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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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.
October, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 10
A Mind-Body Intervention with Massage Helps Treat Substance Abuse
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed By Sandra K. Anderson, BA, LMT, ABT, Jolie Haun, PhD EdS LMT, April Neufeld, BS, LMT
Massage therapists are aware of the mind-body connection and its important role in maintaining health and wellness.This mind-body connection can be particularly influential when a client is recovering from substance abuse. In 2011, Price and colleagues published study results in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, documenting the impact of the mind-body connection in a sample of adult females. Their work examined the effects of mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy (MABT) for women enrolled in a substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facility. MABT combines massage and mind–body approaches to develop interoception (the processing of internal sensations to create awareness integral to sense of self) and emotional self-care skills.
Massage is thought to be clinically useful for increasing self-awareness about tension, stress and habitual response patterns that may help prevent relapse. However, Price and colleagues were unique in their examination of mind–body therapy using massage as part of treatment.
Women in addiction treatment often report experiencing sexual and physical abuse in both childhood and adulthood. Further, the rate of eating disorders in women with SUD are nearly double that of those without a SUD. Having a trauma history and/or an eating disorder can increase vulnerability to relapse post-treatment. However, mind–body therapies, such as MABT, may provide women with self-care skills to prevent relapse. In particular, MABT can provide women with the ability to identify and cope with emotions without using drugs.
This study was a pilot project at a women's only treatment clinic in the Pacific North West. Forty-six women enrolled in the study; the median age was 39 years. Participants reported using alcohol, opiates and multiple addictive substances before treatment. Most participants were Caucasian; one was Asian American, and two identified as mixed ethnicity. More than half the participants reported experiencing sexual or physical trauma in either childhood or adulthood and PTSD, while 30 percent had an eating disorder. Most participants had previously sought substance abuse treatment and had minimal exposure to massage.
Participants were randomized to receive the 8-week MABT intervention plus treatment as usual (TAU) or to TAU alone. TAU was a 12-step abstinence-based approach involving group sessions using psycho-education and cognitive–behavioral therapy. All participants completed a 3-week inpatient program and then continued in an outpatient, 12-to-24 week program that met 2 to 3 times per week for three hours.
MABT sessions were offered weekly during the outpatient program, each lasting 1.5 hours. Each participant randomized to MABT was assigned to one of four licensed massage therapists who had clinical experience addressing mental health concerns. The MABT protocol involved asking participants about their emotional and physical well-being to guide the session. Particular attention was given to body awareness in relation to experiences associated with substance use and treatment. The hands-on component of the session was 45-minutes and included massage over clothes. Touch was also used to teach interoception and body-based self-care skills such as learning to feel the sensation of breath, bring conscious attention to specific areas of the body, attend to physical and emotional tension and develop mindful body awareness. To integrate the skills they were learning, participants had individualized inner body awareness homework to do each week.
Data collection time points included baseline, post-intervention (three months from baseline), and six and nine month follow-up. The data included assessments that measured substance use, psychological and physical indicators of distress, perceived stress and other mind-body indicators such as ability regulate emotions, body awareness and bodily dissociation. A satisfaction survey and written questionnaire about participant perception of the MABT experience was administered at post-test. A questionnaire about use of any practice focused on connection to the body, such as daily or weekly yoga classes or bodywork treatments, during the follow-up period was administered to both groups at six and nine months. In addition, MABT participants were asked if the practice involved skills learned in MABT sessions.
Findings indicated moderate to large effects including significantly fewer days of substance use at post-test for participants in MABT, compared to those in TAU. Other outcomes showed improved eating disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, dissociation, perceived stress, physical symptom frequency and bodily dissociation for MABT compared with TAU at the 9-month follow-up. The high level of continued use of MABT skills after the study was considerable, suggesting that participants perceived much benefit from MABT.
Though findings are significant and compelling, Price et al. indicate study limitations for consideration when interpreting outcomes. One limitation is that MABT participants were given a greater amount of time and attention than those in TAU. However, the high level MABT skills used during follow-up shows this was not the only reason for the effects of the study. Another limitation was the small sample size, and allocation of subjects to TAU and MABT differed. Also, only part of the assessment for emotion regulation was used; the findings or interpretation may not be valid without the use of the entire measure. The study sample was likely to have higher socioeconomic status and functional abilities than those found in community clinics. Finally, the sample was restricted to women. The effect of MABT with samples representing both men and women, with individuals in methadone-assisted treatment warrants further study.
Overall, this study demonstrates a mind-body oriented intervention with massage therapy can have positive effects on people in SUD treatment. The authors suggest MABT may be particularly relevant to women, given the high rates of eating disorders, depression, anxiety and trauma found among those with SUDs. It also appears that the self-care and other coping skills acquired during the study carried over beyond treatment and were incorporated into daily life.
Massage therapists who work with individuals recovering from substance abuse have confirmation that what they experience and know intuitively is being proven scientifically – compassionate, therapeutic touch facilitates the mind-body connection and can help in substance use recovery.
Editor's Note: If you are interested in learning more about the evidence supporting the use and integration of massage therapy in clinical and medical practice with different patient populations, visit The Massage Therapy Foundation at: www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/ and tap into the Foundation's Research Resources.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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