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Massage Today
October, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 10

We Get Letters and E-Mail

By Editorial Staff

Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be edited for space and clarity, and published in a future issue or online.

Please send all correspondence by e-mail to or regular mail to:

Massage Today
P.O. Box 4139
Huntington Beach, CA 92605

Regarding Massage Research

Dear Editor:

Thanks for keeping Massage Today alive. Even though I am not a massage therapist, there is enough information that pertains to my own bodywork practice that I find it informative and interesting. Please let me comment on a couple of things in the May issue, particularly the results of the [online] poll (March 2004, and [Cliff Korn's] comments about how doctors learn about massage ("More Research, Please!

I must confess that none of the factors listed in the poll is why my practice is successful. My competence is clearly why I am able to have a successful Shiatsu practice. This should be why every service provider can earn a living, bodywork therapists included! I help people when they come for a treatment. They feel better; they go home and tell their family and friends. They also tell their doctors why they feel better. I know who the docs are in my area. Even though most of them have never met me, they still refer patients to me. They know what I am doing helps because their patients tell them it does.

I do not believe most individual doctors need to see research papers to know about the efficacy of bodywork, as long as the risks remain low. I did not need to have research papers to convince me Shiatsu school was for me. Why should doctors argue with such obvious success? I also think that if you asked a group of doctors that have each referred patients for bodywork, they would agree that research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities might be needed before they would climb aboard the bandwagon. In other words, individually they are willing to support CAM, but as a group they are not, unless CAM researches itself the same way their current medical chaos does. It is also important to note that this is not nearly the issue in Europe, where docs have already boarded the wagon.

Lets face it, until the last few years, "sick" care has been the domain of the docs. They call it health care, though. Money aside, I can see a lot of confused professionals out there that do not understand why these "minor players" are making so much noise in their ball field, and as long as it is their ball park, the CAM players are supposed to play their game. We should not play their game. Let them play sick care; we will play wellness care. We will provide a low/no-risk service that is cheap compared with what they provide. Let them legislate themselves out of the insurance quagmire they have dug themselves into. We should keep the laws out of our businesses, since competent CAM carries no such risks. Doctors will learn about CAM - research or not - otherwise, they will loose their patients and they know it!

Ron Barron, Certified Shiatsu Therapist
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Dear Editor:

I read with interest Cliff Korn's editorial in favor of massage research. I would like to second that motion and share my own experience with research. I have been taking Precision Neuromuscular (PNMT) courses and am now an instructor.

In order to become certified in PNMT, I had to take part in a research project. The project I chose was "the correlation between musician's soft tissue pain and the instrument played." Because I had to contact professional musicians to ask for their participation, I suddenly had access and connection to a whole new group. In addition, I had the opportunity to network with other therapists across the country, who were also involved in this research project.

Other therapists doing research on TMJ dysfunction found their referrals from dentists soaring because of the letters they had sent to the dentist's offices announcing their research, etc. So, I agree that massage research benefits our field in the long run. What I now realize is that it also benefits the researcher immediately.

Jan Kiener
Cincinnati, Ohio

"Stop arguing about what to call the work...let's do the work"

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to James Waslaski's response to Herb Levin's letter to the editor ( about the article "Medical Massage vs. Orthopedic Massage" (

Enough already! I hear a lot about what we should call this or that. Last time I checked, insurance companies had no CPT codes for orthopedic or medical massage. So, let's stop arguing about what to call the work. Let's do the work and help people feel better. It's the reason we got in the business: to help people, not to promote our seminars.

I took Waslaski's 40-hour, five-day class in 2000 and since then, I have recommended it to more than 100 people. I even recommended it while attending the Medical Massage Practitioners of America 84-hour seminar taught by Herb Levin, which I also recommend to any therapist who wants to help other people get out of pain.

James states, "orthopedic massage is indeed an 'advanced discipline' of medical massage" and states somebody would have to spend six to 10 years with him before they could teach for him. In six to 10 years I could be an orthopedic surgeon! Still, I say "hats off" to anybody willing to back students with their name and reputation by certifying them. I agree we need national standards. Currently, there are registered massage therapists in one state, licensed massage therapists in another; 300 hours here; 800 there; 1200 somewhere else. There is room for everybody to work and teach. A high school diploma in one state is not the same high school education as the state next door. Let's work together to unify the standards of the massage world, not argue over what to call it.

David R Landsberg RMT, MTI
Dallas, Texas

A Letter of Appreciation

Dear Editor:

I just wanted you to know that I am still receiving e-mail about my trip to Peru. That article has touched a lot of people ("Mission to Peru," Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with your readers.

I also want to thank you for the article on Mike McGillicuddy's wife and the award ("Hat's Off! FSMTA Celebrates Another Successful Convention," We are all so hurt with this loss. He needs to know that we care. Thank you for being there for all of us to learn and be informed. My husband has taken the paper to the university, and they have been impressed by such a wonderful publication for massage therapists.

Eva W Jones, LMT
Seminole, Florida


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