Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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One dad who participated in Beider's summer camp for at-risk children and their families said they could now handle anything after receiving massage and counseling as a family. Mary Fabri, PsyD, shared how the touch sensitivity of survivors of torture, as well as our physical proximity to the client, needs to be considered even before we apply touch, followed by considering the need to determine what body part is safe to touch first. She spoke of the absolute power of caring, compassionate, nonverbal human interaction to transcend language and culture, bringing comfort and nourishment to broken bodies and spirits. Nancy Keeney Smith, MLD, MT, NCB, shared her challenges experimenting with measures that would hold up to research rigor while working with a woman who, as a child, had pulled hot water into her crib, severely scalding her back. For her lifetime, the scars have prevented her from straightening her arm. After five sessions, she regained normal extension, and Keeney Smith had the measurements to demonstrate it. Elizabeth Sommers, PhD, shared outcomes of her work with obese youth in Boston, emphasizing that the following behavioral changes were associated with the massage therapy intervention, not caused by it: decrease in smoking, increase in healthy eating habits (choosing fruits and vegetables over salty or sweet snacks), and increase in exercise. One participant said she now thinks of massage as her reward for working out. The afternoon breakout sessions included research presentations on massage for communities and special populations, case reports, and hospital-based massage. Workshops on practice-based research networks' (PBRNs) methods and bestpractice guidelines ensured there was something for everyone. Saturday—Affordable Care Act and the Future of Massage Research Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT, Presidential appointee to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, and massage therapist for more than 35 years, gave a mobilizing keynote on "Massage in the 21st Century Health Care: Let's Seize the Moment!" on this final day. She pointed to the footholds for massage therapy in the Affordable Care Act: • In Section 5101, the definition of the health-care workforce includes all licensed and certified complementary and alternative health-care providers. • Section 2706 outlaws discrimination based on a provider's license. • Section 2301 provides coverage for freestanding birth center services, a potential worksite for massage therapists. She encouraged associations to rally around getting into the state's insurance marketplaces early and being prepared to battle the American Medical Association, which is pushing a scope of practice protection movement bent on removing the nondiscrimination section and preventing nonphysicians from integrating into health-care reform. The panel following was on the future of massage research, designed to collect input from the attending stakeholders and update the current massage research agenda. It began with John Balletto sharing the history of the first research agenda convened and published by the Massage Therapy Foundation. Each panelist shared desires for future studies, and prompted discussion for the afternoon session. In the afternoon, Kahn and Martha Menard, PhD, LMT, broke participants into 10 groups for additional brainstorming on new areas of research. Groups included stakeholder identities such as physicians, employers, and insurers, and types of research, such as clinical trials, PBRNs, and basic science. Each group was asked what studies they would want done according to the group topic, what their individual research priorities included, and what else should be included, such as research to facilitate education, massage's standing in health care, and improvements to research infrastructure. The results of the discussions will be collated and reviewed by Kahn and Menard. Further data will be collected from any missing perspectives and a final agenda will be published, hopefully in a year's time. Until next time, stayed tuned to www.massagetherapyfoundation.org for info about IMTRC 2016. Note 1. A. Perlman et al., "Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Dose-Finding Trial.," PLoS ONE 7, no. 2 (2012): e30248, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030248. A licensed massage practitioner since 1984, Diana L. Thompson has created a varied and interesting career out of massage: from specializing in pre- and postsurgical lymph drainage to teaching, writing, consulting, and volunteering. Her consulting includes assisting insurance carriers on integrating massage into insurance plans and educating researchers on massage therapy theory and practice to ensure research projects and protocols are designed to match how we practice. Contact her at soapsage@comcast.net. www.abmp.com. See what benefits await you. 57

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