Massage Therapy

Annotated Bibliography and Critique: Massage Therapy September 19th, 2012 Introduction The alternative therapy I chose to research was Massage therapy. The Oxford Dictionary of Psychology defines massage therapy as “manual manipulation of soft tissue to promote physical and mental health and well-being. Forms of massage therapy can be traced back to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hindu, and Japanese civilizations” (“massage therapy”, 2008).
I chose to do this topic for my annotated bibliography because I am interested in learning more about the benefits of massage and to understand ways of healing pain and discomfort through touch and manual manipulation. I believe that massage therapy is not only helpful in the relief of pain and discomfort but also helps in the emotional maintenance of romantic relationships. Article One Ho, Y. , Lee, R. , Chow, C. , & Pang, M. (2010). Impact of massage therapy on motor outcomes in very low-birthweight infants: Randomized controlled pilot study.
Pediatricsinternational, 52, 378-385. The purpose of this randomized trial was to “investigate the efficacy of massage therapy on stable preterm VLBW infants in promoting motor development, weight gain, and earlier discharge from the hospital” (Ho et al. , 2010, p. 378). Ho et al. suggest that “it is generally accepted that infants at 32 weeks gestational age and beyond may benefit from massage therapy” (Ho et al. , 2010, p. 378). This was a randomized controlled intervention pilot trial that studied infants whose gestational age was between 25 and 34 weeks with VLBW.

