resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
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 One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
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.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
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 Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
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 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
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.
December, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 12
Bringing Relief to First-Time Mothers During Labor
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed By Jolie Haun, PhD, LMT; Sandy Anderson, BA, LMT, ABT; April Neufeld, BS, LMT, NCTMB
The Massage Therapy Foundation is always looking for ways to expand its borders. This month's review reaches internationally to a study conducted at Baharlou University Hospital in Tehran, Iran. This recent publication in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics examined the "effects of massage therapy and presence of attendant on pain, anxiety and satisfaction during labor" in first time mothers.
Since the beginning of time, the majority of women of childbearing age have reported experiencing intense pain and anxiety during labor, particularly first time mothers. Mortazavi and colleagues collected important data for women seeking relief during labor. The study included 120 women pregnant for the first time. Participants were between 16 and 36 years of age, with an average age of 23. Participants had normal term pregnancies (gestational age between 37 and 42 weeks) without complications at the time of admission to the hospital; and had cervical dilatation of no more than 4cm. Potential participants were not included in the study if a cesarean procedure was needed or if Oxytocin infusion was needed to accelerate or augment the progression of labor.
Participants were randomized into three groups of 40 participants: those receiving massage, those with an attendant, and a control group (no massage and no attendant). Participants in the massage group received firm rhythmic massage for 30 minutes during labor in three phases: latent phase (3–4 cm cervical dilation), active phase (5–7 cm cervical dilation), and deceleration phase (8–10 cm cervical dilation). These women were encouraged to close their eyes and breathe deeply while receiving massage. The massage protocol included shoulder and back massage, abdominal effleurage, and/or sacral pressure, depending on the participant's preference. After a 30-minute massage at each stage, pain, anxiety and satisfaction levels were evaluated. Satisfaction was also measured 30 minutes after delivery (considered phase 4). A self-reported pain intensity scale was used to measure the labor pain. Anxiety and satisfaction were measured with a standard visual analog scale.
In the attendant group, an attendant who provided emotional support stayed with the mother throughout the entire labor. Participants in the control group received standard care, with no additional intervention. Outcomes regarding pain, anxiety, and satisfaction were also assessed in both the attendant and control groups.
Results indicated that participants in the massage group had lower pain scores in the second and third phases, compared to the attendant group. However, levels of reported anxiety were lower in the attendant group in second and third phases. Overall, satisfaction was higher in the massage group in all four phases. The massage group had lower pain and anxiety scores compared to the control group and higher satisfaction scores in the massage group compared to the control group. Participants in the attendant group also showed higher satisfaction when compared to the control group. Data findings also indicated that the duration of active phase was lower in the massage group compared to the other groups.
Mortazavi and colleagues conclude that the presence of an attendant can reduce anxiety and improve satisfaction. Additionally, massage is a safe and effective alternative for reducing pain and anxiety during labor and increases satisfaction. Notably, the active phase length was reduced by massage therapy and the presence of an attendant when compared to the control group.
However, before conclusions about the data can be made, study limitations should be noted. The small sample size in this study limits the power of the findings. Studies with larger sample sizes, representing diverse ethnic and cultural populations, as well as geographical locations are needed. In addition, objective outcomes, beyond those that are self-reports in nature, are needed to avoid participant response bias. For example, future studies can evaluate the effects of massage to reduce labor pain by evaluating bio-factors associated with pain and anxiety such as heart rate variability, cortisol levels and the use of pain medication.
Although these study limitations represent some concern for confounding effects (i.e. factors that influence outcomes that are not being measured), the research findings are compelling and warrant further investigation. These preliminary findings reveal massage and attendant presence provide a significant benefit for women during labor, which should be explored in obstetrics practice. Obstetricians serving women in need of perinatal care can provide enhanced support by providing patients with options to integrate complementary modalities into birthing plans.
As massage therapists continue to diversify their practice to meet clients' needs and clients look for new ways to integrate massage therapy into their approach to healthcare, Mortazavi and colleagues present compelling evidence that the approach to birthing plans can be significantly improved through the presence and practice of massage therapists, and offer a pleasant complementary treatment during labor.
These findings also contribute to the wide field of massage therapy research. These data support the evidence-based practice of massage to treat anxiety and pain during labor; consistent with previous findings supporting the use of massage to reduce anxiety and pain associated with chronic pain, lower back pain, muscle pain in general, and cancer pain that is often associated with treatment. This study also illustrates the beneficial effects of massage therapy are experienced across different cultural and ethnic groups and geographic locations.
Source: Mortazavi SH, Khaki S, Moradi R, Heidari K, Vasegh Rahimparvar, SF. Effects of massage therapy and presence of attendant on pain, anxiety and satisfaction during labor. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2012) 286:19–23.
To learn more about the effects of massage therapy, you can review the Massage Therapy Foundation article archives, read accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search Pub Med for massage therapy studies.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.