Multichannel Access: Software for a Better Customer Experience
It is no secret that today's consumer has high expectations when it comes to how and when they can contact a business. In fact, one of the reasons clinic management software has become so popular with acupuncture practitioners is they allows customers to book appointments and make payments online day or night.
The Benefits of Going Paperless
The benefits of going paperless in your practice are profound. If you haven't done it yet, here's why you should.
That's a Wrap: Compression Bands for Contemporary DCs
Over the past decade, compression bands have been increasingly utilized in trainer and manual therapy offices. I was first introduced to the compression band by Kelley Starrett, author of Becoming a Supple Leopard, and have since been using it as a teaching tool.
Possession: Blocks to Healing
Before we can approach treatment of a patient's primary elemental imbalance (AKA "Causative Factor" or "CF"), a number of specific energetic blocks must be considered and, if present, removed in order for treatment to be effective. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Time-Saving Tips for Your Practice & Life
Of all the finite resources we possess, perhaps the most valuable one is time. There never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything that must be done, and all too often we sacrifice things in our personal life to meet the demands of our practice.
An Update From the Acupuncture Now Foundation
Since launching the Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF), our volunteer leadership has continued to work to achieve our vision of "Creating a World Where the Benefits of Acupuncture are Known and Available to All.
Vaccine Injury? The Autism Debate (Part 2)
As suggested in my first article on this topic [August 2018],1 my impression is that the vaccine authoritarians and radicals have not helped to mold a proper social / political environment for addressing the issue of vaccine injury.
The international standardization conference was held this year in Shanghai, China (June) - this was the ninth plenary session. Meetings for technical committees, or working groups also took place at the conference.
Easy, Inexpensive Tools for a Successful Practice (I Promise)
Successful practitioners are the ones who know how to run a business, first and foremost. I became a licensed acupuncturist in 2006. After having worked in chiropractor's offices for nine years, I opened my own office in 2015: four treatment rooms, a back office and a waiting room.
Depression & The Secondary Vessels
As an acupuncturist I see many people suffering from depression. I often think depression is the major imbalance of our culture. I have a patient I've been working with for several years. Her major challenge is chronic stubborn depression.
Bringing Acupuncture to Ohio
The jolt of seeing a woman conscious and talking during surgery left a lasting impression in 1971 when acupuncture was on the national news.
A Historic First for Chiropractic Assistants
The New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners will begin issuing licenses as early as Nov. 1, 2018 to chiropractic assistants who have undergone a 500-hour training course and passed a competency exam.
Your First Impression Always Deserves a Second Chance
Doctor, have you ever had a patient you just couldn't "warm up to"? You know, the kind of patient who "irks" you, who has a hidden agenda to get something you haven't anticipated, perhaps causing you to want to hide in a closet when they come in for treatment.
Food for Thought: An Examination of Diet & Digestion
Even an acute poison can become an excellent drug if it is properly administered. On the other hand even a drug, if not properly administered, becomes an acute poison. — Charaka Samhita
Chiropractic Management of Patellofemoral Arthralgia
Patient reports with pain in the front part of her right knee, especially during and after her weekly Zumba class. She states there has been no injury of which she is aware. No outward sign of injury is observed.
X-Ray: To Be or Not to Be - That Is the Question
For the past year, I have been asked by many practicing chiropractors, college presidents, faculty and others what my opinion is on the "Choosing Wisely" guidelines the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently adopted for its members.
The Origin of Blood
The Roman doctor, Galen, (2nd century AD) did pivotal work to prove that blood, which he thought was produced by the liver, and the cardio vascular system existed. He conceived that the arteries and veins were two separate networks.
Travel-to-Treat Coverage Finally Becoming a Reality?
Long-awaited legislation poised to hit the president's desk extends liability insurance coverage from one state to another for DCs and other state-licensed health care professionals who care for athletes / athletic teams that cross state lines.
Working for Someone Else: Know the Rules of the Game
Many of us decide to become acupuncturists because we are healers at heart and want to focus on treating patients, not because we want to own and operate a business. So we work for someone else, which can have great advantages, especially as a new graduate.
The Importance of the Scapulohumeral Rhythm
The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. What is often overlooked in shoulder mechanics is that motion in the shoulder is not purely at the glenohumeral joint.
Lead Patients to the Fountain (and Foundation) of Youth
We're all seeking the fountain of youth and marketers are capitalizing on it. (Global demand for anti-aging products, treatments and services was valued at 140.3 billion in 2015, according to Zion Market Research.)
It's Time to Reward Yourself
An interesting study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) confirms what we all learned when we were children – and serves as food for thought as to how you can improve your practice and your personal life.
The Science Behind the Efficacy of Cosmetic Acupuncture
The beauty industry continues to boom and grow constantly, from topical creams, lotions and potions all the way to cutting edge cosmetic surgeries.
Support Patients With Multi-Channel Customer Service
It's no secret that today's consumers have high expectations when it comes to how and when they can contact a business. In fact, one of the reasons clinic management software has become so popular is that they allow patients to book appointments and make payments online day or night.
UHC Up to Its Old Tricks With Latest Headache Policy
A decade ago, UnitedHealthcare announced changes to its chiropractic services policy that declared manipulative therapy for headache unproven and ineligible for reimbursement.
