Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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tell me … How can research help me better serve my clients? By Abram Herman ABMP Social Media Coordinator | ABMP Facebook Reader Poll To what degree does research affect the way you practice massage and bodywork? Research has a strong influence on my practice 64% Research has a moderate influence on my practice 24% Research has a small influence on my practice 6% I don't pay attention to research 6% Why Does Research Matter? Research plays an important role in legitimizing practices, especially in the health-care field, to help providers gain acceptance from a larger group of consumers. Simply sharing an article about a newfound benefit of massage therapy, demonstrated through scientific research, could inspire clients to come in for another appointment. "I often post interesting articles on Facebook or email them to clients," says therapist Diana Kane of Maryland. "It's a great way to foster the idea that massage is good for more than a relaxing, pampering treatment to be indulged in from time to time." We already know some obvious benefits of massage therapy—massage feels good and reduces stress, which leads to better overall health. This is easily established through personal, subjective experience, and is also supported by broader clinical research studies that have documented these benefits. When dealing with specific conditions, like cancer, fibromyalgia, and posttraumatic stress disorder, there is a growing body of evidence about the efficacy of massage, but a stronger level of evidence is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of massage therapy and help therapists design sessions. "I feel more confident treating a client and producing results knowing that I have taken the necessary measures to treat them," says Kathryn Keach in Colorado. Research Resources The Massage Therapy Foundation: "Advances the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service." The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork : "An open access, peer-reviewed publication intended to accommodate the diverse needs of the rapidly expanding therapeutic massage and bodywork community." PubMed: "PubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books."

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