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Massage, myotherapy and other bodywork.

Zech A, Venter R, de Villiers JE, Sehner S, Wegscheider K and Hollander K (2018)

Motor skills of children and adolescents are influenced by growing up barefoot or shod. Front. Pediatr. 6:115. doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00115

Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between growing up barefoot or shod and the development of motor performance during childhood and adolescence.

Methods: Habitual barefoot and shod children and adolescents between 6 and 18 years were recruited in South Africa and Germany. Participants completed balance, standing long jump and 20 m sprint tests in barefoot and shod conditions. Outcomes were analyzed in separate mixed-effects linear regressions for three age groups according to stages of development (6-10, 11-14, and 15-18 years). All models were adjusted for confounders: sex, ethnicity, BMI, PAQ score and order of tests (barefoot vs. shod).

Results: Three hundred and eight-five habitually barefoot and 425 habitually shod children participated. Significant age by footwear effects were found for the jump (p = 0.032) and sprint test (p = 0.041). Habitually barefoot children aged 6-10 years scored higher in the balance test (p = 0.015) and standing long jump (p = 0.005) whereas habitually shod children sprinted faster (p < 0.001). Faster sprint times were found for habitually shod participants between 11 and 14 years (p < 0.001). Habitually barefoot adolescents between 15 and 18 years of age showed a greater long jump distance (p < 0.001) but slower sprint times (p = 0.014) than shod adolescents.

Conclusions: The results emphasize the importance of footwear habits for the development of motor skills during childhood and adolescence. Regular physical activities without footwear may be beneficial for the development of jumping and balance skills, especially in the age of 6 to 10 years.

Baskwill A, Vanstone M. 'Just don't be creepy':

A phenomenological study of the experiences of men in massage therapy. Journal of and Integrative Medicine, 2018;15(1):jcim-2017-0075.

Background: Societal expectations around traditional binary gender roles result in some professions being considered 'men's work' or 'women's work'. Massage therapy (MT) is one such profession that, despite being predominantly female, is joined by an increasing number of men with a desire to help others.

Methods: This descriptive phenomenological study asked male massage therapists in Ontario, Canada, about their experience of gender in their professional lives. Fourteen men shared their experiences of practice, which included discriminatory hiring and patient preferences for female practitioners. These issues resulted in difficulty establishing a clinical practice. To create a successful practice, men described the need for professionalism, clear communication, and a comfortable treatment environment.

Results and conclusions: Researchers should explore the impact of discrimination on men in MT, patient preferences based on the therapist's gender, and the role of education in perpetuating societal heterosexual norms. Finally, as with any shift in culture, all levels of organization must take action to remove discrimination and bias within the profession of MT.

Pure E, Terhorst L, Baker N.

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

Interview Survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2018, 37:96-102.

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

Objectives: To describe personal characteristics and predictors of manual and movement therapy use for people with arthritis, and to compare the use of manual versus movement therapy to improve physical and emotional health outcomes for people with arthritis.

Methodology: CAM respondents with arthritis were identified from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n = 8229). Data were analyzed to determine the overall percentages of CAM users, and to examine the associations between use/nonuse using multivariable linear regressions.

Results: White, well-educated, physically active females were more likely to use both types of therapy. Movement therapy users reported positive emotional health outcomes twice as much as manual therapy users and 10% more reported positive physical health outcomes.

Conclusion: While both movement and manual therapies can have positive effects on people with arthritis, it appears that active therapies are more beneficial than passive therapies.

Lea J.

Understanding therapeutic massage as a form of bodywork: knowing and working on the (energy) body. Sociol Health Illn. 2018 Oct 22. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12814. [Epub ahead of print]

Bodywork - as work which takes the body as its immediate site of labour - includes forms of service work, healthcare and caring. While work on bodywork has undeniably foregrounded the body, at the same time it has worked with a relatively limited understanding of bodily knowledges and practices. This article uses a theoretical framework taken from writing on Non-Representational Theory, by Human Geographers, in order to take seriously 'alternative' body knowledge such as energy. The article draws on data from in-depth interviews conducted with therapeutic massage practitioners in order to take seriously the ways in which energy directs and shapes the work that these bodyworkers do, adding new empirical understandings of what working with energy entails. It makes a broader conceptual contribution to bodywork literatures, advocating the importance of extending analysis beyond social constructionist approaches and questioning the taken-for-granted understandings of materiality that are most often drawn upon in order to attend to the kinds of knowledge that are less easy to formalise, anomalous, or that push at the fringes of the definite or the limits of the believable, but which are nonetheless central to many different kinds of bodywork contemporarily.
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Title Annotation:RECENT RESEARCH
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Article Type:Author abstract
Date:Jun 22, 2018
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