Foot massage to control symptoms of colorectal cancer

An RCT published in February, 2017 Internal Journal of Nursing Practice, looked at two foot massage techniques to control symptoms in patients with colorectal cancer. There were 60 subjects in three groups.

  1. Standard Care – No massage group.
  2. Classic foot massage group.
  3. Reflexology Group

Massages were administered to times a week for five weeks. The classical massage group reduced pain and distension incidence. Foot reflexology group effectively reduced pain, fatigue distension, urinary frequency and controlled quality of life.

Massage for hospitalized neonates

A recent NCBI systematic review of studies that assess therapeutic massage with preterm neonates showed a clear benefit which should encourage the practice of massage on this patient population. There were a total of 23 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Of note, benefits included: increased vagal activity, increased gastric activity, better neurodevelopment, a positive effect on brain development and reduced risk of neonatal sepsis. In addition, hospital stay and neonatal stress were reduced.

Swedish massage improves lives of women with breast cancer

An August 10, 2016 Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal describes a study highlighting improvements in mood disorders of women with breast cancer, who are undergoing radiotherapy. The study had 100 patients, receiving a 30-minute Swedish massage, 3x a week for 5 weeks, and a control group which received only routine care. Those receiving massage showed improved mood associated with anger, anxiety, depression and positive affect as illustrated by ACS (affective control scale) questionnaire.

Are your Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) up-to-date?

The final Omnibus rule necessitated changes to your office NPP within 60 days from September 23, 2013. If you have not updated your NPP, the Department Of Health and Human Services has templates that you can customize and that meet all regulation requirements – both in English and Spanish.  For more information visit

Flush, trash or take-back? Getting rid of unused medicines

What is the best way to get rid of medication that is expired or you no longer use? Turning to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides the best answer to this question. According to their article How to Dispose of Unused Medicines, the best option is a community-based drug “take-back” program. Information about the availability of such a program can found by searching online or asking local law enforcement, city or county government’s household trash and recycling service, hospital, clinic, or pharmacies. If this is not available, almost all medicines can be thrown in your household trash, however there are precautions to this and some medication can be flushed down the sink or toilet. For additional and more specific information about your situation, please click on the link above and learn more.

Yoga and depression

The evidence continues to demonstrate the potential health benefits of yoga. In a study highlighted in the U.S. Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus, yoga when combined with deep breathing exercises was found to ease the symptoms of depression. There are a number of proposed mechanisms whereby this therapy helps with depression from internal chemistry to the effect on the central nervous system. While those who participated in three weekly session with home practice did somewhat better than those who participated in twice weekly session with home practice, the two classes per week was still very effective in improving people’s mood. According to Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychologist who reviewed the findings of this study believes this supports yoga as a treatment “that can help the millions of people suffering from major depressive disorders around the world.

SPOKANE – Register now for free continuing education!

Join your peers on Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the Hotel RL in Spokane  for an relevant and engaging two-hour continuing education program created specifically for integrative healthcare providers!

Providers are challenged daily in assisting patients manage chronic pain as well as other complications that may derail positive outcomes. In addition, charting pain management protocols and clinically justifying the outcomes can be a challenge for the provider.

How can a provider better engage an already stressed patient? Which management plans show effective outcomes? This educational program will address these issues with effective plans, showing positive outcomes using mind-body techniques, outcomes assessment tools and more. These tools and techniques can be readily adopted into everyday practice.

The CHP Group has been working with integrative healthcare (IH) providers and providing IH-specific continuing education for over 25 years. We look forward to seeing you in Spokane for this continuing education event!

Stay for hosted drinks and appetizers!

After the continuing education concludes, we invite you to visit and network with your provider peers and enjoy hosted drinks and appetizers. Attendees have told us how much they value and appreciate these post-CE events.

Visit the registration website (button above!) for speaker bio, full schedule and other details.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Evaluating products for privacy and data security

If you’re like most people these days, it’s difficult to know what the best products are to keep your data both – personal and professional – secure. In an effort to help consumers find the best products for their security needs, Consumer Reports has begun evaluating products and services for privacy and data security. To read more about their security standards and how the program works visit

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post should not be construed as an endorsement of any product or reviewing organization. This blog post is for information only.

First choice for low back pain is non-drug treatment

The most recent guidelines for the non-invasive treatment of lower back pain from the American College of Physicians published in the February 14, 2017 Annals of Internal Medicine recommend non-drug treatment as a front line approach for acute, sub-acute and chronic lower back pain. Treatment recommendations include superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy to name a few.  They further recommend that pain medication should only be considered in patients who have failed the non-drug treatments and only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. This should include a discussion with the patient the known risks and realistic benefits of pain medication.

Australian study shows NSAIDs ineffective for back pain

An Australian study published in the January 2017 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil) relatively ineffective for treating back pain. This study examined 35 randomized, placebo-controlled trials, encompassing 6,000 patients with the goal of determining the effectiveness and safety of NSAIDs for spinal pain. The drugs failed in the treatment of back pain with the authors stating, “At present, there are no simple analgesics that provide clinically important effects for spinal pain over placebo.” Researchers also found that patients taking NSAIDs were 2.5 times more likely to have gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and bleedings, especially prevalent in the elderly population. Investigator Gustavo Machado stated, “Millions of Australians are taking drugs that not only don’t work well, they’re causing harm.”

In the US NSAIDs are the second leading cause of peptic ulcers resulting in 100,000 hospitalizations, $2 billion in additional health care costs, and 17,000 deaths each year. This new study dovetails well with George Institute for Global Health’s earlier study on acetaminophen e.g., Tylenol revealing this common drug was no better than placebo either while at the same time being the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. As Mr. Machado stated, “We need treatments that actually provide substantial relief of these people’s symptoms.” Fortunately there are many integrative healthcare approaches – including chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and massage therapy – that are effective for back pain without the side effects seen with these medications.