Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2013

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education Pathology perspectives | body awareness | functional anatomy | somatic research State of Evidence Informing Health-Care Reform By Diana L. Thompson The Massage Therapy Research Agenda (MRA),1 set forth by a workgroup of experts (MRAW) 2 and convened by the Massage Therapy Foundation, is nearly 15 years old. Since its inception, the state of research involving our profession has changed dramatically. More than 400 articles on massage have been indexed on PubMed per year for the past six years, as compared to the 170 per year average in the 1990s. Nearly half of the 10,562 massage research articles indexed by PubMed since 1883 have been published since the MRAW convened in 1999.3 A research agenda identifies short and long-term goals to guide researchers to ask meaningful questions and to help direct research funding. Research agendas are typically set by stakeholders within a profession, including clinicians, educators, policy experts, researchers, and consumers, through surveys, focus groups, and committee work. Without the active participation of members of the massage profession in deciding what research should be done, there is every possibility that knowledge generated from future research will not be relevant or of value to massage therapists or their clients.4 The Massage Therapy Foundation is preparing to update the MRA at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, April 25–27, 2013. The final day of the conference will be dedicated to beginning this conversation via large and small group discussions, panel presentations, the research presented during the previous two days, and the 52 massage & bodywork january/february 2013

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