide extraordinary benefits unavailable from any domestic over-the-counter.
Treating Rib Joints to Protect Thoracic Stability
It is an exciting world that awaits us when we go to work every day. We deal with all types of people who present with varying health conditions we can (hopefully) help alleviate.
Obesity is a Shen Problem
The expressions "obese" and "obesity" are not pejorative terms. They are scientific terms, determined solely by the Body Mass Index scale, which combines a person's height and weight in a mathematical formula. A number of 30 and above denotes "obesity."
The Physiology of Anger
Most of us recognize and have felt anger at some point in our lives. Anger can be seen as a natural response to some kind of pain, whether emotional or physical.
Maintaining Professional Boundaries in a Facebook World: Social Media Guidelines for DCs
A few months ago, I received an unexpected message on my Facebook account: "Hi Doc, do you remember me? I'm so happy to find you here on Facebook. It's been years since I have seen you and I'm glad to reconnect with you.
Beauty is Averageness
After seeing Kim Kardashian's face all over the Internet -and my inbox- following her posting on getting facial acupuncture, I recalled the work of Michael Cunningham who was at the University of Louisville when I was doing my doctoral work.
Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Entrapments
The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve arises from the 2nd and 3rd lumbar nerves. It is formed in the psoas muscle and emerges from its lateral border to cross the iliacus muscle and exit the pelvis.
A Medication Primer for Alternative Health Care Practitioners (Part 2)
Morphine is arguably the greatest drug of all time, at least in the sense that it is so powerful in relieving pain.
The Monkey on Your Back
Many practitioners run their clinic without any extra help—at least initially. I've always been pretty good at multi-tasking. Having nine kids taught me how to wear multiple hats and juggle a lot of responsibilities. Running a clinic is similar.
Pre-Conception Wellness: What Do Your Patients Need to Know?
Deciding to have a baby is one of the most important decisions a woman will ever make. But how many women are really prepared for a healthy pregnancy?
Extraordinary Vessels and Emotional Healing
In addition to the 12 primary Organ-related meridians in the body, there are other energy circulation channels that have been mapped out by Traditional Chinese Medicine. Probably the most significant of these are called the Eight Extraordinary (or Extra) Vessels.
Study: Acupuncture for Acute Low Back Pain More Effective Than Drugs
New research by Korean doctors of Oriental Medicine suggested that an acupuncture method could reduce acute lower back pain faster and more effectively than conventional drug injections.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
The "Great Opportunity" for Chiropractic: Expanded Scope of Practice; The SOAP Note: An Effective Tool for Documentation; Treating Patients Goes Beyond Following Established Protocol.
Chiropractic Care for Veterans: Serving Those Who Served (Pt. 2)
To what extent do you think the role of chiropractors in the VA can serve as a model for greater chiropractic integration elsewhere in the American health care system? That's a very important question.
Keeping Up With Western Medicine Advancements: The Amazing World of Imaging Studies
When patients with neuromuscular problems come to you for treatment there is usually a lot you can do for them to improve their mobility or reduce their pain, whether it is a middle age woman with a frozen shoulder.
Weaving Eastern & Western Medicine Together: Q&A with Beijing's Dr. Kezhen Zhang
Dr. Kezhen Zhang M.D., is currently the founder and president of Beijing Taijitang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital.
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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