resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
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.
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