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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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Massage May Contribute to Symptom Improvement for Anorexia Patients
Contributed by Beth Barberree, S. Pualani Gillespie and Jolie Haun
Do you ever wonder why there is limited literature on massage therapy and certain conditions, such as anorexia? Research in the field of massage therapy is relatively new, so it's important to examine the effects of massage on different conditions to determine if large-scale studies are warranted. This is why pilot projects, like the one featured in this month's review by Dr. Caroline Smith and colleagues out of the University of Western Sydney, Australia, are so important. This work was published earlier this year in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and found that although patients with anorexia can be a challenging population, massage therapy had a positive effect on their nutritional health and dietary behaviors.
The research team used a randomized control trial to compare the effect of acupuncture with an active control group, acupressure and massage in a population of inpatients with anorexia nervosa (AN). AN is a chronic illness affecting adolescents and adults, with frequent relapses occurring in many individuals and can result in patients needing hospitalization if the patient's weight drops so low that there is a significant medical threat. Treatment aims focus on restoration of healthy weight, normalization of eating behaviours and often involves a multi-disciplinary care team including nutritionists and psychological support. Smith et al (2014), explained that there is a need for new adjunctive therapies that improve the effectiveness of existing treatments and lead to improved outcomes with this patient population. This motivated their current study, "Acupuncture and Acupressure and Massage Health Outcomes for Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Findings from a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial and Patient Interviews."
Potential participants were drawn from inpatients at a private hospital who were over age 15 and had an AN diagnosis. Those who were medically stable and met inclusion criteria were briefed along with the medical team about the study, with 26 patients being randomized to the acupuncture group or the active control group. The two groups were similar in their symptomatology, and most were female, in their early 20's, single and living with their parents. Almost 25% had used complementary medicine in the past.
Treatment as usual was administered to 20 participants and the intervention was delivered by qualified practitioners twice a week for the first three weeks, followed by weekly treatment for three weeks. The acupuncture group received acupuncture at five common points and additional points based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. The specifics of the acupuncture application are available in the full article. The active control group received acupressure, with conscious and gradual direct pressure to the center of the point being worked on, and light massage. The massage was applied after the acupressure to the back and shoulders using Swedish massage techniques including effleurage (sliding/gliding) with forearms, fingers, the heel of the hand and the whole hand. Tissue depth was both superficial and deep effleurage, depending on the needs of the participant. The movements included circular, longitudinal and transverse strokes.
The primary outcome measure was body–mass index (BMI), and secondary outcomes included eating disorder psychopathology, anxiety and depression. These were measured at baseline and at six weeks following completion of the interventions. A semi-structured interview was conducted, as well asking questions about their interaction with the practitioner, what happened, how they felt, whether it made them feel differently and what they attributed any change to. Between-groups comparison of the acupuncture and active control groups showed no differences in the primary and secondary outcome measures with such a small number of participants. The data do however show a trend of improvement toward normative levels, as well as clinical improvements in participants' quality of life. In addition, clinical patterns of change pertaining to patient behaviors occurred; in the acupuncture group relating to restraint and eating concern in the acupressure and massage active control.
Analysis of the interviews yielded an overreaching theme of seeking and obtaining therapeutic support, which captures the two subthemes of seeking support and positive response to treatment. Overall, the study was viewed as a positive supplement to the usual care normally provided to the patients. Participants described both interventions positively, reported positive experiences regarding the relationship with their practitioner, and experienced a sense of calmness and relaxation. When asked further about what might have contributed to this, the majority of participants could not separate the practitioner from the intervention, and indicated that both were equally important and that it was the combination that worked. Interestingly, a noted difference between groups was that in contrast to the massage group, the effects from acupuncture were broader as they pertained to greater improvement in psychosocial wellbeing.
The authors recommend further research with additional practitioners to examine the complexity of the interventions and impact of patient-therapist interaction. Additionally, a larger sample of participants would provide for more statistical power to tease apart differences between the experimental groups in the treatment of AN.
With new approaches to treatment of AN needed, this study provides good preliminary support for both acupuncture, and also acupressure and massage, to safely improve well-being for patients. The work also supports previous research that suggests massage may be beneficial in treatment of AN, and that a positive therapeutic relationship between patients and practitioners improves patient symptoms.
The findings of the current study not only support the use of massage therapy with patients with anorexia, but also support the growth of the field of massage in general. How so? As researchers continue to examine the efficacy of massage therapy using pilot research, resources can be appropriately allocated to support large scale studies to study the effect of massage therapy with diverse populations, such as patients with anorexia. Continued publication of pilot and large-scale controlled studies that speak to the effects of massage therapy will contribute to a body of conclusive literature. As such, the field will be supported by evidenced-based practice validated with diverse patient and client populations.
Does this article bring to mind a special population of patients who you think could benefit from massage therapy? Why not apply for a Massage Therapy Foundation Community Service Grant by April 1, 2015. Visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org for more information.