Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
I just got finished with a ...
resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Peaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Does Massage Therapy Lower Blood Pressure? A Literature Review
Contributed by Derek R. Austin, PT, DPT, MS, BCTMB, CSCS, Renee Stenbjorn, BS, MPA, LMT, April Neufeld BS, LMP
If you did not already have enough reasons to get a stress-busting, mood-lifting, pain-relieving massage, this month's Massage Therapy Foundation research review details another great benefit of massage therapy. Promising research suggests that massage therapy can lower blood pressure. The study of the month explores the following questions: Is massage as effective as antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure? Does adding massage to antihypertensive drugs lower blood pressure further? The answer to these questions may be yes.
A rigorous analysis of research articles published on the topic of massage and hypertension was published in the Journal of Human Hypertension during 2014. Dr. Xing Jiang Xiong and his colleagues published the article with the title, "Massage therapy for essential hypertension: a systematic review." A systematic review aims to provide an exhaustive summary of current literature relevant to a research question. The question under study is how effective and safe is massage therapy for essential hypertension, meaning hypertension that has no known cause. The authors note that hypertension is the leading risk factor for mortality worldwide. Preliminary research has shown that complementary medicine approaches such as yoga, qigong, Tai Chi, acupuncture, and moxibustion may lower blood pressure. The researchers performed the first systematic review of randomized clinical trials to determine whether massage can combat hypertension.
The authors searched a large number of databases for randomized controlled trials published in English or Chinese. To be included, a study had to involve massage as an intervention for participants diagnosed with essential hypertension. The massage intervention had to be compared to a control group not receiving massage. Treatment duration of the analyzed studies ranged from a minimum of 10 days up to 1 year. Studies were excluded if the patients involved had a history of heart attack, kidney failure, liver failure, arrhythmia, or heart failure.
A total of 24 articles were selected and then analyzed for their risk of bias. The studies included a total of 1,962 patients with essential hypertension. Treatment groups included either massage alone or massage combined with antihypertensive drugs. Massage interventions were widely variable between studies, ranging from 1 hour per week to 45 minutes each day. Control groups received no intervention or antihypertensive drugs. Most studies were determined to be of generally poor methodological quality; for example, only 3 of the 24 studies included follow-up. The authors developed four categories of research, each compiled and analyzed using the process called meta-analysis. This statistical process comprises contrasting and combining results from different studies in the hope of identifying patterns among study results. Due to the statistical nature of this approach, only trials with quantitative data of blood pressure measurements could be included in the analysis.
The first group, of five studies, compared massage with no intervention. Only three of these studies provided blood pressure data in numerical terms. The researchers combined the results of these three trials and performed a meta-analysis to determine significance. The meta-analysis indicated no significant for massage in lowering blood pressure compared to no intervention.
The second group, of nine trials, compared massage to antihypertensive drugs, and six of these provided figures appropriate for meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed that massage lowers systolic blood pressure better than antihypertensive drugs by an average of 3.5 mm Hg (p=0.0004). There was no significant effect on lowering diastolic blood pressure (p=0.14).
The third group, of eleven trials, compared antihypertensive drugs to massage combined with antihypertensive drugs, and six provided numerical values appropriate for meta-analysis. The meta-analysis indicated that massage plus antihypertensive drugs was superior compared to the antihypertensive drugs alone. Adding massage to antihypertensive drugs reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 6.9 mm Hg (p=0.0001) and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3.6 mm Hg (p=0.005). A meta-analysis of four of the other trials, which summarized the effect of massage based on grades of efficacy, also indicated that massage combined with antihypertensive drugs lowered blood pressure better than antihypertensive drugs alone (p=0.0002).
The final group, of five trials, reported adverse effects, and the authors' analysis showed that massage was potentially safer than antihypertensive drugs. While this conclusion is limited by the small number of trials reporting adverse events, massage may provide an effective alternative for those who suffer serious side effects from antihypertensive drugs.
The authors conclude that combining massage with antihypertensive drugs may be more effective than using just antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure. They also conclude that massage alone appears beneficial for reducing systolic blood pressure when compared with antihypertensive drugs.
One of the main strengths of this article is the thoroughness of its search for research articles and its inclusion of research articles published in either Chinese or English. Including Chinese language articles greatly expanded the number of articles included in the review, as massage is frequently studied in China. Other strengths include the rigorous assessment of methodological quality and the use of meta-analysis to combine published research data.
The authors report that the primary weakness of their review is the poor quality of the original studies. They note that many of the included trials did not report randomization procedures, concealment of allocated groups, whether individuals dropped out, pre-trial estimation of sample size. The most important weakness of the included studies was the lack of follow-up; it remains unclear whether massage would continue to have any effects on blood pressure beyond the end of the treatment period.
Due to the wide use and acceptance of massage therapy in general, massage could be an important adjunct therapy for treating hypertension in the primary care setting. Further research can help determine exactly how effective massage is in lowering blood pressure. A cost-efficacy analysis would also be useful, since essential hypertension is tremendously common, and yet many effective antihypertensive drugs are quite expensive. Future research will also help determine the most effective dose of massage and how massage interacts with different classes of antihypertensive drugs.
Not sure you understand the difference between a confidence interval, p-value, t-test, and ANOVA? MTF offers a course on the Basics of Research Literacy that teaches massage therapists and educators how to incorporate principles of research literacy into your practice and teaching. In this online, 8-hour, NCBTMB-approved workshop, you will be introduced to basic research vocabulary and concepts. Once you understand the terminology, you will learn how to use databases to look up research, evaluate the validity of published research articles, and apply research findings to improve massage outcomes. Your massage therapy practice can be improved by becoming more research literate.
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.