Massage Therapy in Children with Asthma: A systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

A 2017 meta-analysis of five databases ranging from January 1, 1990 to December 13, 2016 were reviewed. The review included 14 researches with 1299 patients. Conclusions show massage therapy has a significantly positive effect on children with asthma, improving pulmonary function of large airways and reducing plasma concentrations of PAF (platelet activating factor) and prostoglandin, which are known bronchoconstrictors and edema inducers. The search showed a need for studies with less risk of bias and better methodology to further confirm effectiveness of massage treatments for asthma. Still, compared with the control group, there was remarkable improvement with respect to pulmonary function. The calming effect of massage may be worth discussing with parents of asthmatic children.

Chronic Pediatric Asthma and Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation

A 2002 Journal of Manipulative Physiology Therapy reported a pilot study of 36 patients, age 6-17 years of age, with persistent mild to moderate asthma, who received 20 spinal manipulative therapy sessions over three months. Spinal therapy was sham SMT or active SMT. Objective lung function tests and symptom questionnaire were administered at the 12-week mark. Subjects were asked to grade symptoms and use of bronchodilator. After three months subjects rated their quality of life improved by a reported 10-28%, a 20% reduction in bronchodilator use was reported, and activity scale showed the  most improvement by 50%-75%. Pulmonologist-rated improvement was small. Asthma severity ratings reduced by 39%. Benefits lasted through the 12-month follow-up.

Although this study is small, it should be noted the recorded changes remain significantly positive and allows for a hopeful prognosis. Providers should record pediatric asthma symptoms at each visit, using best practice measures on all changes related to activities of daily living. Further research may be needed to assess which components of the chiropractic encounter are responsible for patient improvements. Improved activity scales suggests chiropractic manipulative therapies may offer significant relief to pediatric asthma patients.

Aaaa-choo! Seasonal allergies are here

Spring has sprung and it’s time to sneeze again….achoo! Runny nose, where’s the tissue… it can be a miserable time of year for seasonal allergy sufferers.  The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) provides some information here on complementary health approaches to this common problem.  There are mind and body practices to consider as well as natural products that may help.

The ‘body’ approaches of note include acupuncture and rinsing the sinuses using a neti pot, nebulizers, or spray, pump, or squirt bottles. As a safety measure when using the sinus rinsing devices, it’s important to use sterile saline water or over-the-counter nasal rinsing products with sterile water. More information on how to rinse your sinuses safely is available here

Of the natural products that are available for seasonal allergies, the herb butterbur may be helpful, probiotics and honey have been inconsistent, and there are a number of other products such as grape seed extract, omega-3 fatty acids, astragalus, capsaicin, Pycnogenol, quercetin, spirulina, stinging nettles, and tinospora/guduchi where the evidence is either inconsistent or too limited to demonstrate if these products are helpful.

Be aware that some supplements may interact with medications and other supplements can have side effects of their own.

Patterns and Perceived Benefits of Utilizing Seven Major Complementary Health Approaches in U.S. Older Adults

Recent analysis of 2012 NIH data on integrative healthcare usage by older adults indicates that overall, 29.2% of older adults used any of seven CHA in the past year. Most commonly used CHA included herbal therapies (18.1%), chiropractic (8.4%), and massage (5.7%). More than 60% of older CHA users reported that CHA was important for maintaining health and well-being. Other perceived benefits included improving overall health and feeling better (52.3%), giving a better sense of control over health (27.4%), and making it easier to cope with health problems (24.7%).

The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The goal of this paper is to summarise the existing evidence and evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture as a clinical treatment for osteoporosis. Six English and four Chinese databases were searched from their inception to April 2017. Randomized controlled trials were included, in which warm acupuncture, needling or electroacupuncture were compared with sole Western medicine with osteoporosis.

This results of this present systematic review indicated that acupuncture could be an effective therapy for treating osteoporosis. Warm acupuncture seemed to more effective than electroacupuncture and needling for osteoporosis in comparison to sole Western medicine.

Effects of Massage in Reducing the Pain and Anxiety of the Cardiac Surgery Critically Ill-a Randomized Controlled Trial

Patients were randomly allocated to standard care plus either two 20-minute hand massages (experimental), two 20-minute hand holdings (active control), or two 20-minute rest periods (passive control/standard care). Pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, anxiety, muscle tension, and vital signs were evaluated before, after, and 30 minutes later for each intervention.

From the 83 patients recruited, 60 were randomized (20 massage, 19 hand holding, 21 standard care). After controlling for baseline scores, the massage group reported significantly lower pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and anxiety for the first data collection set compared with both hand holding and standard care (analysis of covariance, P < 0.02), with an average decrease of two points on a 0-10 scale. No statistically significant differences were noted between hand holding and standard care for any of the symptoms. Similar results were observed for the second data collection set (N = 43). Patients had decreased muscle tension post massage. Vital signs did not differ significantly between groups.

Findings suggest that a 20-minute hand massage in addition to routine postoperative pain management can concomitantly reduce pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, and anxiety by two points on average on a 0-10 scale.

Movement and manual therapy for adults with arthritis: 2012 National Health Interview Survey

The study evaluates the use of manual therapies (chiropractic manipulation, massage) and movement therapies (yoga, tai chi) by people with arthritis how they may relate to their personal characteristics, and the reported emotional and physical health outcomes may differ by type of therapy.

Complementary and alternative medicine for rheumatic diseases: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

The research identified 60 good quality RCTs using CAM as intervention for patients with rheumatic diseases: acupuncture (9), Ayurvedic treatment (3), homeopathic treatment (3), electricity (2), natural products (31), megavitamin therapies (8), chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (3), and energy healing therapy (1). The studies seem to suggest a particular type of CAM, such as acupuncture, is effective and beneficial for osteoarthritis.

Acupoint Massage for Managing Cognitive Alterations in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Cognitive disorders pose a major problem in the aging population across the globe. Acupoint massage has been used to improve cognitive functions in older adults. In this study, the authors performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the usefulness of acupoint massage in preventing cognitive declines in older adults. Eight RCTs with 657 participants in total (age ≥60 years) were included.

The findings suggested that acupoint massage is an effective intervention for maintaining cognitive functions in older adults.

Acupuncture for the treatment of paraneoplastic night sweats

This case report, published in J Acupunct Meridian Studies, describes #acupuncture treatment to manage paraneoplastic night sweating secondary to pancreatic cancer. A 56 year old gentleman with a 2 month history of night sweating responded well over a 10 week course of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture was selected for symptom management after no success was achieved with pharmacological and conventional managements. The severity of night sweating had reduced from 9/10 to 1/10 on Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at the end of treatment. This case report suggests that acupuncture has a favorable effect on paraneoplastic night sweating in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and recommends further research.