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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
July, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 07
Massage Therapy Reduces Hand Pain
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by April Neufeld, BS, LMT; Sandra K. Anderson, BA, LMT, ABT; Karen T. Boulanger, PhD, CMT
Research on the effects of massage therapy for various conditions is increasing. The Massage Therapy Foundation is invested in reviewing research on how massage therapy affects these conditions, especially those that are musculoskeletal.As noted in the June article, "Recent Research Provides Evidence of How Massage Therapy Heals" by Jolie Haun, "musculoskeletal problems impact daily function and quality of life, so it is important to validate..." massage therapy treatments. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice has published a study conducted at the University of Miami School of Medicine in which Tiffany Field and colleagues examined how massage therapy affects hand pain.
The researchers recruited 46 participants from the medical school who complained of hand pain regardless of the cause, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Most noted that their hand pain was related to computer use. The participants averaged 50 years of age, were of middle socioeconomic status, and were Hispanic, Caucasian and African-American. They were randomly assigned to the massage therapy group or the control group.
The massage therapy group received 15 minutes of hand massage from a massage therapist once a week for four weeks. The hand massage procedure included four techniques: stroking, milking, friction and skin rolling. They were also taught home massage, although this procedure was not described. Both massage and control participants completed assessments before and after their first and last sessions. Assessments included pain (0-10 Visual Analog Scale), grip strength, the State Anxiety Inventory, depression (the Profile of Mood States) and the Sleep Disturbances Scale. The control group received no massage but was given the hand massage instructions after the final assessment.
After four weeks of treatment, Field and colleagues reported that the massage group had decreased pain, increased grip strength, decreased anxiety and decreased depression. The researchers concluded, "These findings are consistent with data on massage therapy with pain syndromes and especially with results from our carpal tunnel syndrome study in which pain was also decreased and grip strength increased by massage therapy. The psychological changes following hand massage in the present study, including the reduction in depressed mood and anxiety are indications of relaxation effects."
This is excellent news for massage therapy practitioners because it helps us understand that patients may feel significant benefits even after treatments as short as 15 minutes in length. Nonetheless, this paper had its limitations, mostly focused on the lack of detail provided. Field and colleagues reported, "Moderate pressure appears to be critical for these effects," and "Other studies on hand massage also suggest the importance of pressure." However, there are no indications in this study as to if and how pressure was measured. Methods for measuring pressure should have been included or reasons should have been given for not measuring the moderate pressure outlined in the procedures description.
The researchers listed the use of four different techniques: stroking, milking, friction and skin rolling. But in order for a practitioner to duplicate the results in clinical practice, the details of the massage procedure should have included: how many times each technique is repeated, amount of pressure used, duration of each technique and order of technique application. However, Field and colleagues did make a point to describe the hand position of the practitioner and the position of the subject's arm for each technique; this detail is missing from many research studies on massage therapy. Another example of poor procedural description involves the control group. What did the participants in control group do for the 15 minutes between the before and after assessments? We need to be able to evaluate exactly to what massage therapy is being compared.
A third example of needed detail involves the explanation of the procedure of home hand massage that was taught to the participants. The study only states, "They [the participants] were also taught the hand massage." Specificity regarding the method of instruction, including detailed descriptions of the self-massage and recommended duration, are needed to evaluate the internal validity of the study. Additionally, the authors stated, "The participants were asked to keep a record of their massaging themselves daily and were called on a weekly basis to check on their ability to schedule daily sessions." However, whether the self-massage was performed correctly and consistently was not reported. A future study comparing the effects of massage vs. massage plus home self-massage, would help us to understand any added benefit of having our clients perform self-care.
We agree with the research implication that, "Further research is needed to explore [the] potential mechanisms [of massage therapy]." Studies like these do help support the work that individual massage therapists perform daily with their clients. Practitioners who want more information on the mechanisms of massage therapy and successful treatment methods can go to the list of commonly used PubMed search terms on the Massage Therapy Foundation website.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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