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A Simple Protocol for Holiday Stress
It's winter, a time when we should be deep in reflection, eating warming foods and sleeping long hours. Following nature's rhythms, we restore our bodies and minds in preparation for the renewal of spring.
DVT: Know the Signs and You Could Save a Life
I lost a friend several months ago. He died from a pulmonary embolism (PE) secondary to a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) that originated in his lower leg. Bobby was in his mid-60s, soft-spoken and had a big heart.
Chiro School Reunion: Whatever Happened to...?
I opened the door to the closet slowly, carefully, since I knew it contained a large number of precariously stacked file boxes. It also held numerous outdated gizmos with electrical cords of various lengths that could trip or strangle a person.
All Fiber Is Not Created Equal
Sometimes the best place to start is at the end. So, the conclusion of this article is that all fiber is good ... but some fiber is better. Let's break it down. There are two main types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Assessing Core Stability and ROM: 5 Basic Checks
One of the first steps in addressing core stability is assessing static posture, ranges of motion, and motion of the pelvic bones, sacrum, femurs, lumbar spine and thoracic spine.
Meshing TCM With Environmental Pediatrics: Where's the Overlap?
Pediatrics has a long history within Chinese medicine dating back to the late Han dynasty (i.e., the late 200s CE), with the two primary areas of emphasis being herbal medicine and xiao er tui na (pediatric massage).
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Pt. 2)
Most overuse injuries are benign, but there are some high-risk injuries that, if unrecognized or inappropriately treated, can result in significant loss in time from the sport or even require leaving the sport.
6 Steps to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet
People often ask me what defines success. Success, for me, is simple: doing exactly what you want to do in life. Whether it's the kind of practice you run, your life at home, your hobbies or something else, it's achieving anything you put your mind to.
End of an Era Looms at NYCC
New York Chiropractic College recently announced that Dr. Frank Nicchi will retire in August 2017 after 36 years with the college, the past 17 as president.
Dedicated to Defending Chiropractic
Whether you're a veteran DC or a first-trimester student, the name George McAndrews should be part and parcel of your professional vernacular, as familiar as the word chiropractic.
Can a Multivitamin Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence?
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multivitamin supplements in cancer prevention. However, with respect to preventing breast cancer recurrence, an important study was published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2011 by Kwan ML, et al.
News in Brief
New President / CEO Takes Office at Yo San University. Electroacupuncture for Constipation?
Molecular Motors: Tiny Machines Behind the Rhythm of Life
In the clinic, we aim to restore healthy patterns of movement for qi that has gotten trapped or misdirected, or may have even collapsed. We may be focused on freeing stagnation, releasing heat or redirecting counterflow qi, but it often comes down to helping re-establish a flow of sorts.
A Letter to the Profession from the New President at AAAOM
Volunteering for a national, nonprofit organization brings with it such highs, lows, and accomplishments, as well as a steep learning curve.
Herbs for Digestion: The Power of Bitter
Many cultures (and indeed herbal clinicians) around the world have long respected the role of bitter herbs and foods for promoting digestion. For example, aperitifs – drinks consumed before a meal to stimulate appetite and digestion – were originally derived from bitter herbs.
Another Chance to Make a Difference
Just a few months ago, "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy" hit Louisiana. During this storm, one area experienced 31 inches of rain in 15 hours as almost 7 trillion gallons of water rained down in just one week across the state.
Little Sticker, Big Impact
It's the end of an election year. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were the subject of conversation for everyone, everywhere for the entire 2016 calendar year. I don't think any of us can deny that this election affected us all very deeply on a personal level.
2016: A Year in the Life of Acupuncture
Happy Holidays, may you, your family and friends have peace, joy and blessings throughout this special time of year. As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back and celebrate the many events and accomplishments for the profession of acupuncture.
A First for the Profession: CCE Accredits First Chiropractic Residencies
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) has awarded accreditation to all five chiropractic residency programs currently administered at Veterans Administration facilities, "the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education," according to a VA press release announcing the milestone.
What We Can Learn From Spine Surgery
Patients with lumbar stenosis presumably present for conservative care to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery. However, providing clear guidance to these patients can be difficult for a number of reasons.
