Case Study: A Year in the Life of a Massage Research Curriculum

  • Michael Hamm, LMP, CCST Cortiva Institute-Seattle
Keywords: Massage education, research literacy, case reports


Research literacy is an essential and growing component in modern massage school curricula(1,2). There is broad agreement across massage schools on the emerging importance of research training, but significant differences remain in depth of focus and methodology(3). This may be due to the wide variety of professional practice settings(4) or to the differences in public perception, legislation, and curriculum length. However, the rise in usage of massage therapy makes interacting with the larger health care world inevitable. Massage therapy is an increasingly popular form of care used by patients who are often also being treated by a physician for the same condition. Nevertheless, we found that massage therapists and physicians rarely communicated with each other. Possible barriers to communication include our observation that most patients who see both a physician and a massage therapist for a particular condition were not referred to a massage therapist by the physician. Furthermore, many massage therapists are not trained in charting language familiar to physicians(4). Whether practicing in spa, medical, or private practice settings, a massage school graduate will find the highest expression of their work if given basic literacy in research. To this end, successful research training gives graduates a reliable skill set in four key domains: evaluating research articles; making informed clinical decisions, communicating with other health care providers; and writing their own clinical case reports.

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How to Cite
Hamm, LMP, CCST, M. (2011). Case Study: A Year in the Life of a Massage Research Curriculum. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork Research Education &Amp; Practice, 4(2), 7–8.