Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Have you read the Flocking news yet?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Historical, cultural and philosophical approaches to massage

Fundamentals, task 6. Due date: June 12, 2009

Barbara Newton

Historical, cultural and philosophical approaches to massage.

“Massage is a very ancient form of treatment, so ancient that one may consider its history to be as old as mankind, and its beginning prehistoric.” (Emil and Kleen, 1921 as cited in Calvert, 2002, p.1)

As we look to the future of massage therapy and its position in the health care profession it is important to have an idea and basic understanding of the history of the different cultural and philosophical approaches, and of its evolution to the present state.

Massage has developed from the most primitive of all sensations, that of touch (Salvo, 2007, p. 82) in three main streams: that of the traditional healer, eastern massage, and western massage. This development has occurred in a cyclic manner with regard to massage usage and in general the ebb and flow of its popularity following new knowledge and technique developments.

Traditional massage (holistic)
The traditional massage had its beginning with the village healer whose modem was based around a holistic approach: physical, emotional and spiritual, with treatment incorporating herbal remedies, manipulations, energy work and calling on the spirits.

Eastern massage (holistic + energy)
Eastern massage in the ancient cultures of China, Japan, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece and Egypt (American Cancer Society, 2009) was also developed from the traditional holistic methods but from an energy movement system approach, and incorporating massage without the use of lubricants but using compression, stroking and stretching. These include: the Chinese methods of Amma/An-mo, Tai Chi and acupuncture; Japanese Shiatsu; Thai massage; and the Indian head and Ayurvedic massage.

Western massage (body, scientific)
On a completely different track western massage on the other hand has developed from the traditional techniques wholly on the physical and physiological theory. This evolved under the influence of the scientific approach to modern medicine, and the increased awareness of the human anatomy resulting in the development and basis of what is one of the most common forms of massage used and known today as Swedish massage.
Its development was started by Geek physician Hippocrates of Cos (460-375 BC) who is generally recognized as the father of Western medicine, who set in place the practice of looking at techniques, figured out how they worked and analyzed and recorded the results. He was a proponent of massage (Salvo 2007, p.14) based on scientific and physical ideas.
These ideas of Hippocrates were advanced by the efforts of Galen of Pergamon (c. AD 130-200), another Greek physician whose writings and dissections greatly improved anatomical understandings enabling the relationship of anatomy to physiology to be made.
This early development and association of massage with healing by Hippocrates and Galen happened during the peak of the Roman Empire until its collapse and the period known as the “Dark Ages” or devolution of civilization came about. A resurgence occurred in the Renaissance or enlightenment period( or 2nd cycle of popularity) when Swedish physiologist and gym instructor Pehr Ling ( 1776-1839) revived massage practice using physiological principles to explain why his “gymnastics” had health benefits. While his efforts, based on active exercises, passive stretches combined with massage, were sound, innovative and successful he failed to gain credibility from the medical fraternity due to his of lack of medical training. Despite this he gained world wide recognition of his techniques and systems through his widespread teachings in Europe.
It was Dutch physician Johann Metzger (c 1817-1893) who took massage to the next level by establishing massage as part of medical practice. Around this time French names and terms were used in massage by Metzger’s followers.

With all this growth and the favourable acceptance and use of massage from the medical fraternity massage became a victim of its own success (Fritz, 2009, p. 16) during the 1890’s with an increase in demand for trained therapists. Consequently it was necessary to establish more training facilities and this in turn resulted in a flood of therapists on the market.
Unfortunately the standards and levels of training were not always of a high quality, and dubious massage parlours recruited and exploited those from poor neighborhoods, who in turn under the guise of “massage” turned to prostitution in an effort to repay the debt incurred in their training. In addition outlandish claims were made as to what they could do, scandals abounded and the combined effects resulted in a massive negative impact on the industry, (McQuillan, 2009). And so the second trough in the industry occurred. That downward period was relatively short-lived until the early twentieth century when a number of new exciting techniques were introduced, (resulting in a resurgence occurring in massage), and in particular, among others, those by Kellogg, Vodder, Travell and Cyriax.
The American John H Kellogg (1852-1943, Sanitarium founder) developed a combination of massage therapy techniques consisting of “seven types of basic manipulations: touch, stroking, friction, kneading, vibration, percussion, and joint movements” (Wakuda, T., Wada, T., Noguchi, E., Saijo, K., 1999). He also helped popularize massage to the general public in the USA through his numerous writings (Salvo, 2007, p.9), and interests in the fledgling spa industry.
A technique called massage lymph drainage that moves the skin over the underlying tissues using repetitive and circular movements was discovered and developed by Danish practitioners Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder and which they went on to train others in. Shortly afterwards Janet Travell pioneered a technique known as trigger point release “for treating and controlling [myofascial] muscular pain”, (Pain education, 1998). She also published a huge volume of material on her work. James Cyriax was an orthopedic surgeon, who devised a specific massage technique, called deep transverse friction, for the treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and tendonitis scar tissue (Yaaqoubi, 2006). He also introduced the range of motion assessment which today is a big part of massage assessment (McQuillan, 2009).

New Zealand’s own indigenous massage is based around the traditional holistic healing approach in two main methods: Mirimiri and Romiromi.
Mirimiri is based on the four dimensions of physical, family, mental and spiritual health with emphasis on the later with regard to faith; who and what we are; where we are from and where we are going to.( Durie, n.d.) On the other hand Romiromi is a more physical technique using parts of the body: the elbows, hands, knees, feet, and tools: such as raakan (wood/stick), kohatu /toka (stones), and moana (seawater). This method is similar to the western massage deep tissue work, whereas as Mirimiri is similar to the relaxation massage. (McQuillan, 2009).

