Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice


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Posted by Benjamin McDonald on February 10, A version of this post originally appeared on Massamio. We often hear about the benefits of massage, but we less frequently hear about its limitations. We are also often told to beware of charlatans, without any explanation of what that means. Furthermore, regulatory bodies are charged with protecting the public, but what does the public need protecting from when it comes to a massage? These are just some of the questions that a growing field of research is tackling at this very moment.


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Therapeutic massage and bodywork is now an established field of research with dedicated funding, researchers, and many venues and channels for dissemination of research. Diving into research doesn't have to be a daunting task. We've put together a list of trusted and reliable resources to help you stay up-to-date on the latest research conducted in the field of massage therapy. This literary review has done all the research and hard work for you! Starting from over 1, pages of top quality medical articles, it is synthesized into pages and subsequently summarized into approximately 30 pages.

All articles are referenced with titles and full text sources should you want to read the 1, pages of medical language. There is full transparency with citation of sources and links to those sources so you can read the full study for yourself. Download the review : It's one of the most comprehensive reviews of the medical research on massage therapy out there and we would love to hear your thoughts on it.

This approach provides for the dissemination of scientific findings not only to professionals in the massage and bodywork field but also to colleagues in associated disciplines and professions. Read the journal: The first issue launched in August Access the IJTM here. The Massage Therapy Foundation has done so much for the profession through rigorous research. They really believe in the value of research, and you can tell.

From their website:.

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Topics have ranged from massage for peripheral neuropathy related to chemotherapy, to postural control of elders, to migraines, cancer, and spinal cord injury. Get involved: Subscribe to their blog and download free resources or heck, why not donate! This book was published by Human Kinetics and has only been out for a few months. The contributors to this book are an impressive group of people.

Besides Dryden and Moyer, there are contributions from Janet R. The explanations of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as mixed methods of research, has enlightened me.

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The main purpose of the book is to introduce massage therapists to the various concepts of research, and how to apply that information to your every-day practice of massage. There is a whole section, Populations and Conditions, that contains chapters on working with pediatric clients, pregnant clients, athletes, geriatric clients, and adults with a history of sexual trauma. The conditions that are covered include back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, cancer, and anxiety and depression—the things that we are all confronted with on a regular basis.

She states the five crucial things that this book addresses:. It makes the compelling case that research literacy is a necessary skill even among entry-level massage therapists. It introduces key concepts in a way that is both simple and accurate. It emphasizes the application of research by giving clear examples of tying published findings to everyday practice scenarios.

By emphasizing the practical application of research findings, it acknowledge the importance of the feedback loop that must exist between clinicians and researchers. It lays the groundwork for its own future development as the mass of evidence about massage therapy continues to grow. However, resting on those kinds of laurels is a big mistake, in my opinion.

Book Review: Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice

There are many massage therapists other than myself and the contributors to this book who want to see massage therapy gain the respect we think it deserves. The way to do that is research, research, research, and more research. Preview — Massage Therapy by Trish Dryden. Christopher Moyer Editor. Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice presents the latest research examining the evidence for the use of various massage therapy techniques in treating pathological conditions and special populations.

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In this resource readers will find a synthesis of information from the diverse fields of kinesiology, medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and psychology. Authore Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice presents the latest research examining the evidence for the use of various massage therapy techniques in treating pathological conditions and special populations. Authored by experts carefully selected for their specific knowledge, experience, and research acumen, Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice will assist both students and practitioners in these areas: - Learning the benefits of evidence-based massage therapy practice - Understanding various research methods - Developing research skills by learning guidelines for writing case reports and journal articles - Understanding how to integrate massage therapy research into education and clinical practice This text presents a seamless integration of research and practice in four parts, providing readers first with a background to the field of massage therapy followed by discussion of research methods.

Next is an evidence-based presentation of the efficacy of massage therapy for conditions and populations often encountered in massage therapy practice.

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This clinicial section presents three patient populations pediatric, athletic, and elderly ; three pain-related types headache, neck and shoulder pain, and low back pain ; and six conditions that massage therapists may encounter: pregnancy and labor, scar treatment, cancer, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression, and clients who have experienced sexual trauma. Recommendations and evidence-based treatment guidelines are clearly defined for each condition. Case reports developed from real-life cases are included in this section, offering readers a real-world context for the clinical content presented.

The final section illustrates specific ways to integrate research into the educational and professional development of current and future massage therapists. It provides readers with the fundamental tools for a research-based approach in clinical practice, especially as it relates to special populations. A running glossary, chapter summaries, and critical thinking questions assist students in learning the content and act as self-study tools for practitioners.


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  • Massage Therapy: Integrating Research and Practice offers both students and practitioners of massage therapy the most current evidence-based information, guidelines, and recommendations for the treatment of conditions often seen in massage therapy practice. This essential reference will assist practitioners in understanding the scientific literature and its application in enhancing the practice of this safe and effective health intervention. Get A Copy.

    Hardcover , pages. Published April 10th by Human Kinetics Publishers. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Massage Therapy , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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