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An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
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