Author(s): Munk N, Symons B, Shang Y, Cheng R, Yu G
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Abstract Increase in tissue blood flow is one of the most acknowledged potential effects of massage; however, actual research studies examining this phenomenon are inconsistent and inconclusive. One possible reason for continued uncertainty regarding this topic is methodology, specifically how tissue blood flow is measured because limitations exist in previously utilized technologies. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) affords massage researchers a versatile and non-invasive measurement option by providing dynamic information on oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations, total hemoglobin concentration, and blood oxygen saturation in deep tissue. Near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) is an innovative technique for continuous non-invasive measurement of blood flow in deep tissue. The combination of these two technologies has resulted in a novel hybrid diffuse optical instrument for simultaneous measurement of limb muscle blood flow and oxygenation. The purposes of this short report are to review previous blood flow measurement techniques and limitations in massage therapy research, introduce a novel hybrid near-infrared diffuse optical instrument that addresses previous limitations in the assessment of hemodynamic properties, outline a proposed massage therapy pilot study utilizing the novel measurement technology, and present sample data from a pilot participant using the introduced novel technology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Bodyw Mov Ther
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research