Massage Therapy

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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...
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