Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2013

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education classroom to client | Pathology perspectives | body awareness | functional anatomy | somatic research Self-Care Education Improves Massage Outcomes By Diana L. Thompson It takes a village to manage pain, especially back pain. Research shows that back pain is relatively resistant to monodisciplinary therapy regimens. To make it even more complicated, no one treatment is best for all patients. Integrative care—Eastern modalities, massage therapy, mental health, movement therapies, relaxation techniques, structural modalities, etc.—in addition to conventional treatments, such as medication and injections, may be the answer.1 According to a recent clinical trial, the most common multidisciplinary treatment plan for low-back pain included exercise, massage therapy, and self-care education. This treatment was the most recommended combination by the study's integrative care team, and the second most selected combination by the patients (acupuncture was selected slightly more often than massage by patients in this study).2 Comparative effectiveness studies like these are on the rise. Many complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies are seen as viable treatment options for complicated conditions such as back pain, but research has not explored the combination of conventional medicine and CAM until recently. Several such studies have been published in the past year, demonstrating that a multidisciplinary treatment approach ameliorates pain and 56 massage & bodywork may/june 2013

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