resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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