resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
Touch Programs Help Families Bring Cancer Patients Relief
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Jolie Haun, PhD, EdS, LMT, Ruth Werner, Immediate Past President MTF, Beth Barberree, RMT, BA
Effectively addressing the needs of patients with cancer requires a multi-faceted holistic approach in the clinical care and home setting.Innovative approaches to patient care integrate family members as informal caregivers, to help meet patients'; needs. In this month';s Massage Therapy Foundation research review, we share findings and implications from a randomized controlled trial that evaluated a multimedia instructional program for family caregivers in touch-based techniques to provide comfort to cancer patients at home. The manuscript was published by Supportive Care in Cancer in 2013.
The proposal was to teach loved ones how to massage cancer patients. Massage is a popular palliative modality for symptom relief associated with cancer and associated treatment. Research has demonstrated significant effects for patients with cancer on symptoms such as pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, mood disturbance, fatigue and sleep disturbance. Understanding the need for symptom relief and leveraging the role of informal caregivers, Collinge and colleagues developed a touch-based program for at-home caregivers. The program was designed to empower them with the ability to have an impact on patient well-being through the use of partnered massage. These authors suggest a caregiver-based program such as this can benefit the patient, the partner and the quality of their relationship.
Collinge and colleagues developed a multilingual (i.e. English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese) DVD, with an illustrated, spiral bound manual to be used as a home-based instructional tool. (The program is now also available online via streaming video with an ebook manual.) The program, entitled "Touch, Caring and Cancer: Simple Instruction for Family and Friends," addresses, "attitudes and communication about touch in cancer, psychological preparation for giving and receiving touch, safety precautions, massage techniques for comfort and relaxation, acupressure for specific cancer-related symptoms and practice in the home setting." This program offers patients, their family members and loved ones an economical home-based self-paced alternative for symptom relief.
The experiment used was massage for one group and reading aloud for the other. A sample of 97 adult patient and caregiver dyads was randomized to the treatment (DVD massage program) or control groups (reading any literature of the patient';s choice such as poetry, fiction, nonfiction, religious, etc.) for four weeks. Treatment dyads received the program with instructions and were asked to practice at least three times per week. In the control dyads, caregivers were asked to read to their patients for the same frequency. To measure outcomes, self-report instruments assessed change in symptom severity, quality of life, perceived stress and caregiver attitudes.
Results indicate significant reductions in all symptoms for patients in both groups after a 20-minute session of their assigned activity: 12% to 28% reductions after being read to, and 29% to 44% reductions after massage. Though both groups showed improvements, "The average proportion of decreased symptomatology reported from pre- to post-sessions over the four weeks was significantly greater for patients in the massage condition for pain, nausea and other self-reported symptoms (i.e. less common symptoms yet those that were significant to patients)." Significant effects across time were also indicated. Symptom improvement was significantly greater for the treatment group (caregiver massage) than the control group (caregiver reading) for stress and anxiety in weeks two, three and four, pain in weeks three and four and fatigue in weeks one and four.
Massage caregivers in the treatment group reported satisfaction with their ability to help their loved one feel better. They showed significant improvements in confidence, comfort and self-efficacy. There were no significant differences within or between patient groups on the Perceived Stress Scale or the General Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Version 4. However, the authors did note using the specialized statistical method, Classification Tree Analysis, statistically significant associations were found between patients'; diagnostic and massage variables with their Perceived Stress Scale score at follow-up.
No adverse events were reported during the study, which suggests that the massage taught on the DVD appears to be safe for this population.
Collinge and colleagues conclude that, "multimedia instruction in touch and massage methods may offer family members a viable means of enhancing self-efficacy and satisfaction in caregiving while decreasing patient pain, depression and other symptoms. Family members may be able to learn and apply safe and simple methods that increase patient comfort and reduce distress."
This study has several meaningful implications for the field of massage research and practice. First, these findings support previous research suggesting massage is an effective palliative modality for patients with cancer. Further, these findings indicate that massage, which is typically considered a clinical or spa treatment, may be re-conceptualized as a home-based treatment provided informal caregivers are given proper instruction. Practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, particularly massage therapists, can consider programs such as Touch, Caring and Cancer as an option to complement other clinical treatments, such as formal massage therapy regimens, to provide patients comfort in the home setting between clinical and massage treatments. This program is one of many that can be created for patients with diverse conditions as an alternative. For example, Collinge and colleagues are currently evaluating a similar home-based integrative therapies program called Mission Reconnect, to promote well-being and relationship resilience in veterans and their partners healing the effects of military deployment. Programs such as these will create a new economical, home-based, self-paced option for diverse patient populations to receive symptom relief at the caring hands of their family members and loved ones.
To learn more about touch and caregiving, you can review the Massage Therapy Foundation article archives, read accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search Pub Med for CAM/CIM cost analysis studies.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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