resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
June, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 06
Research: The Key That Opens the Door
By John Slavin, PhD, LMT
The amount of research opportunities and data available to massage therapists is growing steadily each year, ever since Dr. Tiffany Field's original groundbreaking research on pre-term infants was published more than two decades ago.However, although all new ventures have a glitch or two to work out, evidence suggests massage research needs more development; due in part to the fact that a great majority of therapists tend to be unwilling to form alliances with allopathic practitioners or even other massage therapists. Many therapists seem to be content only when they distance themselves from others, seeing them as a threat and building walls in an effort to protect their environment from competition, rather than trying to aid the progress of touch therapy.
It's sad, that in an environment where we value touch and closeness it seems therapists can, at times, be anything but amiable! Recently, I had a student ask me rather rudely why I was so involved in touch research. When I explained that research leads to conclusive findings, and conclusive findings lead to respectability, the student shrugged her shoulders and went on to tell me how she does not need respect from anyone but herself. This is true and very noble, but the fact remains, medical evaluators such as insurance companies will not reimburse massage therapists based on self-respect; they require concrete medical data and this is where research sometimes falls short.
Although, in this era of much research regarding touch therapy, it seems not nearly enough is being done. And that is not due to any lack of interest from the medical community. When presenting potential research studies to some of the major research hospitals and medical schools in my area, I was welcomed by the allopathic community with open arms. Granted, I had some help getting my foot in the door, but then I found myself meeting with prominent members of the medical community. Many times, the chief of staff of a given department would even set up a lunch. Discussions developed, in allopathic terms, why a certain massage technique was valuable and where they could see it placed in the medical model. When I mentioned the idea of research being done, the doctors challenged each other as to who would have the opportunity to work with the therapists. Within one day, I had calls from the head of oncology, the head of hematology, and the physical therapy department all wanting to do research. The physicians even discussed the potential of research being funded through the hospitals' own research department! Now, to what do I owe this amazing outcome? It's all about simple professional courtesy! If therapists would only work at speaking the allopathic language and gain their respect, then nine times out of ten they will not only be willing, but eager to work with them. Is it any doubt that Tiffany Fields, PhD, Janet Kahn, PhD, or Janet Travell, MD, were so successful in their research attempts? They did not go against the grain. They understood the need for good clinical research, studied their field and were well versed in the language of allopathic medicine.
Massage therapists seem to be the most highly underrated health care providers and this is a real shame. Sadly, they seem to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to respectability in the medical field, but this has been changing in recent years. This is primarily because their scope of practice is so broad and their knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology so vast, that when medical practitioners see this they often are dazzled at how knowledgeable therapists are and how useful they can be!
Unfortunately, it's not the therapist, but how they come across that makes or breaks them in the medical field. With all the recent bickering about defining medical massage and extra certification and training, it appears what it really boils down to is communication. The better therapists can speak with other health care providers, the better they can promote themselves. Many times, massage therapists complain of not getting compensated properly for their work in medical offices, but more often than not those same therapists are the ones griping that there is too much interest in touch research and therapists should focus their efforts somewhere more useful. To me, it's all tied up with research! Modern society is full of "doubting Thomases" and unless therapists can show them the proof, they most likely will never believe how powerful touch therapy can really be.
With research, one can definitely prove the physiological effects of a certain technique and reproduce the results. And this is what the insurance companies want to see.
In closing, I will tell of one more student comment. Recently, while instructing a student how to be successful when networking with doctors and fellow massage therapists, another student commented, "Why tell him your secrets? If everyone knows how you do what you do, then you won't be unique, and everyone will be successful!" I answered quite simply, "Good! Then I would have succeeded at my task!"
John Slavin, PhD, LMT, received his massage education from Florida Academy of Massage in Ft. Myers and his PhD in biology from Canterbury University. He was recently appointed Vice President of research and development for the American University of Healing Arts in Little Rock, Ark. He is extensively involved in medical research pertaining to massage therapy and is very proactive in bridging the gap between LMTs and the allopathic community. He can be reached at "> .
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