resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Conversation With Dr. Betty Edmond
This month's column is an exclusive interview with Betty Edmond MD, newly elected CEO/President of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas.
Qigong for Substance Abuse
It is commonly believed that substance abuse, in addition to harming one’s physiological state, hurts the spirit. There is also a belief that one’s spirit does not weaken due to substance abuse, but rather, the person finds solace in addiction due to an already weak spirit.
Low Back Pain in Running Athletes
After 7 million years of adapting to upright postures, the lumbar spine and pelvis have become remarkably adept at managing ground-reactive forces associated with running.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Country Needs Us Between Elections, Too; Continuing Care: We Aren't There Yet; Our Associations Need to Do More.
An Opportunity & a Responsibility
Nearly 80 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose every day, and spine-related pain is one of the principle drivers of opioid use. This unfortunate situation creates both an opportunity and a responsibility.
True Practice Mobility for the Chiropractic Profession
When natural disasters occur, chiropractors can literally travel to the other side of the world to offer humanitarian relief in less than a day. The chiropractor's license to legally practice, however, can't make it past the state line.
News in Brief
Updated Neck Pain & Whiplash Guideline; Attention, IHS DCs; New VP of Institutional Advancement At Palmer; N.J. DC Interns At U.S. Olympic Training Center; Chiropractic Society Of R.I. On The Front Lines.
Prepare for the End, From the Beginning: Wealth Building and Retirement with the Tao
Yin and yang flow into and out from one another continually. Beginnings become endings and endings become beginnings again. Wholeness and cycles are the nature of Tao.
Five Branches University Has First Hospital TCM Residency
Established in 1984, Five Branches University (FBU) has campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose, Calif., which serve the communities of Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay, and Silicon Valley.
Anti-Aging With Dr. Ping Zhang
Jennifer Waters, TCM practitioner and writer of the Acupuncture Today column, "Talking With the Masters" sat down with Dr. Ping Zhang to discuss aniti-aging with acupuncture.
Shoulder Rehab: Start With the Scapula
The scapula is an incredible display of elegance and movement within the biomechanics of human motion. It's evolved for mobility and stability in the scapulo-thoracic region, giving us the ability to do things that are uniquely human, such as throwing with accuracy.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 2)
Protocols & treatment Timing
Flirting With Alternative Therapies
There are about as many adjunct therapies being marketed to acupuncturists as there are acupuncturists. While some may remain purist in their application of traditional Chinese medicine, others choose to explore new horizons of treatment.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 1)
The earliest Chinese reference to channels is in the Mawangdui Medical Manuscripts,1 which are dated to the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (475 BC-221 AD). The text presents 11 channels. There are no acupuncture points listed in those channels.
The Case Report: A Valuable Tool
Case reports are a valuable form of descriptive research. The most basic form of practice-based research, a case report is a detailed account of the history, presenting symptoms, assessment, observations, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient, discussed in the context of prior and potential future research.
Another Step Forward for Chiropractic
Chiropractic is now available to 86,000-plus Latter-Day Saints missionaries and you are invited to become a provider. LDS membership in not required; our only concern is that our missionaries get the best quality care available.
Crow Like the Rooster
As we welcome in the Year of the Rooster, we look at some of its major characteristics: confidence and communication, which suits the image we have of the Rooster...strutting in the farmyard, crowing to the others that it's time to wake up.
Let's Clear Up the Collection Confusion
This is an often-misunderstood practice swirling with misinformation. First, a few basics: Insurance is a contract between the patient and the insurance company. The insurance company is simply making a payment for services or care on behalf of the patient.
A New Year and Vision for the ACA
Inadequate pain management coupled with the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has taken a severe toll on the lives of millions of people in the United States. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids.
The winter season is upon us and offers unique challenges for the clinician and patient alike. To effectively navigate through the winter season there are two main TCM medicinals, Huang Qi and Gan Jiang, to consider, as well as two important formulas which feature these two TCM treasures.
An Education in Gluten Sensitivity
A relatively new syndrome officially documented as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or gluten sensitivity (GS) was officially recognized and published in the new list of gluten-related disorders in 2012.
Nutrition for Menopause: Front-Line Therapy for All Phases
Of all the changes women experience during their reproductive life, there is no doubt the most dreaded are the three phases of menopause. This is not surprising since all of the symptoms associated with menopause are replete with unpleasantness.
The Effect of Massage Therapy Following DOMS
Contributed by April Neufeld, BS, LMT, BCTMB; Natalie Lorick, LMT; Derek R. Austin, PT, DPT, MS, BCTMB, CSCS, Massage Therapy Foundation Contributors
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a commonly expected muscle condition that affects people who engage in sudden or intense exercise that doesn't fit with the person's normal physical activity. Although DOMS frequently passes within 24-48 hours, most people experience pain, tenderness, stiffness, edema, muscle weakness, and discomfort in gait as part of the normal inflammatory reaction of aggressive activity.
