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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 02
Massage Helps Children with Cancer
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Elizabeth Barberree, RMT, BA; April Neufeld, BS, LMT; Derek Austin, MS, CMT
The Massage Therapy Foundation shares the love we have for our children. Pediatric cancer cases continue to grow in numbers and managing symptoms of both the illness and its treatment lead health care providers to seek affordable palliative treatment options. In line with that, complementary and alternative modalities, like massage therapy, are also increasing in popularity.
In 2009, the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork published a pilot study conducted at the University of Florida, Gainesville Shands Hospital Cancer Center. Previous research describes positive effects of massage therapy for a variety of pediatric and adult oncology populations. The authors report findings that massage therapy may improve circulation and immune function, dissolve soft adhesions, reduce swelling and relieve the pain and stress associated with many illnesses. However, little research has been done on the effects of massage therapy on pediatric oncology or haematology patients. The purpose of this study was to measure the physical and psychological effects of massage therapy on pediatric oncology and hematology patients, and to determine the feasibility of implementing this care as a palliative treatment option in a cancer clinic setting.
The research design was a randomized, non-blinded prospective study. When recruiting for this project, care was taken to maximize the external validity by seeking gender equality and diversity in age, disease and inpatient or outpatient status. Thirty children, aged six months to 17 years, with cancer or blood diseases were recruited for the study. Their parents provided reporting support as needed. Adverse physical and psychological symptoms associated with cancer and cancer care were measured before, during and after the massage therapy intervention.
In the treatment group, four 20-minute sessions of Swedish massage were delivered once daily for approximately four days for inpatients or once weekly for about four weeks for the outpatients. Treatment was delivered by a nationally certified massage therapist, licensed in the state of Florida, with five years of experience. The massage therapy treatment consisted of effleurage, kneading, percussion, compression and friction. The treatment was applied to the areas most comfortable for the participant, on the hands, feet, arms, neck, back and shoulders. To ensure participant comfort, treatments were delivered while the participants remained in their hospital robes and covers were provided. The control group received no massage.
Before and after each session, the participant’s vital signs, discomfort level, muscle soreness and emotional data were recorded. The general clinical progress scale was also completed after the second, third and fourth sessions. Standardized measures were selected for their validity and applicability for this participant population, the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) and the Child Health Questionnaire–Parent (CHQ-Parent) were used. These were completed by the participants, parents or both before the first and after the final session. The data collection schedules were the same for the treatment and control groups. The control participants were seen in the same environment, for the same period of time for conversation and play with the therapist. For a detailed description of these measures, please access the free full-text article at PubMed Central. Data analysis appropriate to the study design was carried out by the research team with many interesting results.
No significant differences were observed between the treatment and control groups at baseline before the treatment intervention. However, after treatment, a number of the measures yielded significant mean changes for the treatment group versus the control group. After the treatment series, participants who had received massage therapy care showed decreased muscle soreness, discomfort, respiratory rate, state and trait anxiety and Faces "I Feel ..." scores.
On the CHQ-Parent questionnaire, the researchers found no significant differences between the treatment and control groups for physical and psychological health before or after treatments. The same was found for the physiological measures of pulse rate and blood pressure.
The findings of this pilot are consistent with that of related cancer studies and indicate a general improvement in physical (i.e. reduced muscle soreness, discomfort, respiratory rate and improved muscle relaxation), psychological well-being (i.e. reduced state and train anxiety and overall emotional well-being) and, thus, quality of life. Although the current study did not examine this effect directly, the researchers argue that when the effects are considered together, massage therapy could also promote optimal immune system functioning. This assertion is consistent with the work by Dr. Mark Rappaport et al., which was summarized in the MTF Research Column titled, "Massage Benefits Immune and Neuroendocrine Function" in the August edition of Massage Today.
This study suggests that despite the hectic nature of cancer clinics and oncology wards, massage therapy treatment can be successfully added into that environment. Replication of this project with a larger sample would allow for a more detailed analysis of whether different types of patients have similar response to massage therapy. Potential is there to investigate the effects of treatment on a broader range of symptoms and to better generalize the study results.
To learn more about the effects of massage therapy, you can review the archives of the Massage Therapy Foundation Research Column, read accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search PubMed for massage therapy studies. If you find this article of interest, please share it with friends and loved ones, especially those who are touched by kids with cancer.
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