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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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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