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How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
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.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
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.
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.
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!
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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.
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."
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
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, etc.
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.
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.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
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.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
August, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 08
How Much Massage Therapy is Enough?
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Karen T. Boulanger, PhD, CMT; Jolie Haun, PhD, LMT; Derek R. Austin, MS, CMT
This month's research summary brought to you by the Massage Therapy Foundation features a study completed by Adam Perlman and colleagues entitled, "Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Dose-Finding Trial." There are three things that we really like about this published research.First, it calls attention to a condition that most massage therapists address frequently. Second, it is the first study that looked at dose to inform how much massage is needed to achieve good outcomes for this condition. And third, it resulted in a massage protocol that was respectful of the individualized nature of practice.
Like many degenerative joint diseases, osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is painful and limits function. Typical drug therapies are not always helpful and have unpleasant side effects. Six years ago, Dr. Perlman and his team reported the results of a pilot study that offered massage therapy as a feasible, safe and potentially effective treatment for the 27 million Americans that suffer from this condition. The purpose of the current study was to define the "optimal dose" of massage therapy for OA. Once determined, the optimal dose can be used in a more sophisticated study to expand on the current findings.
Participants in the study included 125 adults at least 35 years old with radiographically confirmed OA of the knee and pain rated between 4 and 9 on a 10-point visual analog scale. Along with a wait list control group (usual care), participants were randomized to one of four regimens in which time and frequency (dose) of massage varied:
Swedish massage was provided by licensed massage therapists who provided input to develop 30- and 60-minute full body massage protocols specifically for OA of the knee. Although the protocol specified the percentage of time allotted for each body region, the order of the application was flexible to accommodate practitioner and patient preferences. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and at 8, 16 and 24 weeks. Measurements included the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), which assesses pain, function and joint stiffness; a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain; range of motion (ROM); and the amount of time needed to walk 50 feet.
After eight weeks of massage, there were significant changes in WOMAC global scores between the usual care group and the groups that received 60 minutes of massage, but there were no significant differences between the massage groups. There were also significant differences in the WOMAC pain and function subscales and VAS scores between usual care and the 60-minute doses. However, there were no significant between-group differences in the WOMAC stiffness subscale and time to walk 50 feet. ROM improved significantly only in the group that received the highest dose of massage (Group 4).
A dose-response curve was constructed using the WOMAC global scores after eight weeks. It demonstrated that as minutes of massage increased, improvement also increased, plateauing at the 480-minute dose. The optimal dose of massage to improve symptoms of OA of the knee was revealed to be 60 minutes once a week. This result is consistent with the results of their previous pilot study. Although massage ended after eight weeks, significant improvements in WOMAC global scores were observed in all massage groups after 16 and 24 weeks compared to baseline. This improvement was not observed in the usual care group. In addition, there were significant improvements in the WOMAC pain and function subscales in the groups receiving the three highest doses of massage after 16 and 24 weeks compared to baseline.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has awarded Perlman and colleagues additional funds to continue their exploration of the efficacy of massage for osteoarthritis of the knee. Between-group differences after 16 and 24 weeks may be uncovered with larger sample sizes in their next study. Comparisons of massage to light touch, biological mechanisms (biomarkers) and cost effectiveness will also be explored in their next multi-site trial. The results of this study, particularly the optimal dose of massage, 60 minutes once weekly, are relevant to improving treatment for OA of the knee. Massage therapists can use these findings to support the effectiveness of massage to treat OA of the knee, and for making treatment recommendations based on time and frequency.
These findings also support the notion that the time and frequency of massage treatments is of significance, suggesting more studies are needed to inform the dose of massage for other conditions. Because this study was funded by NCCAM, the full text article is available at no cost to the public. This free full text includes the actual massage protocols used for the treatment of OA. If you are curious to see what other projects NCCAM is funding, you can visit http://nccam.nih.gov/research/extramural/awards and type "massage" in the "term search" box.
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