Branding: Set Your Practice Apart
Dr. Brad started his practice seven years ago on a shoestring budget. He created his generic logo in five minutes using a website because he didn't have the time to figure out how to make something special.
Southwest Acupuncture College Brings It to Division 1 Athletes
When Michael Phelps' photograph with the distinctive round marks left by cupping went viral, the Division 1 student athletes treated through the Dal Ward Athletic Center at the University of Colorado (CU) could relate.
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09
Massage for Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
A brief review of an article published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
This month's Massage Therapy Foundation article review addresses a common issue, constipation, or difficulty having a bowel movement, among people with multiple sclerosis (MS).Constipation affects many people; however, this is commonly a chronic issue for people with multiple sclerosis. Constipation can involve discomfort, distress and can negatively affect the quality of life for people with MS. However, research suggests the use of abdominal (stomach) massage can improve bowel movements. McClurg and colleagues conducted a study to determine the feasibility of using abdominal massage to alleviate constipation in people with MS.
Of 41 volunteers, 30 patients with MS and constipation were recruited and met the requirements to be included in the study. Several outcome measures were used, including several self-report questionnaires, including the Constipation Scoring System (CSS), the Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction Score (NBDS), and a bowel diary. Participants were randomly assigned to a massage group or a control group (no massage). Both groups received bowel management advice. In addition to advice, the massage group participants, or their caregivers, were taught abdominal massage techniques. Four primary techniques were provided – stroking, effleurage, kneading and vibration. Participants and their caregivers were provided with instruction, practice and opportunities to ask questions regarding the techniques. Each participant in the massage group was advised to perform on themselves or receive from their caretakers abdominal massage daily for the 4-week intervention period. An instructional DVD was provided to participants in the massage group. Outcomes were measured at baseline (Week 0), post treatment (Week 4), and at Week 8; and were administered by telephone by a third party data collector who was blinded to participants' group assignment (massage versus control).
Findings indicated participants in the massage and control groups reported a decrease in CSS score (Week 0 to Week 4), suggesting improved bowel function; however, the massage group improved significantly more than the control group. The massage group also reported improvement on the NBDS, but the control group reported worse scores (Week 0 to Week 8); these data indicated the massage group reports were significantly improved over those participants in the control group. The bowel diary also provided telling evidence, such that the frequency of bowel movements increased (improved) for both groups, but participants in the massage group reported significantly more bowel movements than those in the control group (Week 0 to Week 4). Further, participant reports suggest time spent defecating reduced for both groups from Week 0 to Week 4, in the massage group it was reduced from 10 minutes at baseline to 6 minutes per day; and in the control group from 12 minutes to 10 minutes, per day.
The authors reported several limitations in this study, namely the small sample size and the potential lack of sensitivity of the NBDS to detect changes in the study population. As with many similar studies, a convenient sampling strategy was used, in that patients self-selected to participate in the study and thus may have different characteristics than those individuals who do not self-select to participate in research. As with most massage research, it was not possible to blind the participants or clinicians. The duration of the intervention was short compared to other published research; authors suggest the effects may have continued to increase if the intervention had been for a longer duration. Furthermore, some participants felt applying self-massage was tiring, and they were unable to apply the same pressure as the therapist. It is noted that the inability to provide adequate pressure for a sustained period could reduce massage treatment effects.
What is the take home message of this publication? McClurg and colleagues' findings support the feasibility of a randomized control trial (RCT) of abdominal massage to manage symptoms of constipation in people with MS. These study findings provide support for using abdominal massage with clients and patients who report symptoms related to constipation. Notably, study participants reported finding the bowel diary useful; bowel diaries may be a useful tool for monitoring and managing constipation in tandem with other modalities such as massage. Furthermore, as massage becomes recognized as a viable treatment for diverse populations, the use of instructional DVDs continues to gain popularity. Instructional DVDs that provide informal caregivers with massage techniques opens up new opportunities to receive the benefits of massage for people who may not otherwise have the financial resources to access massage.
In closing, McClurg and colleagues provided data in an area where empirical data is needed and demonstrated the feasibility of using abdominal massage "as part of an integrated bowel management program." As more conclusive research findings are published, we will gain more insight into the effects of massage on constipation symptoms in patients with MS and other patient populations who struggle with bowel management.
For more information about the Massage Therapy Foundation, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.
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