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I spent most of December and early January writing what's called a narrative review for a peer-reviewed palliative medicine journal. In a nutshell, my task was to review the existing, published research about massage therapy in palliative care settings and populations. I chose to include settings and populations that would be considered "palliative eligible." This means I included many studies about massage therapy and cancer, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and populations whose state of ill health would lend itself well to some improvement in their quality of life, which is the goal of palliative care. In order to achieve critical mass, it was necessary to include many studies in which the massage therapy was provided by people who are not massage therapists. 78 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 3 critical thinking | MASSAGE THERAPY AS HEALTH CARE What's Going On with Massage Therapy Research? By Cal Cates I took many deep breaths. I don't know of too many other disciplines with work that is covered by a garage band of "others" in the interest of science. For instance, you don't have lay people or nurses offering physical therapy interventions to subjects in research studies and then calling it physical therapy research. I haven't seen dermatologists being taught the basics of orthopedic surgery so they can, guided by a strict protocol, provide a knee replacement surgery for the sake of scientific research. The good news is that there is far too much research about "massage therapy" to go through the tens of thousands of studies to see how many of them involve interventions provided by trained, licensed massage therapists versus lay volunteers, nurses, or other

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