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Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
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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