resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
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...
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
May, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 05
Benefits of Using Massage Therapy to Treat TMJ
A brief review of an article published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Sandra K. Anderson, BA LMT ABT and Jolie Haun, PhD LMT
Have you ever wondered what inspires research in massage therapy and bodywork? Often, it starts from the work of practitioners who write case reports illustrating their experiences with clients and patients.A case report is a detailed description of a practitioner's work with a client who has a condition which is addressed by a specific therapy or intervention. It also includes a review of published literature about research on issues similar to the client's. Both the practitioner's work with the client and the research literature can form the foundation for further scientific investigation.
This month, we at the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) are presenting a case report published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork in 2011. "Changes in Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Following Massage Therapy: A Case Report" was written by Melissa Joan Pierson, MT, and won a Silver Place Award in the Massage Therapy Foundation's Student Case Report Contest in 2010.
Most massage therapists have likely had clients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction as 65% to 85% of Americans experience symptoms during their lives. Symptoms include pain and muscle spasms in the head, mandible, neck and shoulder muscles; headaches; earaches; clicking noises or deviations when the mandible moves; limited ability to open the mouth; and dizziness. Causes of TMJ dysfunction include whiplash, bruxism, malocclusion, anxiety, stress, trigger points and postural dysfunction.
Treatments for TMJ disorder include splint therapy, analgesics, surgery, stress management, acupuncture, trigger point therapy, hydrotherapy and massage therapy. Data from focus groups and surveys of people with TMJ disorder suggest people experience frustration with conventional treatment, but are often satisfied with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, especially massage therapy. However, literature regarding the effectiveness of massage therapy on TMJ disorder is limited and shows varying degrees of success, warranting more research on the topic. Pierson's case report is important because it shows the benefit of a treatment plan with detailed measurements of the outcomes associated with TMJ disorder.
Pierson's client was a 26 year-old female student who had TMJ disorder seven to ten years prior to the massage treatment series. There was no reported known cause of TMJ for this client. Her symptoms were pain, decreased range of motion, clicking and crepitus. She was a busy, stressed student who had sought treatment from a dentist and a TMJ specialist. Eating soft foods, stretching and following guidance on reducing stress decreased the majority of her symptoms, but when her stress levels increased, her symptoms returned. The client's goals from massage therapy were decreases in pain, muscle tension, stress and restrictions in the neck and facial muscles.
The treatment plan consisted of an initial assessment followed by ten treatments, with re-assessments midway through the series and afterward. Each assessment included a postural assessment using a plumb line and range of motion (ROM) and orthopedic assessments of the neck and TMJ. Pierson also conducted pre-treatment interviews which included questions about location of discomfort, duration, frequency, intensity and quality of pain, and aggravating and relieving factors.
The sessions lasted 45 to 50 minutes, and included intra-oral massage (with gloved hands) consisting of compression on the medial and lateral pterygoids to release trigger points and muscle tension and gentle stripping. Myofascial release was then performed on the neck muscles and pectoralis major to correct the client's rounded shoulder posture and release pressure on her jaw followed by stretching. The sternocleidomastoid was picked up and twisted to release trigger points and tension. Kneading, stripping and trigger point release through ischemic compression were also used on neck muscles. These techniques were done to relieve pain, increase blood flow to the muscles and elevate endorphin levels to further reduce the client's pain and stress. Shiatsu was performed on the client's scalp to restore and maintain the body's energy balance, prevent the buildup of stress and decrease pain.
Because studies have shown that 60% to 90% of patients with TMJ disorder have an improvement in symptoms after using only self-management techniques, self-care was essential to the client's treatment plan. The client performed daily exercises involving retraction to decrease forward head posture. To keep the jaw muscles from clenching, the client compressed and stretched masseter and temporalis musces, and performed self myofascial massage over pectoralis major. She also applied heat and ice alternately to painful areas. Starting three weeks prior to the treatment series, the client kept a daily journal recording her stress, pain and muscle tension levels; the amount and quality of her sleep; self-performed home care, daily activities and diet.
Overall, the treatment series was successful, yielding an increase in the client's ability to open her mouth maximally and range of motion in her neck and a decrease in muscle hypertonicity, pain and stress. Pierson states these results could be due to several factors - the client's compliance with home care, using evidence-based techniques and frequent sessions with no long breaks in between.
For greater accuracy in measurements, Pierson acknowledged that other tools could have been used. For example, a goniometer could have been used to measure the range of motion of the mandible. Instead of relying on the client's comments, valid and reliable measures could have been used to assess the client's mood, stress, concentration and patience. Also, during postural observation and resisted ROM assessment, more quantifiable measurements could have been used instead of the terms "mild, moderate, or severe."
This case report is valuable for several reasons. Because it details the techniques Pierson used on the client, massage therapists can use the information for their own clients with TMJ disorder. This case report warrants further study to investigate the benefits of massage therapy for TMJ disorder. And just as important, this case report may provide inspiration for other massage therapists to conduct and author case reports about their experiences using treatments with their clients.
The Massage Therapy Foundation has annual student and practitioner case report contests that are intended to enhance professional development and research skills of practitioners and students. For information about how you can submit a case report, please visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/grants-contests/case-report-contests/. Who knows? Maybe your case report could be the foundation of ground breaking research in the massage and bodywork field. To view the complete article in IJTMB, visit www.ijtmb.org/index.php/ijtmb/article/view/110/201.
For more information about the Massage Therapy Foundation, visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.
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