Listed in Issue 160


BUCKLE and COLLEAGUES,  Centre for Complementary Health & Integrated Medicine, Thames Valley University, London, UK.  measured the physiological effect of the M Technique on the brain.


The aim of this 2-study research project was to measure the physiologic effect of the M technique (see Appendix for description) on the brain using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and compare it to conventional massage therapy.


In the first study, 4 participants received 1 M technique session. Each participant was injected through the intravenous cannula (IV) with 7 mCi (99m)Tc and scanned using SPECT before the M technique session, and then was injected with 25 mCi (99m)Tc through the IV and scanned using SPECT after the M technique session. In the second study, 1 participant received 10 conventional (Swedish) massages and one participant received 10 M technique sessions. Both participants were injected and scanned (using the identical scanning parameters as in Study 1) before, and immediately after, their 1st and 10th sessions. Baseline and 1st, and baseline and 10th sessions were compared using paired t tests.


Although the activation changes were positively correlated for the M technique and massage participants (r = 27, p < 0.05), when activation changes around the 1st and around the 10th sessions were compared (using paired t tests), significant differences emerged. There were significant activation changes for the M technique participant [t(64) = 2.32, p < 0.05). In particular, there was a 40% activation change and directional change in regional cerebral blood flow in the right caudate, which was not seen in the massage participant. The precuneus showed an approximate 15% reduction in activation changes around the M technique session for both the 1st and 10th treatment, but not for the massage participant.


These findings suggest that the M technique and conventional massage may both elicit blood flow brain activation changes; however, the participants' responses did differ. The M technique revealed greater changes (particular in the right caudate), and these responses increased when the M technique was repeated over time (unlike massage). These findings have implications for future research into the potential mechanism of the M technique in the treatment and care of patients.


Buckle J,  Newberg A,  Wintering N,  Hutton E,  Lido C and Farrar JT.  Measurement of regional cerebral blood flow associated with the M technique-light massage therapy: a case series and longitudinal study using SPECT. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 14(8): 903-10, Oct 2008.

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