resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
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.
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.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
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.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
June, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 06
Massage Helps Hospital Patients Manage Pain
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed By Sandra K. Anderson, BA LMT ABT; MK Brennan, MS RN LMBT; Jolie Haun, PhD EdS LMT
The Massage Therapy Foundation is always looking for new research that is helpful for massage therapists.This month we are reporting on "The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in the Acute Care Setting," published in the March 2010 issue of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
The authors of this publication, Adams and colleagues, suggest pain management within the acute care setting is a focus of empirical study by researchers, healthcare facilities and accreditation organizations throughout the United States. Previous studies have shown that high levels of stress and anxiety increase pain, and delay hospital patients' recovery by limiting movement and self-care activities, while also reducing quality of sleep. In the hospital setting, stress is due to factors such as excessive noise, social isolation and pain from procedures. In fact, in the acute care setting, clinical procedures are often the only time patients receive touch.
Literature indicates massage therapy is the complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) treatment most often prescribed by physicians that is beneficial without adverse effects. Because massage therapy may be effective in reducing pain through the gate control theory, as well as the relaxation response, it may also play a role in psychological healing along with physical healing. Adams and colleagues conducted this study in the acute healthcare setting to examine the impact of massage therapy on pain and well-being. To account for both psychological and physical effects, the authors included quantitative and qualitative methods.
The study recruited 65 inpatients in various hospital units, admitted between October 1, 2006 and March 31, 2007, at a hospital in a large rural area in the southwest United States. Study inclusion requirements included a physician order for massage, as well as the ability of the patient or a family member to provide consent. Additionally, feedback about the massage and return of a qualitative survey after hospital discharge were collected.
Three licensed massage therapists employed by the hospital provided massage. Each was trained in working with hospitalized or medically frail patients. The massage sessions were 15 to 45 minute sessions given to patients at bedside. The session length varied depending on the patient's energy level and availability. Techniques used included effleurage, petrissage, acupressure, craniosacral therapy, cross-fiber friction and pressure point therapy. The head, neck, shoulders, back and feet were areas most commonly massaged depending on the patient's needs, with patients either supine or in side-lying position. Contraindication for massage sites included areas of injury, surgery or intravenous lines.
Patients indicated their levels of pain before and after receiving massage using a visual analog scale (VAS). The VAS consists of a horizontal line with "0" at 1 end and "10" at the other, with 0 indicating no pain and 10 indicating severe pain. At the completion of the patient's last session, a survey was given asking about length of hospital stay, number of massages received and the impact of the massage on overall pain levels, emotional well-being, ability to move, ability to participate in therapies, relaxation, ability to sleep and recovery. Additionally, participants were asked if they thought massage therapy had an effect on their need for pain medication, how long the effects of the massage had lasted and whether they planned to continue using massage therapy as part of their healing process. An open-ended inquiry at the end of the survey encouraged participants to comment freely about massage. These results, along with demographic data, number of massage sessions and nursing comments were also analyzed.
Of the initial 65 participants, 53 completed the research project. Most participants received one massage, many received two to three massages, and a few received more than three massages. Sessions lasted between 15 and 45 minutes with most being about 30 minutes. The pre-massage pain levels had a mean score of 5.18 on the VAS and the post-massage mean score was 2.33, indicating that the pain level decreased by more than half. The effects of the massage lasted one to four hours for most participants. Some felt they lasted four to eight hours and a few felt they lasted anywhere from eight to over 24 hours. No negative effects from the massage were reported by the participants. The results of the survey included significant reduction in overall pain and need for pain medication as well as an increase in emotional well-being, relaxation and ability to sleep. Over two-thirds of the participants said they planned to continue using massage therapy as part of their healing process.
The results of the study are promising. According to the article, "The fact that patients throughout the various hospital units, with a wide variety of pre-massage pain levels, experienced relaxation through massage therapy indicates the true potential for massage to support healing for hospitalized patients." Additionally, massage therapy relieved the sense of isolation the patients felt. Because so many participants reported increased emotional well-being, the authors suggest it is possible it could be due to the need for compassionate human touch.
Study limitations included only participation by those adults with health status that allowed them to receive massage and to complete the study paperwork. Patients whose energy or pain levels prevented them from participating may have provided information indicating other results. Another limitation is that physiological indicators of pain such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels were not collected. Finally, a minimal sample size was used with no control group; mainly due to the additional cost this would have incurred.
As researchers in the field continue to pursue understanding the role of massage in pain management, massage therapists can leverage these research findings to promote the need for skilled touch in hospitals to help patients heal. Adams and colleagues suggest, "The further integration of CIM therapies such as massage into the hospital offers the possibility to improve the experience for patients who face physical, psychological, and social challenges in an unfamiliar environment."
As health care systems continue to transform, it is possible that massage therapy will be more widely recognized as essential for patients in the acute care setting. Moving forward massage therapists can reference this work and other research on pain management in the healthcare setting to support the use of massage in the clinical care environment. To learn more about the effects of massage therapy, you can review the Massage Therapy Foundation article archives, read accepted MTF Research Grant summaries, or search PubMed for massage therapy studies.
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