Research

Posted: August 25, 2017

Acupuncture helps PMS!

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Posted: September 30, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month, which was designed to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. 

Massage therapy has been shown to help reduce physical discomfort in women with breast cancer, as well as offer many other benefits for breast cancer patients.

This recent case report explores dynamic angular petrissage occurring after surgery for breast cancer. 

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Posted: June 2016

Opioids Ineffective for Low Back Pain

People with chronic low back pain are sometimes prescribed opioids for pain relief, but a review of studies has found them general ineffective. 

The analysis, in JAMA Internal Medicine, pooled data from 20 high-quality randomized control trials that included 7,295 participants.  

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Posted: June 12, 2016

Stroke Awareness Month

June is Stroke Awareness Month, created by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to raise awareness of the symptoms of and treatment for stroke. 

This study protocol of a randomized control trial explores the question "Does touch massage facilitate recovery after stroke?" This study evaluated the effects of touch massage after stroke as compared to sham treatment.

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Posted: May 13, 2016

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

May is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, and the MS Society of Canada is taking awareness to the next level by pledging to do whatever it takes to end MS. Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, and the MS Society will be raising funds in support of the high-quality MS research being led by homebred researchers worldwide. 

Massage therapy is a noninvasive treatment that many individuals with MS use to supplement their conventional treatment. This research article explores the effects of massage therapy on multiple sclerosis patents' quality of life and leg function.  

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New Massage Therapy Study

"The Impact of Massage Therapy on Function in Pain Populations - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Control Trials: Part 1, Patients Experiencing Pain in the General Population" has recently been published in the journal Pain Medicine. 

This is the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by the Samueli Institute and commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and is the first in a three part series.

This systematic review and meta-analysis is the first to rigorously assess the quality of massage therapy research and evidence for its efficacy in treating pain, function-related and health-related quality of life outcomes across all pain populations 

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Posted: February 12, 2016

Heart Month

February is Heart Month which is the Heart and Stroke Foundation's key opportunity to support life-saving research and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke within communities across Canada. 

Research suggests that massage therapy significantly reduced the pain, anxiety and muscular tension, and improves relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery.

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Posted: January 07, 2015
Diagnosing and Dealing with Episacroiliac Lipoma

Anyone who performs bodywork has encountered this situation at one time or another: The client presents with an episode of sharp, severe, low back pain.There may be a history of pain with lifting or prolonged sitting and the pain is usually greater on one side more than the other. The pain may radiate into the buttocks and sacrum and perhaps to the lateral thigh and into the lower extremity. The pain may worsen with extended sitting and with any forward flexion of the spine. Continue Reading...



Posted: February 26, 2014
Acupuncture is Overlooked for Osteoarthritis
Co-researcher Dr. Hugh MacPherson noted, “Most international guidance for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee doesn’t include acupuncture, but it has probably got the best outcome across all the physical therapies.” Continue Reading...


Posted: September 19, 2012

Massage and the Cancer Patient

Massage and bodywork are increasingly important weapons in the fight against one of the most prevalent diseases in America today. Therapists seeing clients with cancer tout the many benefits. It reduces stress and relaxes patients. It bolsters the immune system and helps remove toxins from the body. It helps with circulation and restores energy. It reduces pain and minimizes the effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. It enhances a patient's body awareness and allows them to direct energy toward healing. And in cancer patients who will die from the disease, it can help ease their final days and hours. Massage therapy is becoming an important arrow in the quiver of those treating cancer patients. The evidence covers a wide spectrum of massage therapists and bodyworkers. Continue Reading...


Understanding the healing process

Many people arrive at my office injured, afraid, frustrated, bewildered, and in pain. Occasionally, they view their bodies as enemies that have betrayed them. My job is to act as a liaison between my clients and their bodies. One of the most valuable services I offer is helping clients understand the healing process, in a meaningful way, and empowering them to get involved. Continue reading...


Deep, But Not Too Deep

Clients commonly request deep tissue massage for its lasting benefits--and it just plain feels good. But it's important to let your therapist know just how deep you want your massage. Here are some ways to help you communicate with your therapist to increase or decrease the intensity. Continue reading...


Posted: March 31, 2012

Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Dose-Finding Trial determined the optimal massage dose for management of osteoarthritis of the knee to be 60-minute sessions once weekly. The study participants showed improvements in pain and functionality scores after 8 weeks of care. Now that this dose-finding trial is complete, future research should utilize this dose to investigate the effects of massage therapy.

To view the full article, click here.


Posted: March 13, 2012

An article was published online earlier this year in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics titled "Effects of massage therapy and presence of attendant on pain, anxiety and satisfaction during labor."

The study involved 120 pregnant women, a portion of which received firm and rhythmic massage during labor in three phases. After 30 minutes of massage at each stage, the pain, anxiety and satisfaction levels were evaluated. The results suggest that massage successfully decreases pain and anxiety during labor and also increases the level of satisfaction.

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Posted: February 05, 2012
Scientists at McMaster University have found evidence that massage therapy helps to relieve pain in damaged muscles by reducing inflammation. The article, titled Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signalling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage, was published on in the journal Science Transitional Medicine on Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

The study involved administering massage therapy to the quadriceps of 11 male participants after exercise resulting in muscle damage. Samples were acquired immediately after a 10-minute massage treatment, and then after 2.5 hours. It was found that the massage treatments reduced inflammation and promoted faster healing.

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Ernst, E, Pittler, M.H.. The effectiveness of acupuncture in treating acute dental pain: a systemic review. British Dental Journal.1998 May 9;184(9): 443-447.

Hansen, E, Hansen, J.H.. Acupuncture treatment of chronic facial pain - a controlled cross-over trial. Headache.1983 March;23:66-69.

Lee, A, Done, M. The use of nonpharmacologic techniques to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting: A Meta-Analysis. Anesth Analg.1999;88:1362-1369.

Meng, C.F., Wang, D, Ngeow, J, Lao, L, Peterson, M, Paget S. Acupuncture for chronic low back pain in older patients: a randomized, controlled trial. Rheumatology. 2003;42:1508-1517.

Thomas, M, Lundberg, T. Importance of modes of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic nociceptive low back pain. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand.1994;38: 63-69.


Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Scans show that treatment regulates brain's pain centers, researchers say

Posted August 27, 2009

THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Traditional Chinese acupuncture, increasingly popular in the West for a variety of ills, eases pain by regulating key receptors in the brain, according to a new study.  The study showed that acupuncture increases the binding availability of mu-opioid receptors in regions of the brain that process and weaken pain signals -- specifically the cingulate, insula, caudate, thalamus and amygdala. By directly stimulating these chemicals, acupuncture can affect the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain, the study found.

A report on the findings is in the September issue of NeuroImage.  Using positron emission tomography scans of the brain, the researchers examined 20 women with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. The women took no new medications for their pain during the study period.  "The increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with reductions in pain," Richard Harris, a researcher at the University of Michigan's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a news release from the university.  What's more, Harris said, the findings could prompt doctors to use morphine and other opioid drugs with greater pain-killing effectiveness after treatment with acupuncture because those drugs bind to the same receptors. 

Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 2,000 years. Practitioners insert sharp, thin needles into the body at specific points. Today, people worldwide turn to acupuncture for relief from pain, allergies, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders and gynecological problems.