resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02
Will Research Prove Our Point?
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
There is a belief in the massage profession that research is needed to validate massage and gain acceptance from the medical industry. Some feel the public will participate in greater numbers if research "proves" the efficacy of massage.These are false assumptions. The number of people paying for massage out of their own pockets has doubled in the last three years (from 8% to 16% of the population), proving that massage works.
Research is a business. Thousands of people make their living doing research. To expand their business, they have promoted the notion that nothing is valid until it is proven with a double-blind study. This is a lie, but it has become accepted as truth. The truth is, double-blind studies are a mechanism to restrict entry into the marketplace. One of the primary places the double-blind research industry has established itself firmly is in the field of human health. This is unfortunate for both humans and health.
The medical/pharmaceutical industry, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., uses double-blind research to control the marketing of products and procedures. According to their agents, nothing is valid without a double-blind study. If something goes wrong, they say, "We did a study that shows this is OK." If some "new" product, like an herb, or a procedure, like massage, is offered to the public, they will attack it and attempt to suppress it by saying, "There is no valid research to prove this." It doesn't matter that the herb has been used for hundreds of years with consistent success. It is irrelevant that massage has been a predominant health care system for thousands of years.
If enough research is done to prove massage is valid, massage will be accepted at last. Maybe those gleaming insurance dollars will come to therapists who are drooling over them. Sorry, you do not understand research.
You can prove almost anything with a double-blind study. Studies can be created to prove almost anything causes cancer. Alter the diet of the subjects, put them in the right environment - and presto - whatever is being tested causes cancer, especially in rats. It can be proven that virtually everyone who has gotten cancer has eaten lettuce sometime in their lives!
Invalid research? No. Under a certain set of circumstances, a certain thing being tested can cause a certain result. Unfortunately, we are seldom told all the circumstances. We are just told the desired outcome.
"Oat bran doesn't lower cholesterol." We were not told that the test subjects had normal cholesterol levels and high blood pressure in that study. Of course oat bran didn't lower cholesterol in people with normal levels. This study was used to counteract the study that proved oat bran did lower cholesterol, in people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Confused? Good, that's the idea. What do confused people do? Nothing. They avoid the cheap, nontoxic nutritional remedy and, in this case, go back on the drugs like good patients.
The research industry keeps itself busy by replicating results. If someone proves something that is not desired, the establishment says, "One study doesn't prove something. You have to wait until others have replicated your results." Now another study must be funded, and another, and another. Then someone else will conduct a study and set it up in such a way to disprove the initial study. Research will never bring about the acceptance of something the establishment doesn't want accepted. Research will always bring about the acceptance of anything the establishment wants accepted (i.e., aspartame.)
Massage is particularly difficult to research. It is difficult to control all the possible variables, and there are many different massage techniques to use. A study was done that supposedly disproved the theory that sports massage reduced lactic acid in athletes after competition. The study was done by a college that has no expertise in massage. There were no sports massage therapists in the area. Who did sports massage on the subjects? That didn't seem to matter. The press ran with it. There are lots of great massage techniques that, even if done by experts, would not reduce lactic acid levels. Further, the appropriate techniques, if done incorrectly, would not work either. Double-blind research may be too blind.
The point here is not to argue against the massage profession supporting research. There is much to be learned by double-blind research. Excellent research is being done by Dr. Tiffany Field (of the Touch Research Institute), among others. Their should be commended and supported. However, we need to remember that if the results become threatening to the medical/pharmaceutical industry, they can and will be easily disproved.
Research may be a huge potential danger to the massage profession. If studies done by well-trained massage therapists indicate benefits from massage, the public will go to therapists expecting to receive those benefits. Unfortunately, there are so many poorly trained therapists out there that most of the public will be disappointed. This has the potential to cause a huge backlash against our profession. If capitalized on by opposing forces, it could set massage back years in efforts to legitimize the profession in the eyes of the public.
Let's not pour every available dollar into research, hoping it will legitimize massage. It won't, in and of itself. What will legitimize the profession is the public receiving consistent, high-quality services from well-trained professionals. We must work to establish more consistent levels of education and expertise at the entry level. Continuing education in advanced levels of massage therapy should be encouraged, if not mandated.
Only when the public can receive similar benefits to those proven in studies will research become an effective marketing tool to the public. It will never be an effective means of gaining acceptance from the medical/pharmaceutical industry. The public has already voted positively on the efficacy of massage. If we as a profession work to meet the public's expectations, we will be unstoppable. If we work to prove ourselves to the sickness industry, it may well be our downfall.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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