resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04
Massage Improves Range of Motion for Children with Burn Injuries
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed By Jolie Haun, PhD, EdS, LMT, Derek R. Austin, MS, CMT, Beth Barberree, BA, RMT
Understanding the effects of massage is critical to advance the field. Yet, understanding the impact for a child with burn injuries is critical to improving the quality of life for someone who has experienced considerable trauma. This month's research review by the Massage Therapy Foundation looks into a pilot study conducted to examine the effect of massage on mood and range of motion (ROM) in eight children post recovery from severe burns.
Many children with burn injuries undergo considerable care in recovery. Treatment options are limited, so often patients with burn injuries pursue alternative therapies such as massage to address issues related to psychological and physical outcomes associated with burns. Little research has examined the effects of massage in children with burn injuries. Those published suggest that massage decreases distress related to change in wound dressing and may decrease severe itching. Now, Morien and colleagues extend current research with children by examining the effect of massage on mood and range of motion (ROM). Based on research conducted with adult burn survivors, the research team predicted massage would increase mood and ROM.
Participants were eight children attending a camp for pediatric burn survivors, with a mean age of 13.5 years (range 10–17 years). Five children participated in the study for 4–5 days and three participated for 3 days. All participants had thermal burns to several body parts, including arms, legs, trunk and face. Massage was provided on healed third degree burns that had previously required skin grafts. The authors defined third degree burns as the loss of skin structures at a depth that reaches the subcutaneous fat and fascia, which includes epidermis, dermis and all skin organs. Areas receiving massage were well-healed, with 2–16 years since the burn.
Four therapists participated in data collection and were blinded to the results until the end of the study. Therapists with advanced training in massage for burn scars offered massage sessions that lasted 20–25 minutes once daily, for up to 5 days. Massage provided on scar tissue consisted of 5 minutes of lengthening using long light strokes (effleurage); 5 minutes of stretching and rolling strokes between hands, fingers or thumbs (petrissage); and 2–5 minutes of small cross fiber movements (friction) to loosen the scar tissue. The last 5 minutes of the massage session included general lengthening and rolling movements. Massage therapists discussed possible needs or concerns regarding the massage before and after the sessions.
Participants reported their mood before the first massage session and after their last massage session. A visual scale using "smiley faces" that corresponded to a numerical scale was used for data collection. This method is common when conducting research with children. ROM of the knee, neck and shoulder joints was measured in degrees using a goniometer. ROM measurements were also taken on non-massaged tissue contralateral to scarred tissue to serve as a control comparison. The authors conducted a statistical analysis to determine differences in ROM and mood from pre- to post-massage.
Findings of the study indicate ROM increased after the massage sessions, in contrast to the contralateral control tissue. An objective scar assessment was not conducted; however, subjective observations by the massage therapists noted that scar tissue was red and firm before massage, while participants' scars post-massage were flesh colored, softer and the skin was more easily stretched. There was no significant difference in mood across time.
Authors concluded massage increased ROM in children with burn scars, which is consistent with studies showing that massage increases ROM in patients with injuries not resulting from burns. The authors were surprised to find no change in mood following massage considering findings of improved mood in previous studies with adult participants. The authors contend mood findings may have resulted from a "ceiling effect" because participants already had an elevated mood upon arrival to the camp.
The authors noted some study limitations including: small sample size; a quick and easy mood instrument that was likely too simple and lacked the sensitivity to measure changes accurately; and because the participants were 2–16 years post burn injury, their emotional coping strategies toward their scars had already occurred. An additional limitation, that the authors failed to note, was their sample size was too small to appropriately apply a t-test statistic; such that the authors cannot make assumptions about the data being normally distributed with equal variances, as assumed when applying parametric statistics. A non-parametric analysis method such as the Mann-Whitney U-test would be a more convincing basis for the authors to conclude significant changes in ROM with such a small sample size.
The authors do suggest more research using larger samples is needed, with measures to include affective states such as anxiety. They also propose that further investigation should address whether massage effects vary depending on stage of recovery (i.e. new versus old burn scars). The authors are planning a follow-up study to address research questions related to attitude, anxiety and self-esteem.
Though the study sample is small, this work provides good information to support the advancement of therapeutic massage for children with severe burn injuries. First, though this area of research is lacking in conclusive findings, this study does support the need for subsequent work to further explore the use of massage therapy for this vulnerable population. Second, massage therapists should use these findings as a basis for recognizing that this vulnerable population can in fact benefit from massage therapy. Finally, this research supports the expansion of scope for the application of massage therapy.
Similar to other serious conditions like cancer, there was a time when massage therapists may have avoided providing massage therapy to severe burn scar tissue for fear of causing more harm than good. However, through evidence-based research such as this reported study, we are learning as a profession when and how to appropriately apply massage therapy for individuals with burn injuries. When considering providing massage treatments for someone with severe burn scarring, it is strongly recommended that massage therapists acquire special training and consult with a physician before providing treatments.
Editor's note: For more information about massage therapy research, visit the Massage Therapy Foundation at www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.
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