resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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