Massage New Zealand ( MNZ) evolved in 2006 out of the Therapeutic Massage Association (TMA) which had been formed following the merger in the late 1990’s of two separate professional organizations ( MNZ,2009): Massage Institute of NZ (MINZ), the first professional organization established in 1985 & the NZ Association of Therapeutic Massage Practitioners (NZATMP), established in 1989 by Jim Sanford. The main focus of this organization is on raising education standards and promoting professionalism in the industry for the whole industry (McQuillan, 2009).

Western massage had a hands on focus based loosely around biomedical and physiological models with a Swedish massage base. But contemporary massage is not just hands on massage. With recent advances it has diversified and encompasses strong elements of orthopedic assessment, and effective advanced soft tissue approaches, such as myofascial, neuro muscular, lymphatic drainage techniques.

According to Fritz (2009, p. 39) “in reality the body, mind and spirit cannot be separated” and this is born out by traditional massage which encompasses all three elements. The eastern massage in particular had its focus on the mind and /or energy work which were largely ignored by the West.
The advent of knowledge, anatomical understanding, from a medical and scientific background developed the Western focus to that of the body or physiological perspective.
Subsequent research and advancement in new techniques and therapies has edged the focus back to that of body/mind, with many of the touch therapies now combining ancient and modern techniques from both the East and West.
In essence the philosophical approaches to massage since its inception you could say have literally gone in a circle. From the traditional beginnings of a holistic approach to body / mind/spirit by healers or Shamans, and the Eastern world with more emphasis on the energy interaction component ( body /mind), to that of Western contemporary massage which had a physiological focus as the more skeptical western man obtained more medical knowledge.

With the cumulative knowledge built on from the past; research; education; complimentary and alternative medicine; and more integrative approaches to healthcare all combine to feed the current growth of the massage industry worldwide (McQuillan, 2009). At present the industry is undergoing an upward trend as “the credibility and acceptance of natural approaches to health and illness are developing, and knowledge bases are beginning to overlap” (Fritz, 2009, p.20).

In order to better understand where we are headed we definitely need to comprehend the past.

Personal thoughts
Class notes
Text books

American Cancer Society. Massage. Retrieved May 28, 2009 from http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Massage.asp

Calvert, R., (2002). The history of massage: an illustrated survey from around the world.(illust.ed.). Inner Traditions / Bear & Company.

Durie, M. Maori health models. Retrieved May 24, 2009 from http://www.maorihealth.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesma/445

Fritz, S. (2009). Mosby's Fundamental of therapeutic massage, (4th ed.). Missouri: Mosby Elsevire.

McQuillan, D., (2009). Fundaments- history of massage. Retrieved June 9, 2009 from http://elluminate.tekotago.ac.nz/play_recording_confirmation.html

Massage New Zealand, (2009). How Massage New Zealand was formed. Retrieved June 8, 2009, from http://massagenewzealand.org.nz/

Massage World. Manual lymphatic drainage- Vodder method. Retrieved June 2, 2009 from http://www.massageworld.co.uk/articles/manual-lymphatic-drainage-vodder-method

Pain Education.com. (1998). Janet Travell, M.D. “Mother of myofascial –trigger point knowledge. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from http://www.pain-education.com/100143.php

Salvo, S., (2007). Massage therapy, principles and practice, (3rd ed.). Missouri: Saunders.

Wakuda, T., Wada, T., Noguchie, E., Saijo, K., (1999). Journal of Japanese Association of Physical Medicine Balneology and Climatology, 1999. The theory and methods of massage by JH Kellogg, Vol.62, no. 2, p.80-86. Retrieved June 2, 2009 from http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/199911/000019991199A0269840.php

Yaaqoubi, S.,(2006). Cyriax massage. Retrieved May 28, 2009 from http://www.yaaqo.com/th_te_cyriax.html

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sustainable massage practice

Fundamentals, task 5. Sustainable Massage Practice.
Due date: May 25th 2009 Barbara Newton

Sustainability nowadays (post 1980’s) relates to the human integration with regard to economic, social and environmental principles. That is: "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” as defined by the 1987 World Commission on environmental development report.

Massage practice can relate in its own small way to all three areas in maintaining sustainability. Because we are dealing with people we need to look at this through the human aspect.

1) Human sustainability context
On the human side we can:
a) Support the health and well being of others by assisting in a number of ways;
· by managing client stress
· reduction of pain
· the improvement of circulation
· and in turn the cleansing of accumulated toxins.

In addition to the massage effects by;
b) Educating the client in
· body awareness – from physical & verbal assessment
· way to prevent and cope with stress as part of their stress management in conjunction with massage plan
· incorporation of exercises and stretching to compliment and maximize the massage therapeutic effect and plan.

c) As a practitioner &/or an employee ensure;
· that we continue up skill, and as an employer offer opportunity to up skill
· maintain manageable work loads
· routine self care
· work within a safe environment based around Health & safety guidelines.

As I see it this human factor has the biggest impact that massage practice can have on sustainability, by ensuring the social and economic viability of our clients through their development, productivity and social interaction.
That is: The ripple effect of them being fit and healthy and therefore able to contribute socially and economically (in an environmentally sustainable way of course) to the wider community as opposed to just solely a client/therapist benefit.

2) Social sustainability
This is all about our interaction with the people we are treating and those we associate with in a professional context.
a) Clients: How we relate to our clients and the resulting relationship ideally compounds to form a positive effect on both parties.
For example: the more comfortable the client (trust, professionalism etc) is with the therapist then the more likely a more positive outcome from the therapy.

b) If we show to our peers, other businesses and health professionals that we are competent, reliable and work well within, or above, our principles and ethics then we can strengthen our social networks and relationships.