Two types of massage interventions were performed on separate groups of infants for 15 minutes in duration. One intervention being 5 minutes of massage therapy with tactile stimulation in the first and third phases and physical activity phase in the second phase and the other therapy (sham treatment) consisted of gentle still touch producing no indentation in the skin. Each treatment was done an hour after feedings. Daily caloric intake was recorded as well as bodyweight before intervention, at 36 weeks PCA, and after intervention.
The results of this study were shown to be that out of the 24 infants that were involved, the “infants with poor initial motor performance had significantly more improvement in motor outcomes and shorter length of hospital stay following massage therapy than sham treatment” (Ho et al. , 2010, p. 381) Article One Critique Strengths of this article were the thorough explanation of the therapies done with the infants. This allows for easy replication of the study should anyone try and implement these types of massage therapies in hospital NICU’s.
This article also outlined implications for future research suggesting that a large sample size would be beneficial for another study to have more accurate results. The author’s use and interpretation of the evidence lead to the same conclusion as was given in the conclusion. Appropriate methods to gather evidence was used and measurements were done at appropriate growth stages. I believe that the results of this study were congruent with what the conclusion stated in the end.
Shortcomings of this article are stated within the article saying that “the effect of massage on preterm infants’ motor developmental outcomes thus remains uncertain, and a study with a more rigorous study design is warranted” (Ho et al. , 2010, p. 378). Excluding certain infants from the study I believe was also a short coming in this article. They limited infants that had maternal drug addictions, congenital abnormalities, and genetic disorders. This was a limitation to this study because it didn’t allow for results to show if massage therapy could benefit these types of conditions in newborns.
Limiting infants such as ones with congenital abnormalities may have allowed the results to show better growth in the overall group. For future studies infants with conditions such as congenital abnormalities or maternal drug addiction could be included as a third subgroup for testing of massage therapy to see if the benefits of this alternative therapy aids in their growth and development. Article Two Munk, N. , Kruger, T. , & Zanjani, F. (2011). Massage therapy usage and reported health in older adults.
The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 17(7), 609- 616. A randomized study was done to examine the impact of massage therapy in older adults with persistent pain compared to persistent pain clients who have not sought out the use of alternative therapies such as massage therapy. This article suggests that “high rates of persistent and acute pain have been reported by users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) including recipients of massage therapy (MT), with pain being the primary reason some adults utilize CAM treatments” (Munk et al. 2011, p. 609). Participants of this study were 60 – 92years from Lexington, Kentucky either from 500 randomly selected Feyette County voters or from surveys given out at massage therapy clinics. Surveys and questions were dispersed to each participant and answers were recorded. The results of this study were “mean annual income and years of education were significantly higher for those who utilized MT in the past year compared to those who did not indicate MT usage in the past year” (Munk et al. , 2011, p. 611).
Furthermore, “participants who utilized MT in the past year had significantly higher incomes, more years of education, and greater cumulative CAM usage than those who did not report massage usage” (Munk et al. , 2011, p. 612). Article Two Critique The strengths of this article were that it suggested future studies to look into things such as policy change that would help with older adults being able to afford massage therapy or be covered under their benefits. Another strength of this article was that it lists its limitations, allowing future studies to build off of the limitations they had and continue with the study.
Shortcomings of this article were that it didn’t talk much about the positives that older adults experience from massage therapy. I would have found it more beneficial to understand how older adults benefited from massage therapy in regards to their persistent pain. Another shortcoming of this article, as stated on page 609, is that “due to the limited existence of evidence-based studies, the benefits of MT are not well understood for older adults, especially in regards to pain” (Munk et al. , 2011, p. 609).
As well, a wider variety of patients could be used to see how different types of people or conditions could benefit from massage therapy. This article was limited to only the Kentucky population rather than a wider variety of people. With this study being centered around a survey and data analysis I feel that surveys could have been sent out worldwide to get a better understanding of massage therapy and its benefits on a wide variety of conditions. More shortcomings were that there was no real measure of pain or how long it lasted for in the participants.
This makes me wonder about the authors’ conclusion of massage therapy being “associated with self-report of less limitation due to physical or emotional issues” (Munk et al. , 2011, p. 614). The last short coming of this article was that there was no actual controlled massage therapy taking place, rather it was just assumed through self reports that massage therapy aided in the management of persistent pain. Article Three Sefton, J. , Yarar, C. , Berry, J. , & Pascoe, D. (2010). Therapeutic massage of the neck and shoulders produces changes in peripheral blood flow when assessed with dynamic infrared thermography.
The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 16(7), 723-732. The objective of this repeated-measures crossover experimental design study was to “determine the effect of therapeutic massage on peripheral blood flow (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 723). It is suggested that “MT may improve circulation to damaged or painful tissues, and thereby improve the delivery of metabolic fuels and gas in addition to accelerated waste removal”( Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 724). “Thus, massage treatment may improve tissue function and potentiate tissue repair by removing barriers to healing processes” (Yarar et al. 2010, p. 724). 17 volunteers were chosen for this study. “Using a blinded, randomized crossover design, each subject completed the control (C), light touch (LT) and massage (MT) conditions on 3 separate days, at least 1 week apart” (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 724). The participants were then scanned by dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) and anterior, posterior and lateral thermal images were taken. “The key finding of this investigation was that the MT condition produced significantly higher skin temperatures when compared to the control condition in five zones” (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 27). “Importantly, significant changes were found in zones 9 and 13, areas adjacent to the massaged areas that did not receive massage treatment” (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 727-728). “These results suggest that a 20-minute MT protocol can increase skin temperature and peripheral blood perfusion to both the areas receiving massage treatment as well as areas adjacent to the treatment” (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 728). “The second key finding in this investigation was that the LT condition did not differ significantly from the C condition” (Yarar et al. , 2010, p. 728). Article Three Critique
The strengths and shortcomings of this article were that it was, to me, very difficult to read with the abbreviations throughout. There was only one method used for measuring the temperature of the skin following massage treatment after a few different methods were mentioned in the beginning. The strengths were that it outlined the changes in every zone after treatment, making it clear what areas benefited from treatment. Much time was taken into the discussion part to better understand the results that came of this study. The graphs on pages 729 and 730 are a great way of showing readers the different affects each treatment had on the zones.
The use of DIRT to measure the surface temperature without touching the skin was beneficial to this study because it does not require direct touch to the skin. This allows for accurate results because contact with the skin could possibly increase temperature readings. However, I think further study into other methods of taking temperature could have been done to have more options and a wider variety of results. Different variety of massage therapies, such as relaxation massage versus deep tissue massage, could bring about different results as well. Perhaps with deep tissue massage arterial blood flow would be encouraged throughout the body.
The final shortcoming of this article I thought to be the small sample size of 17 participants. However, results were rather accurate due to each participant experiencing each of the 3 treatment types. Application to health care I believe these articles are all applicable to health care because each one is related to a type of condition or illness that could benefit from massage therapy. Low birth weight infants are born every day and finding an alternative therapy to helping with growth and development would help in reducing medical costs and helps in shortening hospital stays for the families affected.
Aging adults are often affected by persistent pain from ware on their bones and joints. As an alternative of using harsh prescription medications, massage therapy would help with medical costs as well as lessen the complications and undesirable side effects that come with taking pills all the time. And lastly, massage therapy being used to help with peripheral blood flow to areas that may have little to no circulation can help with lessoning the chance of DVTs, decrease medical costs and improve healing time. Conclusion
In conclusion, massage therapy is effective in helping low birth weight babies with gaining weight and having shorter hospital stays as well as improvement in management of persistent pain and increase in peripheral blood flow. More studies could be done in regards to other positive effects that massage therapy has such as, mental and emotional health and well being. The articles reviewed in this annotated bibliography showed that very low-birth weight infants can benefit from massage in regards to promoting motor development and weight gain.
Massage therapy in older adults experiencing persistent pain, according to self reported findings, improves limitation due to physical or emotional issues. And therapeutic massage helps with increased surface temperature aiding in peripheral blood flow. References Ho, Y. , Lee, R. , Chow, C. , & Pang, M. (2010). Impact of massage therapy on motor outcomes in very low-birthweight infants: Randomized controlled pilot study. Pediatrics international, 52, 378-385. Massage therapy. (2008). In A. Colman (Ed. ), A Dictionary of Psychology (3rd ed. ). Retrieved from http://library. troyal. ca:2139/view/10. 1093/acref/9780199534067. 001. 0001/acref- 9780199534067-e-9168? rskey=9C7gUq&result=1&q=massage%20therapy Munk, N. , Kruger, T. , & Zanjani, F. (2011). Massage therapy usage and reported health in older adults. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 17(7), 609-616. Sefton, J. , Yarar, C. , Berry, J. , & Pascoe, D. (2010). Therapeutic massage of the neck and shoulders produces changes in peripheral blood flow when assessed with dynamic infrared thermography. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 16(7), 723-732.

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