The micro-damage caused to the primary muscles used in the exercise is thought to be caused by the most intense of exercises, but it can actually be experienced by people of all fitness levels.
Researchers have documented many different interventions to mitigate the DOMS effect including massage therapy. However, little is understood on how massage therapy relates to gait patterns following DOMS. This month, the Massage Therapy Foundation's research column reviews a study originally published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation1 that investigated whether massage therapy affects gait and pain in participants with DOMS.
Participants & Methods
The researchers recruited 21 students attending Kyungnam University in Changwon, Korea, who did not usually perform lower-leg exercise and were otherwise healthy (age, height, weight, and gender were all documented). The participants were randomly selected into a control (n=10) and experimental groups (n=11). The researchers write that they had participants walk up and down a five-story building 20 times (isotonic exercise) to induce DOMS. Then, the individuals in the experimental group received 15 minutes of massage therapy.
The massage therapy techniques consisted of "light stroking, milking, friction, and skin rolling" for 15 minutes on the dominant gastrocnemius. As our readers know from reading other research studies, it is reasonable to expect a detailed description of each technique and the duration in which the technique was used. Unfortunately, a detailed description was not included, and no mention was made of the qualification of the person performing the massage.
While the experimental group received 15 minutes of massage, the control group received a sham TENS treatment for 15 minutes, where the TENS pads were attached to gastrocnemius, but not actually engaged.
Following treatment, the researchers measured the sensitivity of pain and performed a gait analysis. Using an algometer, they measured pain sensitivity at the middle bell of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius, and found there was a significant difference between the massage group and the control, indicating that massage may reduce pain after DOMS.
Analysis on the gait examined both the time and spatial variables. The authors wrote, "In the temporal variables, there [were] statistical differences in ambulation, heel on/off time, and stride velocity but no differences in step time, cycle time, swing time, stance time, single support time, [or] double support time."
The results of the spatial variables showed that massage therapy may have had positive influence on the gait pattern. No significant correlations were found between pain and gait.
The study authors referenced several other studies of massage therapy and its effectiveness on pain, including: massage therapy for pain treating patients with gout, massage therapy decreasing the intensity of muscle soreness at 48 hours following exercise, and a study of a sports massage program that showed effectiveness in treating DOMS. But they did not discuss if the massage techniques used in those studies matched the techniques used in their study.
The researchers also briefly discussed their reasons for not choosing to use a visual analogue scale (VAS) as a measure of pain, indicating that a previous study had outlined it as a poor tool. This was a limitation on their part, as VAS scales are commonly used in therapeutic settings and help medical providers compare the results of other studies and might be more applicable to a clinical setting.
Using a digital algometer, although perhaps more objective for measuring pain in a study, would not interfere with the standard VAS results, and are not commonly used in most clinics (at least in the U.S.).
The significant limitation of this study, not addressed by the authors, is the lack of detail on the massage techniques used. Later in the paper, the researchers discuss the effects of massage on blood and lymph circulation, elimination on lactate accumulation, and fatigue. And although there are studies that might show this, because the authors did not describe in detail the types of massage being performed, readers are limited when comparing this study to other studies where massage is the intervention.
The authors listed skin rolling as one of their massage techniques, but there is no research cited indicating that this specific technique, or this technique in combination with others, affects lymph, inflammation, or pain. The details of each massage technique could have vastly different outcomes on the condition being studied.
Without detailed definitions of each technique, readers are left to draw their own conclusions that stroking might mean effleurage, milking might mean petrissage, and friction could be multiple different types (linear or with the direction of the muscle; cross-fiber?). And without clearly understanding how much of each technique was used on each participant, other researchers have limited ability to duplicate this study.
Another limitation already mentioned is the absence of description of the person providing the massage therapy intervention. If an untrained student were performing the massage techniques, and the researchers did not define the techniques, how are readers to understand how the techniques are performed or if they were performing the technique the same as the researchers?
If studies are to be of benefit to multiple therapists across different countries, schools, and professions, then it is essential for researchers to provide the details of all aspects of the study, especially the details of the intervention. Otherwise, what a sports massage therapist in Portland, Ore., understands as "flush" will not be understood as "effleurage" to registered massage therapist in Canada, or "gliding" to a physical therapy student in Korea.
Are all these terms describing the same technique or are they just different words in different contexts? There could be fundamental differences in the way each technique is performed and indicated (or contraindicated), and the authors also did not mention why these four techniques and not others were chosen as the intervention.
Readers of this column who might be interested in writing and submitting a case report to the Massage Therapy Foundation's case report contest should remember the importance of detailing the type of massage therapy techniques used and being sure to provide sources for each technique definition. And if you would like to see how this study compares to other studies examining massage therapy's effect on pain, please visit the Massage Therapy Foundation's review archive section or search PubMed for "massage therapy."
This synopsis is authored by volunteers from the MTF's Writing Workgroup. To learn more visit their columnist page.