Neck Pain: Activation Exercises
In observing patients and studying rehab, I have learned that tight muscles are weak muscles and that stretching is sometimes less effective than muscular activation. There is a delicate balance between joints that move too little and joints that are hypermobile.
More Access to Chiropractic Instead of Opioids: H.R. 5722
With the opioid epidemic both an ongoing public health crisis and a hot topic extending well beyond the health care industry, Congress continues stepping up to the plate.
A New NCCIH Director ... One That Backs Acupuncture
The third time is a charm—the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced it's newest director, Dr. Helene Langevin.
July, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 07
Have Chronic Headaches? Get a Massage
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Jolie Haun PhD, EdS, LMT; Beth Barberree BA, RMT; Derek Austin, PT, DPT, MS, BCTMB, CSCS
Chronic headaches can be debilitating. Though it seems intuitive that massage therapy may be an effective treatment for chronic headaches, little research has been conducted to validate the use of massage therapy for managing chronic headaches.In this month's research review provided by the Massage Therapy Foundation, we take a closer look at one research team's attempt to examine massage therapy as a nonpharmacological approach to treating chronic headaches. Quinn and colleagues conducted a pilot study with individuals to "determine whether a regimented massage therapy program could have beneficial effects on the frequency, intensity, and duration of pain associated with chronic tension headache."
Though the cause of chronic headaches is unclear, evidence cited by Quinn and colleagues suggests that these headaches may originate from sustained contraction of head and neck muscles, resulting in local nutrient deficiencies due to ischemia. Ischemia can generate trigger points within muscles, which can remain contracted for an extended period of time and collectively result in a tension headache. Because the activation of myofascial trigger points has been implicated as a cause of headaches, the authors focused on the role of trigger points in treatment of chronic headaches with the hypothesis that reducing trigger point pain may result in decreased headache pain. Quinn and colleagues suggest massage treatments that aim to increase blood flow to tissue may reduce the activity of a trigger point. Thus, it is possible that headaches that have this origin may be reduced with massage therapy.
Ten chronic tension headache sufferers participated in an 8-week study beginning with baseline headache measures recorded for the first 4 weeks that allowed each participant to serve as his or her own control. In the remaining 4 weeks, the participants received 30-minute massage therapy sessions twice a week. Each participant was asked to complete a nightly logbook in which they recorded their number of headaches, intensity of most severe headache, and duration of longest headache for each day. Headache intensity was measured using a visual analog scale (0–100mm; 0 = no pain; 100 = most pain).
The treatments were directed toward neck and shoulder muscles, specifically the "upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, suboccipital, splenius capitis, levator scapulae, and temporalis." The massage protocol consisted of six distinct phases within the 30-minute time frame: preparatory tissue warm-up; myofascial release; axial cervical traction; trigger point therapy procedure; facilitated stretching techniques; and session closure. The full article provides complete detail of each of these phases of the treatment protocol.
Due to incomplete data, data was analyzed for four of the original ten participants. Within-subject analyses (i.e. participants are their own control) indicated headache frequency was significantly reduced within the first week of the massage protocol, which held for the remainder of the study. Though not statistically significant, duration of headaches decreased during the massage treatment period (p = .058). Headache intensity was unaffected by massage treatments.
Anecdotally, on four occasions when a participant began the massage session with a headache, the headache was alleviated by the end of the 30-minute treatment. This suggests that massage administered during a headache episode might result in immediate beneficial effects and that patients should be instructed in appropriate self-massage techniques.
Overall, Quinn and colleagues suggest, "The muscle-specific massage therapy technique used in this study has the potential to be a functional, nonpharmacological intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache." Notably, they suggest the protocol was successful in reducing pain associated with chronic tension headache, but they cannot state the massage portion directed at relieving trigger point activity was the causative agent rather than the stretching or relaxation techniques.
Implications for Research and Practice
The most impressive aspect of this study is the highly standardized massage treatment protocol. The authors recognize that the protocol complicates the question of which component of the treatment was most effective. While this research does not clarify what is the most effective massage technique for headaches, the overall protocol was shown to be effective at treating chronic headache symptoms. The authors suggest that treatment protocols validated for their efficacy can be later examined to determine which aspects of massage have a clinically significant therapeutic contribution.
Though this pilot study is unique in its examination of chronic headaches with a highly standardized protocol, its usefulness is greatly limited by its extremely small sample size. With only four subjects used for analysis, there is almost no power – proof of validity – in the findings. Though this may sound discouraging at first, it is important to realize that small studies such as this one provide foundational knowledge to determine if a large scale study is warranted. In the case of this pilot study, data indicate that the use of massage therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for chronic headaches is worthy of further exploration.
Practitioners now have a data to support the recommendation of massage therapy for the treatment of clients with chronic headache pain. Furthermore, maybe the greatest contribution of this publication is the detailed protocol. Massage and bodywork practitioners may find the detailed protocol used in this study useful for delivering a standardized treatment in their own practice. This study, and others like it, continue to support the ever-expanding scope of conditions for which massage therapy can be delivered as an effective nonpharmacological adjunctive treatment to alleviate pain and suffering.
Are you interested in learning more about the uses of massage therapy to alleviate pain and promote wellness? To learn more about the effects of massage therapy, you can review the Massage Therapy Foundation review article archives, read accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search PubMed for massage therapy studies.
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