resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
December, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 12
Why Do Clients Keep Coming Back for Massage?
By Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor
Contributed by Sandra K. Anderson, BA, LMT, ABT; Beth; MK Brennan MS, RN, LMBT; Jolie Haun PhD EdS LMT
In this month's Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) research review, we are reporting on a focus group study that explored the reasons clients continue to use massage therapy. The article was written for Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2009, by a research team from New Zealand associated with the Southern Institute of Technology and the Centre for Physiotherapy Research.
As professional massage therapists and bodywork practitioners, we rely on a stable client base for income. We know that by providing client-centered treatments, a welcoming therapeutic atmosphere, as well as conducting ourselves professionally and ethically, clients are more likely to return. However, unless we explore clients' reasons for continued use, we may not know why they come back for massage.
Over the past few years, research supporting the psychological and physiological benefits of massage therapy has been on the rise. The authors thought it would be useful to gain clarity about the contributing factors for the popularity of massage from the clients' perspective. The goal of this research was to explore the reasons why (or "drivers") clients use, value and continue to seek massage therapy services.
Determining the reasons for repeated use of massage requires listening to the clients about their needs, insights and activities. Therefore, Smith et al chose to use the focus group methodology, which is a qualitative approach for studying participants' attitudes and perceptions. Telephone focus groups were conducted with current and repeat massage therapy clients throughout New Zealand.
Participants were male and female, 16 years of age or older. Participants were included if they had at least one massage within the previous three months or at least two massages within the previous six months. Participants were excluded if they received student massages, or if the massage was provided by another practitioner (e.g. physiotherapy, beauty therapist, or other CAM practitioner) since these types of massage were considered an adjunct to another therapy. No more than two clients from any one therapist were recruited and massage therapists as clients were excluded.
Three telephone focus groups were conducted in August, 2007. Groups included five to seven participants and lasted approximately an hour. A moderator with previous focus group experience facilitated the telephone focus groups, which followed a semi-structured format. All sessions were recorded, observed by another study author and then transcribed.
According to the article, during the focus groups, "Initially, each person was asked for their individual input; at other times, the line was open for anyone to answer first. The moderator provided opportunities for inclusion of all participants using a range of approaches including: probing questions, group discussion strategies and different points of view and experiences were sought. A speaker grid was used to record responses, and to cue and monitor participation. The moderator and assistant held a debriefing discussion after each session."
Results of the study showed four driving forces for continued use of massage:
These results are in line with other studies that show massage therapy is considered part of wellness maintenance, placing value on the client's physical, psychological and emotional needs to achieve mental and physical balance.
Limitations to the study include possible bias resulting from the therapists selecting their own clients to participate, small sample size and low number of male participants. It should be noted qualitative research is not qualified by large sample sizes, but rather the depth and breadth of information gathered. The goal of qualitative research is to reach saturation, which can be achieved given the reported sample size of this research. However, since 95% of participants in this study were female, there is little information regarding what drives male clients to receive massage. In addition, the sample may not reflect individuals who had a negative experience with massage. Consecutive sampling to minimize therapist bias and including more male participants could improve methodology in future studies. It would also be interesting to replicate this study in North America to see if reasons for continued massage therapy use are consistent cross-culturally. Further, qualitative findings such as these, can inform a subsequent quantitative study to investigate how commonly these views and experiences are reported in a larger representative sample of massage therapy clients.
Overall, massage therapy is a client-centered wellness practice where clients desire results. However, clients report that they continue to seek treatment because of the beneficial experiential aspect of receiving massage therapy. This suggests that as massage therapy and bodywork practitioners, it is not only our skilled touch, but also our ability to provide a professional and hospitable environment that draws clients in and brings them back. Our professionalism sets the tone for our career longevity.
To learn more about the economic impact of CAM, you can review the Massage Therapy Foundation article archives, read accepted MTF Research Grant abstracts, or search Pub Med for CAM/CIM cost analysis studies.
Click here for more information about Massage Therapy Foundation Contributor.
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