A preliminary investigation of the effect of the osteopathic lymphatic pump technique on salivary immunoglobulin A levels in asymptomatic subjects: A single systems design pilot study

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Authors
Ehrlenbach, Heike
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Degree
Master of Osteopathy
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2011
Supervisors
Hilton, Craig
Bacon, Catherine
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
immune system
osteopathic medicine
Citation
Ehrlenbach, H. (2011). A preliminary investigation of the effect of the osteopathic lymphatic pump technique on salivary immunoglobulin A levels in asymptomatic subjects: A single systems design pilot study. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1748
Abstract
Background:The osteopathic lymphatic pump technique (LPT), a treatment that has not been researched extensively, is widely used within the osteopathic profession to improve health in patients. Secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) in saliva is related to mucosal immune system function and high levels of salivary S-IgA have been shown to decrease the incident of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). The aim of this pilot study was to determine changes in salivary S-IgA in response to LPT. Design:A single systems research design using a modified A-B-C protocol on eight healthy male participants was used to evaluate the outcome measure defined as change in salivary S-IgA secretion rate (μg/ml) as determined by Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbant Assay (ELISA). Methods:Baseline measures of salivary S-IgA were recorded once daily over 5 days. On Day 5 a seven minute thoracic LPT treatment was administered immediately following the pre-treatment measurement. Two post-intervention measurements, at 1 minute post-treatment and at 10 minute post treatment were reported. Results: Visual analysis of the plotted outcome measures showed a short term increase in salivary S-IgA secretion rates following LPT in seven out of eight healthy male subjects. The averaged post-treatment measurements of salivary S-IgA secretion rates were higher when compared to the mean baseline (ES=3.0; p=0.03). Limited data points, lack of control and high variability of data weaken the study and make it difficult to conclude confidently that the intervention caused the results. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that thoracic LPT may influence the salivary S-IgA levels in healthy males. Further research in this area seems to be warranted and may include a more robust research design with a larger sample size and inclusion of participants that suffer from mucosal immune compromise.
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