3) Environmental sustainability.
Ideally we should use materials within our practice that are from renewable resources and not disposing of goods that cannot be reabsorbed back into the environment without ill effect.

4) Economic sustainability
At the end of the day we all wish to make a profit, in order to sustain our own living. In turn our profit helps sustain other businesses in general with regard to our living, and other health related businesses should we choose to sell health related products or equipment. Financial sustainability now encompasses the environment and social sustainability otherwise known as “triple bottom line”.

How can my massage practice be made more sustainable?
Looking at the practice there are many small ways in which I can contribute to sustainability. These include materials used such as stationery, lubricants, draping and table linens, and fuel in the form of electricity. Together they encompass two of the three areas of sustainability: environmental and economic.
I purchase all of the above and thereby contribute economically, but are they environmentally sustainable?
a) Stationery is manufactured from a renewable source (trees) and
as a waste product is easily assimilated without environmental degradation. To be more sustainable I could consider saving the use of this resource by concentrating printed material into less- by either using both sides of the paper or reducing the size of the print to use less.
The lubricant I use at present is grape seed oil imported from Italy so I am unable to say with out any surety whether or not it is environmentally sustainable. I do however occasionally use a totally natural locally sourced massage wax which I consider being environmentally sustainable, and perhaps I should be using more often.

With regard to both and in the small scale of my operation this would have very little impact on the nations and worlds sustainability.
Apart from my self there are limited recycling opportunities in the practice.

b)Draping and table linens are however another matter. Much against my personal principles of using natural fibres I have made one small concession in setting up my clinic by using artificially man made material for table covers. These materials are made from recycled materials from a non renewable resource.
My justification for initially using them was that they are affordable, are easily washed and take little time to dry, and hence less fuel resources.
At present I am using large cotton towels for draping, which do attract a considerable cost if artificial drying is required, thereby making an economical and environmental impact, some of which is more sustainable than the other. To address this my intention in the long term is to replace these drapes with something that does not use so many resources – sheets of some description that are less bulky (less water required etc) are faster to dry and require less heat to keep them warm.

c) Fuel usage is a large factor relating to economical and
environmental sustainability and the one that I feel I can make a valuable contribution to. By nature of our climate heating is a necessity. It is required to keep the clinic at an optimum temperature for my own and client comfort, and to warm draping materials. This incurs a cost, which contributes in one area while taking away in the other so in effect I believe it balances out economic sustainability. To ensure this is turned around to my advantage I have recently incorporated a more energy efficient heating system, in the form of an electric heat pump, to compliment existing heating so as to reduce “cold heating”. This has the added advantage of being able to be used as a drying mechanism for the laundry.

By actively being sustainable in my practice, socially, environmentally and economically, I am making not only a valuable contribution our clients wellbeing but to that of “our planet”

Personal thoughts
Class notes


McQuillan, D., (2009)). Retrieved May 22, 2009 from http://elluminate.tekotago.ac.nz/play_recording_confirmation.html

Wikipedia, Retrieved May 20, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fundamentals Blog: Task 4: The ethics of professional practice. Due date: May 20th 2009
Barbara Newton

Ethics are a set of principle or system of moral values with respect to their rightness and wrongness of certain action ( Dictionary Reference), defined as rules or standards, of expected conduct governing the conduct of an individual, groups, or members of a profession ( Merriam Webster, McQuillan ( 2009) and Salvo (2007).
For the purposes of our study the ethical considerations for massage therapy fall into four main categories: client orientated care; therapeutic relationship; scope of practice; and ethical decision making. Here in New Zealand for registered therapists and members these are mapped out by the Massage New Zealand ( MNZ) Code of Ethics.

1) Client orientated care“ A practitioner shall endeavor to serve the best interests of their client at all times and to provide the highest quality service possible”( MNZ, Code of ethics)
Treatment must first and fore mostly focus on the best interests of the client: according to their goals, be undertaken with respect, and ensuring all communications are clear and understood especially when denoting clear boundaries with regard to role, responsibilities, expectations and limitations to the client, and that this is done with compassion and awareness of power differentials.

2) Therapeutic relationship
The therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client is all about trust, integrity, experience and whether or not he client feels comfortable in all aspects of the treatment by the therapist. This is probably the most important category and consists of two areas: professionalism and informed consent.

a) Professionalism is conveyed to the client through image and behaviour.
As the massage industry is an emerging one it must differentiate from itself from other health providers by, at least meeting expectations but preferably exceeding them, in the therapists presentation, appearance, attitude and behaviour.
Image: clean, hygienic, tidy therapist and premises.
Behaviour: From the MNZ Code of Ethics: respect for client, refraining from being under the influence of any mind altering drugs or alcohol during treatments, and “a practitioner shall not enter into an intimate or sexual relationship with a patient while the patient is under their care”. This is easier said than done however as adjudged by breaches to other health professional code of ethics reported in the media.

As part of professionalism the therapist must avoid at all costs any conflict of interest, and personalization of the relationship by either transference or countertransference as they must be above reproach in this area.

b) Informed consent
The client should be informed on every aspect of their treatment session:
· of the process: such as clinical procedure, scope of practice, terms of payment, likely effects of massage etc
· their rights as per the Privacy, Health & Safety, Consumer Guarantee and Health & Disability Acts
· right to be informed of initial proceedings, feed back systems, sensitive body area and subsequent treatment plan
· Their right of refusal
· Right of confidentiality
· Clients personal privacy/space.
· Complaints procedure.
· Power differentials: Because the therapist is in both a physical and psychological advantageous position over the client, the aspect of informed consent is of paramount importance and cannot be stressed enough to ensure any power differentials are kept to a manageable level.

