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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.).
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Patients with Fibromyalgia Find Comfort in Massage Myofascial Release Therapy
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
A recent article published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, described the "Benefits of Massage-Myofascial Release Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, Quality of Sleep, Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia."
This article, authored by Castro-Sanchez and colleagues, defined fibromyalgia as "a chronic syndrome characterized by generalized pain, joint rigidity and intense fatigue. Other frequently associated symptoms are sleep alterations, headache, spastic colon, anxiety and depression." The authors suggest fibromyalgia often leaves patients feeling incapable of performing basic daily life activities, even resulting in painful symptoms and conditions such as, "myofascial trigger points, degenerative joint disease, inflammatory joint disease, bursitis, tendinitis, development alterations, hypermobility syndrome, neuropathic pain, injuries, traumas, repeated muscle pulls, visceral pain, disk herniation, spinal stenosis and recurrent cephalalgia (headaches)."
To date, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, thus treatment is focused on symptom control. Myofascial release therapy is commonly used to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Myofascial release therapy, a soft tissue therapy, uses palpatory feedback to release myofascial tissue (the fascia that surrounds and separates layers of muscle). This accomplishes increased circulation, lymphatic drainage and relaxation of contracted muscles by stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia. The purpose of this study was to "determine the benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia".
Castro-Sanchez and colleagues conducted a two-group (i.e., treatment and control) randomized controlled trial to determine the benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy in patients with fibromyalgia. Of the 64 fibromyalgia patients recruited, 59 participants completed the study; 30 in the treatment group and 29 in the control group. The treatment group received a 90-minute massage-myofascial release therapy session, weekly for 20 weeks. The treatment consisted of "massage-myofascial release at insertion of the temporal muscle, release of falx cerebri by frontal lift, release of tentorium cerebelli by synchronization of temporals, assisted release of cervical fascia, release of anterior thoracic wall, release of pectoral region, lumbosacral decompression, release of gluteal fascia, transversal sliding of wrist flexors and fingers and release of quadriceps fascia." The control group received a weekly 30-minute session of disconnected magnetotherapy for 20 weeks. Patients in the control group were unaware they were receiving a sham treatment.
Pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life were measured at baseline, after the last treatment session, and at one and six months after finishing treatment. Changes in scores for anxiety, pain, depression and quality of life were analyzed for group differences between the treatment and control group. After the twenty weeks of treatment, and when measured again one month post-treatment, anxiety levels, quality of sleep, pain and quality of life were significantly improved in the treatment group over the control group. At six months post intervention, there were only significant improvement in the quality of sleep measure.
Castro-Sanchez and colleagues demonstrated the effects of a 20-week massage-myofascial release treatment program for fibromyalgia patients, with significant improvements in pain, anxiety, quality of sleep and quality of life. Findings indicate the treatment reduced sensitivity to pain, particularly at the lower cervicals, gluteal muscles and near the greater trochanters. In this study the treatment resulted in no changes in depression scores.
Though this was a robust and rigorous study, the authors reported study limitations which should be considered when interpreting findings. First, the exclusion of eligible participants due to incompatibility of schedules may impact sample characteristics. Second, patients with less severe pain may have been able to improve more rapidly. Third, a longitudinal component with more than a six month follow up may be necessary for a more comprehensive analysis to examine the relationship between pain and depression in patients with fibromyalgia.
Despite study limitations, these findings provide important implications for this evidence-based practice. These findings suggest massage-myofascial therapy can be considered as an alternative and complementary therapy to achieve symptom improvement in patients with fibromyalgia. When marketing this treatment modality for consumers, practitioners can provide patients evidence of the benefits of massage-myofascial therapy in reducing pain, anxiety and improving quality of sleep and quality of life.
Castro-Sanchez and colleagues provide compelling data that in the case of fibromyalgia, where symptom control is the only current option, this evidence suggests patients can find comfort in massage-myofascial therapy.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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