Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2010

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LOG ON TO MASSAGEPROFESSIONALS.COM AND SHARE IN THE RESEARCH-RELATED CONVERSATIONS. PREVAILING THEMES OF HIGHLIGHTING Massage for acute care was a persistent theme spoken from the Highlighting podium, in posters, and throughout an entire breakout session. Hospitals investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of providing both in-patient and out- patient massage therapy. Patient satisfaction was a dominant outcome. Keynote Willem Fourie, a physical therapist from South Africa, spoke of using manual fascia techniques with breast cancer surgical patients, and shared ultrasound images of a cancer patient and her scar tissue before and after manual therapy. It was thrilling to see changes in the density of the scar tissue and the increased continuity and glide of tissue as it normalized post- massage. Perhaps more researchers and clinicians will now employ ultrasounds to map the progress of scar tissue and healing with hands-on therapies after seeing what data can be made available through ultrasound technology. Five oral research presentations spanned the topic of massage therapy in hospital settings and acute care patients. The following are summary statements from some of the studies presented during the breakout session: • "Massage therapy may improve the patient experience after colorectal surgery. Results of the study indicated that the massage therapy group had greater improvement in values than the control group [20 minutes of personal attention]. It was feasible to have a massage therapist see patients in the colorectal surgery units. Patient feedback was very positive." Nikol Delzer, LMT, Enhancing Healing for Colorectal Surgery Patients: The Results of a Randomized Controlled Study of Massage Therapy with Colorectal Surgery Patients. • "There are benefits to cardiac surgical patients for using massage therapy to reduce pain, anxiety, and tension … Significant benefits for decreasing pain may be better when providing massage therapy later in the hospital stay (day 3 or 4 versus day 2)." Liza Dion, RMT, Nancy Rodgers, CMT, Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain, Anxiety and Tension with Cardiac Surgery Patients: A Randomized Study. • "Massage therapy can provide pain relief and relaxation, support a patient's emotional well-being and recovery, and can ultimately aid in the healing process for hospitalized patients." Rose Adams, MHA, BSW, LMT, Barb White, MS, LMT, Cynthia Beckett, PhD, RNC-OB, LCCE, The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in Acute Care Setting. Five of 28 posters presented data on the effectiveness and feasibility of massage therapy for inpatient and outpatient and pre- and post- operative care. Summary statements from the poster sessions include: • "Massage with or without guided imagery produces an immediate reduction in self-reported anxiety in patients awaiting cardiac catheterization, regardless of patient hospitalization status (inpatient versus outpatient)." Karen Armstrong, NCTMB, et al., Reducing Anxiety in Pre-operative Cardiac Catheterization Patients Following Massage and Guided Imagery. • "Inpatient massage at the patient bedside produces an immediate reduction in self-reported pain and anxiety levels, regardless of length of massage (15 versus 30 minutes), however a more pronounced effect was found with the longer massage." Karen Armstrong, NCTMB, et al., Assessing the Effectiveness of Inpatient Massage. • "Patients undergoing intra-arterial chemotherapy to treat primary glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most fatal intracranial tumor, experience anxiety and back pain related both to disease and treatment … This case report illustrates how … specific situational anxieties and pains were palliated through a combined use of reflexology and massage therapy provided bedside during hospital admissions." Anthony Balluff, ARCB, Jeremy E. Miller, NCTMB, and Jeffery A. Dusek, PhD, Inpatient Hospital Treatment of Brain Tumor: Integrating Reflexology and Massage. IN CLOSING Attendees participated in the formation and testing of hypotheses, and the debates that ensued will inspire research into the future. One example that incited debate at Highlighting is that fascia is a sensory organ, a complex communications system capable of mediating musculoskeletal function, and is not to be ignored or left out of anatomy texts. Groups formed at Highlighting are putting ideas into action: one such group is contemplating rewriting CONSORT guidelines for massage therapy research publications. Another is putting together a journal club with monthly meetings. Dilemmas were identified: hospital internships are being developed, yet there are relatively few employment opportunities currently available in hospitals. Raising the questions and engaging in public discourse may contribute to solving this issue. Highlighting was an interactive experience that brought the scientific process to life. 1984, Diana Thompson has created a varied and interesting career out of massage: from specializing in pre- and postsurgical lymph drainage to teaching, writing, consulting, and volunteering. Her consulting includes assisting insurance carriers on integrating massage into insurance plans and educating researchers on massage therapy theory and practice to ensure research projects and protocols are designed to match how we practice. Contact her at A licensed massage practitioner since connect with your colleagues on 121

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