Integrating Massage, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture in University Clinics: A Guided Student Observation

  • Alejandra A. Estrin Dashe, PhD College of Undergraduate Health Sciences, Northwestern Health Sciences University
Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), health care, education, integration, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, students


Background: Several studies have reported on the health benefits of applying an integrated complementary health care model. Purpose: This paper presents the results of pilot research focusing on the observations massage therapy students made about complementary health care education and integration during massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture treatments at two university clinics. Setting: Observations took place at Northwestern Health Sciences University’s associated clinics that offered massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Research Design: Students directly observed how clinicians and interns educated their patients and integrated other forms of complementary health care into their practice. Participants: chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists, and their patients. All participants were English-speaking and 18–65 years old. Main Outcome Measures: Observations recorded by students in journals about education and integration during massage therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture treatments were coded and counted. Results: Qualitative observations showed that clinicians and interns educated patients to some degree, but the clinicians were less apt to integrate other modalities than the interns. Conclusions: Observations support that professional integrity may limit clinicians in their ability to integrate multiple modalities of health care while treating patients. Since it is well established that integration of multiple health care modalities is beneficial to patient health, it is recommended that clinics assist their clinical staff in applying an integrative approach to their practice.

Downloads the last 12 months

Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Estrin Dashe, PhD, A. A. (2012). Integrating Massage, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture in University Clinics: A Guided Student Observation. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, &Amp; Practice, 5(2), 3–8.