The importance of a therapeutic relationship is that it keeps the client not only safe, but happy, building belief and trust in what you are and what you are doing which will in turn relaxes the client. If the client believes and trusts the therapist, and your treatment then more positive outcomes are more likely,
(McQuillan, 2009 (Moerman, 2002)).

3) Scope of practice“A practitioner shall acknowledge the limitations of their skills and, when necessary, refer clients to the appropriate qualified health care professional” (MNZ, Code of Ethics)
This is about what you do and don’t do with relation to your training, experience, competency and qualifications. It is worth noting that training does not automatically mean competency, as this comes with experience.
It is important that others are aware of exactly what we do, not what they think we do, and whether or not it is appropriate, so it is necessary to have well defined communicated boundaries not only for client safety but so that they are aware of your capabilities.
Examples: As defined by MNZ i) A Certified massage therapist (CMT)) as a relaxation massage therapist as one who can manipulate soft tissue for pleasure and stress related reduction and management, and a
ii) Registered massage therapist (RMT) a therapist who can manipulate soft tissue for pleasure, stress reduction/ management, pain relief, injury management and limited exercise prescription.
It is worth keeping in mind the nonmaleficence of client centered care which is to “First do no harm” as massage therapy should benefit the client or “to help, or at least do no harm”! If treatment is not within your scope of practice then the client needs to be referred to someone who is practiced in the required skills.

4) Ethical decision making

Ethical decision making is based on all of the aforementioned. Should you ever be in the predicament of potentially putting your own interests before that of the client, have any doubts what so ever about its ethical status then you must ask yourself if this is in the clients’ best interest. If it is not then it is unethical. Treat every client as you would like to be treated yourself.

In order to provide the best possible massage experience for each and every client every time the therapist must have a thorough understanding of what
client orientated, professional therapeutic care, based on mutual respect, within well defined boundaries, and practiced within the therapists capabilities in a professional manner by informed consent actually is. Ethics help us define these parameters.

Class notes
Text books


Dictionary Reference. Ethics. Retrieved May 18, 2009 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics

Fritz, S., (2009), Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic Massage, 4th ed., Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.

McQuillan, D. (2009). Ethics. Retrieved May 17, 2009 from http://elluminate.tekotago.ac.nz/play_recording_confirmation.html
Merriam Webster Dictionary. Ethics. Retrieved May19, 2009 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethics
Salvo, S., (2007), Massage therapy, principles and practice, 3rd ed., Missouri: Saunders Elsevier.
Velasquez, M, Andre, C., Shanks, S., & Meyer, M., What is ethics?. Retrieved May 17 from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html
Whats happened to my ethics blog I wonder- missing in cyberspace no doubt. Wll give it a few more hours to come down to earth

Monday, April 27, 2009

Research Methods

Research Methods
Assessment task 1- Blog 4- Evaluation of Research Findings

Barbara Newton Due date: May 2009


Kania, A., Porcino, A., & Vehof, M., (2008).Value of qualitative research in the study of massage therapy [Electronic version]. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, Vol 1, No 2.

Evaluation of quality.

1) Source of information.
• The paper is from an academic, peer reviewed scholarly journal produced by the independent Massage Therapy Foundation. Their mission is “to advance the knowledge and practice of Massage Therapy by supporting scientific research, educational and community service”. (Massage Therapy Foundation, 2009)
• The authors work within the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, a comprehensive research educational facility in Canada and are accomplished professionals in the health sector with numerous published papers between them.
E.g: M. Verhof coauthored one of the related referenced texts; Assessing efficacy of complementary medicine: adding qualitative research methods to the “gold standard.” J Altern Complement Med.2002; 8(3): 275-281

These two points substantiate the authority or the status of the source through verification of the authors and their credentials and the information relevance. Publication date of December 2008 makes it current.

2) Quality of information
• The article’s content analyses and evaluates information which has been gleamed from a wide range of relevant, suitably titled, current, primary source references in relation to the key words. (Qualitative research; methodology; massage therapy).

Sandelowski, M. Using qualitative research. Qual Health Res. 2004 14(10):1366-1386.
Weinrich, S. & Weinrich, M.,(1990) The effect of massage on pain in cancer patients. Appl Nurs Res. 3(4):140-145.

The referencing is made in the body of the text content.

• Web references are sourced from non commercial authoritative sources.
E.g.; Government Health and Massage Therapy Foundation sites.
Most importantly they relate the information to the massage therapy field.

• The examples given are all health related.

The references are authoritative, thereby ensuring the credibility, objectivity, quality and accuracy of the source.

3) Comprehension of the material

• The material is presented in an easy to follow order beginning by distinguishing between the two methods of methodology- quantitative and qualitative, and explaining what qualitative research is. That is followed by a brief description of how quantitative research is carried out and outlining the value of such illustrated by a number of clinical examples.

• The range of examples and comparison of qualitative versus quantitative not only highlighted, illustrated the value, and the importance of the qualitative findings, but further aided in increasing my understanding of the different methods,
“The results of the study demonstrate that, although standardized [quantitative] outcome measures are useful, alone they may not capture the broad range of possible outcomes or meaningful effects of an intervention as they are experiences or perceived by individuals”.

• The material also explores the possibility of both the massage therapist and the recipients’ perspectives being integrated.

• The authors explained the value of such qualitative study.
“Qualitative research findings therefore will not only help massage therapists practice more effectively, but also differently, with greater awareness and mindfulness”.
This in fact could be an understatement that only future studies and time will verify.

Overall I felt that the information as presented achieved the aim to give the target audience, a novice massage therapy researcher who is unfamiliar with qualitative research, a comprehensive overview to more than sufficiently gain an understanding of the topic “Value of Qualitative research in the study of massage therapy” in a balanced and well illustrated manner. The paper addresses a gap in the knowledge or application of massage therapy not previously widely known because of a lack of suitable qualitative research. In doing so it more than fulfilled the credibility criteria identified in my previous information quality blog.


