For decades massage practitioners and bodywork therapists have had their work validated by the improved health and well-being of their clients. This has been gratifying to both parties and has lead not only to the expansion of massage training programs, but also to a multi-billion dollar alternative therapies industry with massage at the forefront.
This has also brought some degree of respect from our healthcare colleagues, but as they entertain the thought of collaboration with massage practitioners, these word-of-mouth testimonials are not strong enough evidence to prove the merits of our work. Doctors, insurance adjustors, and other healthcare professionals want to know the specific benefits that they can expect for their patients if they prescribe massage as part of the treatment plan.
In the last 10 years research into the specific results and benefits of massage and bodywork interventions has emerged as an important part of validating the massage profession for the rest of the healthcare field. This has made it incumbent upon massage educators to cultivate students who are familiar with the research being done in the field, and to offer those who are interested the opportunity to also engage in the research process. Every instructor at IPSB who teaches a specialization in a bodywork modality recognizes the value of students working with a client over a period of time to explore the unfolding of the therapeutic process, to observe changes in the client over a series of bodywork sessions, and to observe in themselves the treatment choices made based on experience with the client’s body and their reaction to treatment.
The Research Case Report class builds on this extended client-therapist interaction, and it does so in the form of a case study — a report that tells not only about the client’s presenting conditions and how they were treated, but also contextualizes this within the research done for similar conditions and with similar bodywork treatments. Furthermore, students learn how to quantify changes which the client experiences — measurable changes in terms of frequency, intensity, duration of specific discomforts, change in terms of body posture, as well as subjective change in terms of the client’s ability to function on a daily basis, mood, and well-being. Such a study reports concrete results to substantiate the benefits of massage treatments.
Publishing our work is an important way to promote an understanding of what bodywork therapists actually do and the results that can be achieved. It is also another way that we can educate our healthcare colleagues and the general public about the profound possibilities of massage and bodywork therapies.
Is Tui Na Effective for Relieving Low Back Pain?
Somato-Emotional Integration Reduces Frequency and Intensity of Tension-type Headaches and Alleviates Low Back Pain in a Female Subject.
Impact of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) in the treatment of postural misalignment and chronic hip, low back, and knee pain.
Effects of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) on structural imbalance and the reduction of chronic pain.
To determine if using Tuina to address organ disharmony is beneficial in achieving a reduction in the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches.