resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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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