Massage Therapy Foundation retrieved April 24th 2009 from http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org

Monday, April 6, 2009

Where do you stand on the stadium debate? Let your councillors know.

It appears from todays ODT (April 7th) that the council will not be holding a referendum regarding the stadium.
If you are a Dunedin City ratepayer, or a potential one you may like to contact our city councillors to inform them of your views regarding the proposed stadium spending prior to the next coucil meeting which will finally seal its fate.

Below is a list of the councilors email contacts.

pchin@dcc.govt.nz, bill.acklin@xtra.co.nz, john.bezett@dcc.govt.nz, sydney.brown@dcc.govt.nz, fbutcher@dcc.govt.nz, ncollins@dcc.govt.nz, dcull@dcc.govt.nz, michaelguest@xtra.co.nz, paul.hudson@dcc.govt.nz, anoone@dcc.govt.nz, staynesc@es.co.nz, teresa.stevenson@dcc.govt.nz, rfwalls@xtra.co.nz, cweather@dcc.govt.nz... more

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dunedin Stadium


TO all current and future generations of Dunedin rate payers and Otago Regional Council ratepayers.
Ensure you let your councillors know your views by having your say on the Draft Community Plan regarding spending priorities for the next 10 years.
Submissions close on April 15th 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The effects of massage strokes.

The effects of massage strokes.

1) The effects of massage on the autonomic nervous system: sympathetic & parasympathetic divisions.

“The nervous system responds to therapeutic massage methods through stimulation of sensory receptors” (Fritz, 2009, p.130).

The nervous system is categorised into two parts: the central and peripheral nervous systems.
i) The Central Nervous System consists of the brain and the spinal cord.

ii) The Peripheral Nervous System is further divided into the autonomic and somatic nervous systems.
· Somatic NS: is a conscious and voluntary system that accepts sensory messages from the outside. eg: skin, ears, eyes etc., and stimulates muscle and skin.

· Autonomic NS: is an unconscious, self governing and involuntary system that monitors the internal body environment to keep it in a state of homeostasis by the complimentary relationship of two sub divisions; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
o Internal monitors that stimulate or inhibit motor impulses of visceral organs, lungs, smooth muscle, guts, glands and cardiac muscle, control these systems.

b) The Sympathetic NS is the action division and mobilizes activity or action, otherwise known as the ‘flight or fright’ response, fast. It increases blood pressure & heart rate, shuts down non-essential systems (e.g.: digestion), revs up the nervous system, and releases energy.

b) The Parasympathetic NS on the other hand is the relaxing, or resting and digestion division. It is most active when the body is at rest allowing energy conservation and undertakes the body’s housekeeping: digestion, salivation, urination, defecation, drowsing and storing nutrients for later use. When functioning it lowers blood pressure, slows and steady’s the heart, encourages digestion and elimination of waste.

The majority of massage effects, with slow repetitive rhythmic, broad based compression such as effleurage, are reflexive or indirect engaging the parasympathetic function promoting:
· General relaxation including sleep through
-decrease beta wave activity
-increase in delta wave activity –associated with sleep & relaxation.
-increase in alpha waves
· A diminishing effect on pain by the stimulation of the release of endorphins and pain reducing neurochemicals.

· Reduction of stress, anxiety and depression (by both the receiver and recipient) with
- a reduction in stress hormones cortisol, norepinephrine & epinephrine levels
-increase in dopamine & serotonin levels that are associated with stress and depression
· Improved circulation.-stimulates release of histamine.
· Improved immunity- decrease in cortisol
· Improved alertness- more balance.
· Feelings of well being or “feeling good’
Physically, mentally & psychologically.
· Neuro- endocrine effects- increases available level of Oxytocin (bonding) and Dopamine & Serotonin that are associated with stress and depression.

However this is not the first response of massage. The start of a massage promotes an instinctive protective reflex action, according to Fritz (2009) “initial massage stimulates sympathetic function”. The effect of which is decreased as “massage is slowed and sustained with sufficient pleasurable pressure” (Fritz 2009, p 138).
As the massage progresses, or is preferred, certain massage techniques are engaged, their “direction, speed and pressure’ (Salvo 2007) will further activate and stimulate sensory receptors and hence heighten the sympathetic function.

However no effects are exact, as there are many variants that will result in numerous differing degrees or levels of results.

2) The effects of massage strokes.

Touch /Holding: This establishes or ends contact, creating a calming reassuring effect ensuring no surprises for the client, helping reduce reaction or sympathetic response..
Effleurage: These are gliding stroke that begin, & end a massage or part thereof, as well as providing a transition between other strokes. It introduces touch, and enables assessment of the surface and underlying tissue engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.
Petrissage: Is a rhythmic kneading technique that milks the tissues of metabolic wastes and draws new blood and oxygen into the tissues.
Compression: or depth of pressure is applied in a rhythmic pumping action to a localised area of the muscle. It is used to stimulate circulation and nerves, and assists in breaking down connective tissue to make it relax and therefore more pliable.
Tapotement: Is a repetitive striking action undertaken in short bursts to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. It increases the blood flow; aids in decongestion of the lungs by loosening and mobilizing phlegm, and among other things can desensitize hypersensitive areas after a few minutes.
Vibration: Enhances general relaxation by shaking, quivering or rocking movements and like tapotement allow access to deeper structures such as hip rotators.

3) Other effects of massage.

