Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2021

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How to effectively implement evidence-based practice remains a vexed question among many manual therapy and bodywork professionals. This is partly due to the variability in the actual evidence base for some modalities, for reasons ranging from problematic research design to lack of funding or institutional support. Even so, calls to "follow the science" are stronger than ever, with professional discussion groups and communities by and large prioritizing close adherence to evidence-based medicine (EBM), also known as evidence-based practice (EBP) or evidence-based health-care (EBHC) guidelines. Intensive attempts are being made in the manual therapy (MT) professions to promote the "medical" application of their approaches and chosen modalities (sometimes to the detriment of the simple maintenance of well-being). In that context, EBM is of heightened importance. 42 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m a rc h /a p r i l 2 0 2 1 education | SOMATIC RESEARCH Listen, My Body Electric Narrative Medicine and the Holistic Revolution in Biomedicine, Part 1 By Sasha Chaitow, PhD As I outlined in a previous article ("Science, Pseudoscience, and the Communication Battle," Massage & Bodywork, July/August 2020, page 42), self-regulation and distancing from pseudoscientific claims, fads, and practices have never been more important to the future of these professions. Care, restraint, and nuance, however, should be part of deciding how the scientific basis, or lack thereof, should be determined, and a binary either-or approach based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) alone is both uncalled for and inaccurate, as I have also explored elsewhere ("A Cautionary Tale," Massage & Bodywork, March/April 2020, page 46). In parallel, the biopsychosocial (BPS) model of health care is rapidly being embraced by many health-care workers across disciplines and professions, while the field of pain science is informing MT work in particular. This trio of influences has led to

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