resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
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.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
October, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 10
What Does the Massage Therapy Foundation Do For You?
By Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President
If you are like me, at some point in your massage school career you heard something like, "Cancer contraindicates massage because increased blood and lymph flow will speed metastasis. Your client will die sooner, and it will be your fault." And then later, you were introduced to the idea of oncology massage for cancer patients.Did you ever stop to question how this came about? Who determined that massage was dangerous in the first place? And who was brave enough to challenge that conventional wisdom?
Occasionally I have the opportunity to meet massage therapists outside the context of conferences or trade shows. When I do, I usually ask them if they've ever heard of the Massage Therapy Foundation. The response is almost always the same: "The what?" This answer causes me a little frustration and a lot of optimism, because it points to a huge untapped resource of people who don't yet know what the Massage Therapy Foundation is doing for them, and I know they're going to be excited about it when they find out.
Working for You
For those who don't know — and you're the ones I really want to talk to — the Massage Therapy Foundation is working for you. We were formed by the AMTA in 1991 with the mission of advancing the massage therapy profession through supporting scientific research, education and community service. We do this by raising money that we invest in programs to serve our vision: the practice of massage therapy is informed by evidence and is accessible to everyone.
The Foundation can only fund relatively small-scale research studies, but some of them have had huge impact. In the early 1990's, we funded some of the first research to challenge the "cancer contraindicates massage" shibboleth. The consequence: today massage therapists are able to offer safe, appropriate and welcomed touch to cancer patients. That work continues. In 2011, we funded a study on the use of massage for patients who had become addicted to opioids because of chronic pain. The 2012 grants will study massage along with exercise for weight management, and using massage to help treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. You can find a whole list of the studies in which the Foundation has invested a total of about $750,000 here: http://bit.ly/TI7iEn.
The more than $370,000 that we have given to community service grants since 1993 have had local and international impact, delivering massage to under served populations including homeless people in the U.S., Indians working in the fields in central Mexico and orphans in Japan and Uzbekistan. A full history of our community service grants can be found here: http://bit.ly/SrZG6t.
It's fun to talk about our research grants and our community service grants, because these can make every donor to the Foundation feel proud that their money is being used for such a good cause. But the work of the Foundation goes far beyond these programs.
It is important for you to know that the Massage Therapy Foundation is working –every single day– for you. Since its inception, the Foundation has been building and nurturing relationships within the research community. We have worked closely with the leading massage therapy researchers in this country and around the world. We don't just fund small-scale projects. We also help to sponsor international meetings, we offer consultation on NIH-funded research, we recruit experts to help with our own programs and we serve as a conduit for researchers with similar interests to find each other. The net result is that when a research project comes to fruition, the Massage Therapy Foundation often had something to do with it.
What does this do for you? It drives business to your door. Research that demonstrates the benefits of massage regularly makes headlines in major media outlets. This year alone massage research was featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, NPR, and many other outlets. Having an evidence base that demonstrates the benefits of massage helps YOUR bottom line. The days when we had to make hyperbolic claims about what massage could do, or "best guesses" about whether massage works are over, and solid information — in scientifically rigorous, credible forms — is now available for you to use to build your practice.
Research and community service grants are the tangible outputs of the Massage Therapy Foundation's mission. Education is third part of its job, and in many ways it is the focus that is closest to my heart. I am not an academic or a researcher, but I am a curious person. I believe that every massage therapist has the capacity — and even an obligation — to be curious. The Foundation gives you the tools to turn that curiosity into better outcomes for your clients. After all, if another massage therapist has already documented success in similar circumstances, why reinvent the wheel?
Here are some of those tools:
A lot of people feel intimidated by scientific articles because they are uncomfortable with that language. The Foundation's Basics of Research Literacy course is an online, self-paced interactive learning project that will help you move toward a more effective evidence-informed practice: www.BasicsOfResearchLiteracy.org.
The Foundation's Case Report Contests for students and practitioners provide an opportunity for you to tell your stories about your work with clients in a way that every other massage therapist can benefit. Case reports add important data to our profession's evidence base. How can we grow this without your input: http://bit.ly/GH93IK?
Maybe it would help if you had access to a peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to massage research. The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork is a rigorous academic publication that is open-sourced and available without subscription: www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/education/ijtmb/.
For even more information, check out the research column that is published in every issue of Massage Today: it is a recap of an important research article, put into lay-person's terms by Foundation volunteers, so that every massage therapist can make use of the research being conducted today: http://bit.ly/wAIWvd.
Are you a teacher, wanting to bring some research literacy skills into your classroom? Watch for Teaching Research Literacy, a free 1-day workshop hosted by ABMP's Instructors on the Front Lines program: http://bit.ly/GEuGhP.
Maybe you learn best by being in direct contact with others. Wouldn't it be inspiring to spend three days with massage therapy researchers, learning about their work and making suggestions for future studies? Make plans now to attend the International Massage Therapy Research Conference, presented by the Massage Therapy Foundation April 25-27, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts: www.IMTRC.org.
Looking for some instant gratification? (Aren't we all?) Download our Education Toolbar. In about five minutes you'll have a bar on your internet browser that will give you instant access to Pubmed.gov (the world's largest database of science journals), Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, and several other search engines. It has links to educational tools, the Foundation's blog pages, and much more: http://bit.ly/GR6jea.
This is just a short list of assets and services the Massage Therapy Foundation provides for you today, but these services are expanding all the time. In the works at this minute: an e-book on how to use research to build partnerships with physicians in your area; a webinar series on writing excellent case reports; and an updated Massage Therapy Research Agenda.
So, in a nutshell, that's what the Massage Therapy Foundation does for you. Our call to action is to USE these resources. Sign up for our monthly newsletter that will alert you to the latest Foundation projects. Download the Education Toolbar. Read the Massage Today research column. Participate in the Case Report Contest. Come to the Research Conference. Read the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
The Foundation's revenue comes from the AMTA (our largest donor), other industry supporters and a small amount comes from individual donors. These supporters allow us to invest about $200,000 each year in our granting and educational programs that help you — whether you're a donor or not. If every massage therapist reading this article gave the value of one massage per year to the Massage Therapy Foundation, we could invest over $2 million in research, education and community service. Do you want to be a part of that? It's easy: click on the "Donate Now" button at www.massagetherapyfoundation.org to join in our vision that the practice of massage therapy is informed by evidence, and accessible to everyone.
Click here for previous articles by Ruth Werner, LMP, NCTMB, Massage Therapy Foundation President.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.