Massage Therapy Foundation Blog

It's up to massage therapists to determine applications of research findings

Posted by Allissa Haines on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 10:21 AM

Marketing committee volunteer Allissa Haines sat down with MTF President Ruth Werner to learn more about the International Massage Therapy Research Conference happening in Boston in April, 2013.

As a newcomer to the world of research, I’m learning how to read and understand research abstracts and summaries. (Hint: the Basics of Research Literacy class is helping!) Then, I finally understand a summary and I think, “Now what?” Turns out, it’s our job to figure out what’s next. As massage therapists, we’re in the best position to determine the applications of research findings. Huh. You can see Ruth explaining it to me in this video. And join us at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference to learn more!

Not into video? Here’s the transcript!

Ruth Werner, Massage Therapy Foundation President

Ruth Werner, Massage Therapy Foundation President

Ruth: One of the very first science meetings I went to was the Fascia Congress in 2007 in Boston. And I was sitting there in these presentations of findings. And it seems to me that these scientists were investing so much time into how they did the experiment, and so little time into talking about what the results were, and what the results mean.

And I was shocked and frustrated by that. But it turns out that among scientists, that’s what they do. They talk about how their experiments are constructed so that they can demonstrate it’s a strong experiment. The interpretation of the findings, and especially the application of the findings – why does it help you to know that these changes happen – that’s up to us, the clinicians, to figure out. It’s our job to take those findings and see if we can apply them.

One of the things that happens at a meeting like this is that there is good interaction between clinicians– that’s massage therapists– and the scientists, so that the scientists can be asking useful questions. We can say, “we really need more research about X,Y and Z so that we can become more effective.” So the scientists have some kind of mandate to go back to their life to study and present findings at the next meeting.

So that’s something you can expect, for scientists to really linger on process, and not linger particularly on impact, because they figure that’s our job.

Join us at the IMTRC. Register Now.