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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Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1748
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.