Blood Flow: Increases blood flow by dilation of blood vessels, improves blood flow by the mechanical action of the massage strokes and assists blood flow in the direction of the heart if massage is applied in that direction,
Lymph Flow: promotes the circulation of lymph and enhances the lymphatic system in the elimination of excess fluid and removal of waste.
Muscle tension: Massage relaxes the tense muscle thereby enhancing blood flow, and which may in turn relieve pain.
Connective tissue: Releases tensions and restrictions in scar tissue, the retention of nutrients, and promotes blood circulation around fracture sites and thus aiding the healing process and improving strength of healed tissue. It can also alter the shape of dimple causing cellulite but not its removal.
Sleep patterns: The stimulation of the parasympathetic ns facilitates relaxation and sleep with an increase in delta wave activity.
Digestion: Also activates the parasympathetic ns of which digestion is one of its functions.
Blood pressure: Massage dilates the blood vessels and thus decreases blood pressure.
Pain: Can be alleviated in three ways:
by the relief of muscle tension- instant relief,
the release of hormones-natural painkillers or endorphins- slow,
application of pressure- immediate but providing short term relief.

Mood: Activation of parasympathetic ns activity encourages relaxation, and increases level of Dopamine & Serotonin that are responsible for improving mood.
Concentration: an increase in oxygen levels from increased blood flow to the brain in turn enhances performance adn alertness, including concentration by the removal of stress, and relaxation of the body and mind in general.
Satiety: The feeling of satisfaction is a result of neuro- endocrine effects of increases in the level of Dopamine & Serotonin.
Bonding: As massage increases the available level of the hormone oxytocin associated with bonding, it therefore enhances improved bonding. While usually associated with birth and parent /child relationship it could also be applied to client/therapist relationship as according to Wikipedia 2009 one of its actions increases trust and reduces fear.

Class notes
Txt books

Fritz, S., (2009). Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic massage (4th ed.). Missouri: Mosby.

Salvo, S.,(2007).Massage therapy. Principles and practice (3rd ed.). Missouri: Saunders.

Wikipedia, retrieved March 27th 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin,

Assessment Task 1- Blog 3:Your research process

Reflection on my research process to date. March 28th 2009.

I must admit to being at times a little perplexed by the research process and as a result I have had to spend a bit more time and effort in to getting a handle on things than I had originally envisaged.
I cannot believe that I researched and published two books, albeit not academic writings, without having any idea of the research process let alone that anything actually existed along the lines that we have explored over recent weeks!

What I’ve learnt and had reinforced so far:

· Defining the project’s idea from the outset but be open to redefining as the project progresses-
a)either because of a information or a
b)better pathway has been identified.

· Don’t form any opinion or conclusions until you have verified facts with sufficient references and reports to support your claims.

· Information gathering
From my personal projects I have learnt that you cannot have too much information. How and if you use it is another matter and this has been reinforced in our learning to date.
Do things right by following appropriate referencing and research guidelines and in as much detail as possible from the outset. It’s easier to edit (well most of the time) than have to expand at a later date.( editing is not that easy but it is a useful tool fo rdeveloping clear and logical arguments). Go from broad to finite.

· Scope of resources
Evaluating material can be misleading unless you learn to identify and align your key points.
After our latest elluminate session exercise in which we identified key words and phrases, I learnt that the scope of possible resource material is much greater than I ever envisaged.

· Credibility of dated information
In my previous research I have tried to obtain 2 sources for any stated facts. But then there are variables within that as two different people (experts) can hold vastly differing views on the same subject.
You also have to take into consideration the age (or date of information) and the subject’s perspective from that particular era- in relation to trends. In my previous projects this has been with regard to the age of the informant, the age they were when they formed the memory- was it theirs or what they had been led to believe or told by others. Sometimes this was difficult to state this information so I had to make a informed generalization rather than a factual statement.
In any research inaccurate or "shady" reporting is called specualtion and will immedialty put you back into the assumptions/bias bucket. The skill in research is very much about accuracy/ reliability/truth etc and at alll stages you are expected to be able to rationalise into logivcal and referenced/ supported research. If you do not know something, do not guess and do not report inaccuratley. State your "not knowingness". You cannot generalise unless your study proves the same.

The position they were in the family eg: eldest or youngest each have different perspectives of family life, experiences etc.
This has proved to be no different in academic writing for research. This kind of information establishes whether or not you will do quantative or qualitative research. The role and positions of each family member will become the variable( quantative) or the phenomena/ signifcant difference( qualitative) under investigation.

· Referencing
It is so important to accurately record references, so that if revisiting is required at a later stage the reference is readily accessible. This can become confusing so good organized recording methods are necessary. Due credit must be given to quotes or material used from research- i.e.: Comprehensive reference and in text referencing.

· Unfamiliar terms:
There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and processes to learn understand and carry out
e.g.: Qualitative, quantitative, methodology, data analyse, memos and triangulation.

All of these reinforce the credibility of any research project. So, as the old adage goes, if something is worth doing it is worth doing properly- whether it be a research process or undertaking a form of study or reading instructions. For example you would want to be treated by a surgeon who doesn’t fully understand the whole process he is going to undertake on you now do you!

I had thought that undertaking a research project, relating to massage, some time in the future would have been a possibility, now I’m not so sure it is within my capabilities!

Key points to remember:
*be meticulous in all facets of the project.
*avoid abbreviated words.
*used specific wording.
*editing is part of the research process.

Collaborative research project

In our collaborative research project we have discussed possible subjects, revised and further discussed and revised ideas, followed by even more revision and definition of our idea with our lecturer to:
“Does massage support the rituals an athlete goes through before an event, to address anxiety levels”?

Our first task was to define key words, (rituals, athlete, anxiety, support), and record them in our glossary.

