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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.
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.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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