resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Massage Therapists Can be Key Players in Research
Contributed by Jolie Haun PhD, EdS, LMT; MK Brennan MS, RN, LMBT; S. Pualani Gillespie LMT, MSN, RN, BCTMB
Historically, few funded studies have given massage therapists opportunity to be involved in massage therapy research as study personnel. However this month's Massage Therapy Foundation review focuses on a recent publication authored by Munk and colleagues, in which a recent NIH/NCCAM funded study investigating chronic low back pain (CLBP) also investigated the use of community massage practitioners (CMPs) as study personnel following recruitment and training. The authors' main study aim was to determine whether health-related outcomes for CLBP improve when patients are referred from primary care to select CAM modalities including massage therapy in their own communities.
As indicated by the authors, this study also had three massage practice-driven study objectives, which were to: identify challenges and solutions to recruiting and retaining ample CMPs, develop a practice-informed protocol reflecting real-world massage therapy, and determine the extent to which community massage practitioners comply with rigorous research methodology in their clinical practices as study personnel.
CMPs in urban and rural counties were identified through licensure board records, professional organizations, and personal contact opportunities for eligibility. Interested CMPs completed six continuing education hours of research and Human Subjects Protection training. They then agreed to comply with a study protocol reflecting massage therapy as practiced in the community. Once training was completed, the CMPs were matched with study participants who lived in their communities to provide and document up to 10 massage therapy sessions per participant over a 12-week intervention treatment period.
At the completion of their study, Munk and colleagues found challenges for recruitment and retention of MTs included mixed interest, low number of rural community massage practitioners conveniently located near study participants, busy clinic schedules, and compensation for the massage sessions. However, these challenges were overcome with solutions such as:
These solutions indicate investment in including community massage practitioners in research as personnel and can inform the inclusion of these professionals in future research studies. Maybe most important, CMPs were also compensated $25 per treatment and received six continuing education hours for massage licensure renewal. These benefits for participating practitioners reflect the needs of professionals and support a standard for including CMPs as study personnel.
Another important contribution this research made to the field was in completing its second objective, developing a practice-informed protocol reflecting real-world massage therapy. In contrast to using controlled environments and strict inclusion and exclusion criteria for study participants, this study employed limited exclusion criteria for the patient participants who were referred from primary care providers. As such, patients with complex medical histories and comorbidities were able to participate as part of a physician-directed treatment plan including medications. The CMPs scheduled the patients, provided the massage sessions, communicated treatment with the patients, and documented on the study forms which were similar to typical intake and SOAP-style ones. This approach reflects the practice of providing massage to a diverse and complex client population. Pragmatic participant criteria allowed this study to mirror massage therapy practice which is critical to translating real-world practice into understanding massage therapy outcomes.
The third objective of the study was to determine the extent to which CMPs comply with rigorous research methodology in their clinical practices as study personnel. Munk and colleagues reported that a total of 28 licensed massage therapists with five to 32 years of experience completed study training. A total of 127 chronic low back pain patients consented to participate (n = 104 for massage therapy). Twenty-five community massage practitioners were assigned CLBP patients and provided one to 10 treatments for 94 study participants. Treatment documentation was provided by community massage practitioners for 97% of treatments provided.
The authors concluded CMPs are valuable study personnel for practice-based research which reflects real-world massage therapy practice. Though the findings of this research are compelling, the authors identify limitations which should be noted. The study design does not reflect the advances in massage research methodology and evidence base since 2008; in pragmatic research, variability is expected; and results cannot specifically point to what aspect(s) of the treatment provided the effects. Despite these limitations, the implications of this research are very exciting for research, the field of massage therapy, and massage therapists in particular. Including massage therapy professionals as research personnel is an important advancement in conducting studies. It supports providing a real-world perspective in research findings that is not only relevant but warranted. Including massage therapists as research personnel also creates a new professional experience for therapists that have been limited to providing defined treatments as part of research protocols. Including massage therapists as research personnel is central to supporting the profession and advancing the science of massage therapy.
There is still time to register for the International Massage Therapy Research Conference in Seattle May 12-15, 2016. Visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org for more updates and registration information.
Case reports play an important role in scientific and professional literature. Writing a case report helps develop communication skills, critical thinking skills, and could contribute to future research and clinical practice. The Massage Therapy Foundation offers students the opportunity to advance their research skills with the Student Case Report Contest. Submissions are due by June 1st, 2016. Find out more here: www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/student-practitioner-case-report-contests.
To read other studies regarding massage, please view the Massage Therapy Foundation review article archives, browse accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search PubMed for massage therapy research.