resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
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.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
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."
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.
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.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
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.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
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!
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
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.
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.
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.
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