We are now in the process of:
i) devising a questionnaire for athletes to establish whether or not they have a ritual, anxiety and whether or not they use massage in their ritual to help overcome their anxiety, and at what stage of their preparation they use it.
ii) Exploring, from our own resources, the known effects of massage on the human body system.

Further explore any work on the topic.
Relate findings to an athlete’s anxieties.

We know that massage has positive enhancing effects on most of the human body systems, and as athletes are human then it would be more than reasonable to expect that massage would have a positive effect on an athletes anxieties. Theoretically every athlete who suffers from any form of anxiety pre competition should use massage as part of his or her ritual.
However, we need to keep in mind that certain amounts and kinds of anxieties can enhance an athlete’s performance in the short term- so we have to ensure that the massage does not impinge on this area.

Thoughts to ponder & discuss with the group:
Perhaps our question should be further refined along the lines of:
“Does massage support the rituals and athlete goes through before an event, to address anxieties that have a negative impact/ physical debilitating effect?”

When athletes are seen to shake them selves (arms & legs) immediately prior to competing (eg: sprinters, swimmers) are they performing a ritual, and is it a form of (unknowingly) massage ritual?

Research methods overall.
High point: enthusiasm of participants top get the group project done
Low point: the thought of spending too much time on undertaking blogs in the context of the course paper credits.

At this point I’m looking to the successful competent completion of assignments.


Collaborative group notes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Describe how information from different sources may vary in quality, and how to differentiate good quality information from poor quality.
Comment about sourcing quality material for research purposes.

‘Knowledge, generated by researchers and theorists, builds a coherent and distinct “body of knowledge” through scholarly publications and presentations’ (Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D., Elliott, D., Lobiondo-Wood, G.,& Haber, J., (2007).

There are many sources of information available from which to collect material for research purposes. Within that is a vast range of quality. It is therefore vital to correctly identify relevant quality information from which to base a research project.

The researcher needs to systematically evaluate the source of the information followed by the quality of the content.

1) Sources
These can include:
· Publications
· Reference books,
· Textbooks,
· Journals,
· Conference papers,
· Research papers & articles
· Web sites.

The researcher then needs to establish whether or not the publication source is either:
· academic (reference/text),
· scholarly (e.g.: journals, and whether it is peer reviewed or not)),
· popular or non scholarly (general audience- e.g.: newspaper article.)
For the purpose of research the former two sources are preferred when found in already evaluated material.

Web sites
There are large volumes of unevaluated information readily at hand on the web. Some of this is well researched and highly accurate while other is personal opinion or hearsay.

2) Factors to take into consideration.
Some important factors to take into consideration when evaluating material:

i) Whether or not the material is a primary (original works) or secondary (studies by other researchers) source.
According to Taylor, B., Kermode, S., & Roberts, K., (2006) primary sources are those written by the author and are new and are the authors own ideas, whereas secondary sources are those to which an author refers.
eg: Primary sources: statistical data, speeches, interviews, research reports, original documents.
Secondary sources: describe, analyse, and/or evaluate information found in primary sources. Data is repackaged, to make information more accessible in books, journals, encyclopedias, etc.

ii) Scholarly works are valuable sources for research purposes. eg: theoretical papers, reports , procedures, results, review papers and books written by authorities.

iii) Refereed journal articles are considered more scholarly than non-refereed.

iv) The production of research books takes up to five years from the time it is written up and appears in a journal and is then cited in a book, so the information contained may not be considered current in some areas due to the time lapse. However bibliographies of research books can be useful sources of references, as are conference papers.

v) Authoritative reports and theses, are now easier to access on the web.

vi) Journals are the most valuable resource for research. (Taylor et al. 2006).

Credibility criteria.
A number of important criteria are then applied to the source in order to ascertain the publications credibility and include:
· Authority or status of the source,
· Date of publication,
· Current- whether the information is current at time of publication,
· Reliable- presentation of material in an sequential, logical and comprehensive manner, well researched with supporting evidence,
· Relevance- to the topic,
· Scope or time period covered,
· Bias &objectivity (except for facts there will always be an element of bias),
· Appropriate context,
· Integrity- moral and ethical,
· Verification of author/s and their credentials & acknowledged experience,
· Verification and accuracy of factual material and claims,
· and that sources are acknowledged in a correctly recorded reference list.
With respect to web sites all of the above and :
· the most recent update
· the quality of the site must be established.( was it recommended by a lecturer or tutor)
ie: are the links on the site reliable , and do they work, and
· Who is hosting the site. eg: personal, Government department, an institution, organization, or a commercial enterprise ( drug company or some one who has a commercial interest in the promotion of the material contained).

3) Quality of content
The quality, or ‘degree of excellence” (Swannell 1986), of content is ascertained by the credibility of the source criteria as mentioned above.

An example “In determining level of objectivity". Retrieved March 21st from http://www.virtualchase.com/quality/checklist.html
Material from the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.govt) reflects a balanced unbiased source, compared to something from the Institute of Historical Review ( http://ihr.org/), a hate site which is totally biased, and an article “Not another Scare” (http://www.aspartamekills.com/blayart1.htm) is biased in addition to containing no documented references or claims.

Evaluating and differentiation of information for quality is something that develops over time by trial and error, with practice and experience.
It would be fair to say that the more credible the number of source criteria that are met the more reputable the quality of the information.

Bill Robertson Library
Text Books

Reference List

Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D., Elliott, D., Lobiondo-Wood, G., Haber, J., (2007). Nursing & midwifery research (3rd ed.). Sydney: Mosby Elsevier.

Swannell. J.,(ed)., Little Oxford Dictionary, 6th ed. (1986). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Taylor, B., Kermode, S., & Roberts, K., (2006). Research in nursing and healthcare: evidence for practice (3rd ed.). Australia: Thomson.

