Is Chinese massage an effective and cost-effective treatment for chronic neck pain?

December 18, 2017

New Rochelle, NY, December 18, 2017-- A new study evaluating a form of Chinese massage, tuina, in patients with chronic neck pain found it to be effective, safe, and cost-effective compared to no treatment. The study, which assessed intensity of neck pain, disability, health-related quality of life, medication use, and cost, is published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM), a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on JACM website.

One of the top researchers in complementary and integrative medicine globally, Claudia Witt, Dr. med., MD, MBA, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany), University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland), and University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD) and colleagues from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (China) coauthored the article entitled "Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Tuina for Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Tuina with a No-Intervention Waiting List."

Patients with chronic neck pain were randomly assigned to receive either no treatment or six sessions of tuina over 3 weeks, a therapeutic approach that involves manual manipulation of the soft tissue and backbone using mainly stroking, kneading, and drumming techniques. The researchers reported a clinically relevant decrease in mean neck pain intensity and improved function and physical quality of life among the group that received tuina. Based on the differences between the two groups, tuina treatment appeared to be relatively cost-effective.

Said Dr. Witt: "The results are promising and call for further research on tuina."

"The value found for tuina in this study has an additional implication," says JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com, Seattle, WA. He adds: "Inclusion in payment and delivery programs of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners who are trained in tuina may offer a one-two punch - acupuncture needles and Chinese massage - in efforts to shift to cost-effective non-pharmacologic approaches for chronic pain treatment."

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About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print. Led by John Weeks (johnweeks-integrator.com), the Co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, JACM provides observational, clinical, and scientific reports and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols and research strategies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on JACM website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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