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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
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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