Web Resources:
The Virtual Chase, retrieved March 21st from http://www.virtualchase.com/quality/index.html

Wikipedia, retrieved March 21st from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_quality

Suite101.com, retrieved March 21st from http://internet.suite101.com/article.cfm/finding_good_quality_information

University of Alaska Fairbanks, retrieved March 21st from http://library.uaf.edu/1s101-research-process.

Walt Howe, retrieved March 21st from http://www.walthowe.com/navnet/quality.html#evaluated.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Research Method Process

The Research Process Barbara Newton
March 2009

Research is the investigation of new ideas to an important question that has been identified. The process begins by obtaining some understanding of the concept by locating and looking at theories and other research findings prior to the carrying out of the actual investigation in a procedural manner. The data that is collected is then analyzed and interpreted and formulated to reach a conclusion that is presented to share with colleagues and peers.
The research process, as defined by our lecturer consists of 8 steps: an idea; literary review; methodology; method; analysis of data; interpretation of data; conclusion and discussion.

The steps are as follows:

1) An idea or belief.
The process begins with a question formulated by the researcher(s) from a hypothesis that comes from your own experience or that of someone else. The question must identify the main concepts &/or contain keywords obtained through brainstorming the idea, which is then revised numerous times and re drafted to form a specific question with realistic parameters. The question needs to be simple, clear and worded in concise language
To be tested the question needs to have a high degree of probability, yet not be a yes or no type of question, be important, relevant, measurable and above all ethical.

2) Literature review.
The researcher needs to read a wide range of material as possible and learn what other researchers have to say about the topic. If they have whether or not they have answered the question in a convincing manner or not. ie: Is it a considered opinion, or a statement based on a stated interpretation of collected data in an orderly and scientific way? And on what basis did they make their conclusions. Sources of such literature may include reference texts, periodicals, journals, unpublished papers, or the internet. Another factor to take into consideration
is with regard to the author of the material and whether they are an acknowledged,respected and reliable source.
Information gathering should follow from general to specific as the process progresses and every opportunity should be made to discuss this material with others, whether they be colleagues or friends,to get their insight on the subject.
Bibliographies from any of the above also provide an excellent source of possible information as it is important to go to the primary source of information where ever possible to ensure you get the thoughts and facts in the correct context.

3) Methodology
This ties in closely with the methods to be used for the study and concentrates on developing or deciding just how the data is to be collected to test the question. It needs to be ethical, relevant, verifiable and valid with no variables.

4) Methods
Once the methodology has been ascertained the actual collection of data can begin via any number of different methods or procedures to find out if the question can be answered convincingly. These may include one or more of a variety of methods such as: interviews, questionnaires among a fixed gender, age or specific interest group relating to the question. During this collection process every effort must be made to ensure the anonymity and confidentiality of all participants.

5) Data analysis
Once all the data has been collected it is the researcher’s job is to evaluate it from all angles- both of a positive or negative nature, and then make their judgment and consequent interpretation.
The collected data may be illustrated by way of graphs, charts, tables or figures for easier analysis, interpretation and discussion presentation.

6) Interpretation of data
Once analyzed with a critical eye, the researcher will make their interpretation, in an unbiased manner with regard to the question. It may include what the data didn’t say and whether or not the data was as expected or different.

7) Conclusion
The analysis and interpretation of the factual data is expressed clearly and understandably in a written statement relating to any generalizations that are made and demonstrate its [data] consistency in warranting such a conclusion.
It must be remembered that the researcher has no control over how the research is interpreted by other parties so it is important to ensure the conclusion is expressed clearly and easily understood to avoid misinterpretation.

8) Discussion
The conclusions would then be communicated and shared with colleagues via;
blogs; presentations, meetings, newsletters or other publications etc as seen fit and appropriate.

So in essence the research process, as described above, involves identifying, locating, assessing, analyzing and then development and expression of your ideas.

Bill Robertson Library
Class Notes

Payton, O. (1994). Research: The validation of clinical practice (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.

Polit, D.F., Beck, C.T., (2006). Essentials of nursing research. Methods, appraisal and utilization(6th ed.).Philadelphia; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Polit,D.F., Beck, C.T., (2004). Nursing research. Principles and methods (7th ed.). Philadelphia; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Class notes/ elluminate session: Molloy,F., March 2nd 2009.

Cornell University Library, retrieved March 4th 2009 from

Suffolk University, retrieved March 4th 2009, fromhttp://www.suffolk.edu/sawlib/research-process.html.

University of Alaska Fairbanks, retrieved March 4th 2009 from

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been trying to load thsi to my main page but with no luck . So here it is anyway. In case you cannot recognise the image it is of "the piles/groynes at St Clair Beach". They are not pylons or the remains of a wharf or pier as they are sometimes referred to but put there by the Ocean Beach Domain Board in an effort to protect the beach from erosion in the early 1900's.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Assessment task 2

Hi, I'm Barbara Newton from the beautiful suburb of St Clair, Dunedin where I have lived for the past 30+ years. I like people; the outdoors, especially walking the beach or bush, vast interior tussock covered Central Otago hinterland; I love working with merino wool; doing photgraphy- sports, water etc; local history ; reading when time allows; most sports- though as a couch potato; occassional partake in mountain biking- I'm a bit of a granny tho; sampling fine wines; the company of my family and friends.
My initial interest in masssage came from; being on the receiving end for the past 20+ years and realising the benefits fo such; a desire to assist others and in making their life more bearable; a desire to learn anatomy and more about the wonderful workings of the human body. Originally I wanted to help people in the wool harvesting industry as they traditionally have no knowledge of their bodies and its workigns. I have learnt that this is not possible when I'm working! A research project is looking an option in the fuutre.