Interpreting Evidence for Massage Therapists

So we have all these research studies that are written up but now what? How do we use those studies? How do we connect research to practice? What does it mean for YOUR massage practice or business?

Peer Review. What is it and why do we need it?

What is peer-review anyway?
Peer review is a system of looking at research studies that are submitted for publication. It’s how publishers make sure that new articles are high quality and add to the body of knowledge in a discipline. Peer reviewers are other experts in the massage or healthcare professions that understand the scientific process. They look at the paper with new eyes, looking to see whether the data is accurate and is clearly presented. In most professions, it is usually done for free by the professors in that same field. They don’t know who wrote the paper, which helps keep the peer review free of bias. (If they knew it was a friend of theirs paper, there could be a biased peer review.)

When a researcher wants to share a discovery with the academic community, first they must write a draft article and submit it for publication in a scholarly journal. Then, the journal’s editor reads over the article to decide whether it’s a good fit for the journal.

The peer review process is not perfect. Scientists are human too and subject to bias—everyone has biases. It is important to still be skeptical and ask questions.   Evaluate the question, evaluate the methods used to ask the question, evaluate the interpretation of the results, then form your own tentative conclusion. You don’t have to agree with the authors of the peer review paper.

Peer Review Resources

See for a full list of peer reviewed resources for massage therapists.

The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (IJTMB) is an open access, peer-reviewed publication intended to accommodate the diverse needs of the rapidly-expanding therapeutic massage and bodywork community. Principal sections of the journal span the areas of research, education, and clinical practice.

IJTMB is indexed in PubMed Central, Quarterly, the Directory of Open Access JournalsCrossRefHealthindexIndex CopernicusGoogle ScholarHinari , Scopus, Norske Senter for Forskningsdata (NSD) and Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and PublishersIJTMB has been assigned the following 2018 journal indicator ratings: SNIP 0.41, CiteScore – 0.82, and SJR – 0.27. 


We are bombarded by statistics all day long…from various media sources, Facebook, Social Media…so how do we take it all in and make sense of it all. It takes learning about statistics. You can start your journey here- An Introduction to Data Analysis.

Communicating Science to non-science people.

Here-in lies the biggest challenge in the massage profession — How do non-experts, non-scientists, more intuitive based people, find, decipher and make sense of massage therapy research?

Science Literacy

Metaphysics, Magical Thinking

Traditional Medicine

Science vs Pseudoscience

Critical Thinking

What gets in the way of critical thinking?

Logical Fallacies

Scientific Method

The Art of Massage