Claiming Evidence-based massage practice

Claiming Evidence-based massage practice

The expression "the only truths will set us free" applies to many life situations, but it's especially relevant in the massage field . We are the only occupation in healthcare that stimulates the healing process through touch. We work from insight, leaving no room for pretense or making up clinically unproven methods. If massage therapists pretend otherwise, it creates barriers that hinder their ability to practice the healing art freely.

Our holistic approach includes somatic and visceral stimulations, which have the ability to promote healing in the unity of both, body and mind. If you missed this article, I highly recommend reading it. It may help us understand the agreement with the notion that "the only truths will set us free." No room for pretending or making up in the art of healing.

As members of the healthcare field, many of us who practice and teach massage therapy often become excited by general slogans like "evidence-based practice." However, this excitement can sometimes divert our focus from becoming effective massage therapists who can truly help people alleviate painful disorders and successfully treat stress-related illnesses. While I could claim to practice evidence-based medical massage, I refrain from doing so due to the reasons outlined in the article linked above. The formation of our professional mindset, understanding simplicity, and perfecting hands-on techniques are the only pathways to practicing our own evidence-based massage. There is no need for destructive slogans.

According to Wikipedia, evidence-based practice (EBP) is a process used to review, analyze, and translate the latest scientific evidence to quickly incorporate the best available research, along with clinical experience and patient preference, into clinical practice so nurses can make informed patient-care decisions. However, it's worth noting that on the same Wikipedia page, it states that 70% of researchers could not reproduce the findings of other scientists, and approximately 60% could not reproduce their own findings. This raises questions about the reliability of research outcomes. This is why the FDA, over the last 10 years, has required patient-reported outcomes in addition to all other written material.

If all this excitement about evidence-based practice doesn't make sense, then why should we follow something that doesn't make sense, along with slogans that aren't applicable to massage therapy practice? To clarify and summarize, evidence-based practice is a process used to review, analyze, and translate the latest scientific evidence. However, considering the reproducibility issues in research, it raises doubts about the reliability of evidence-based approach.

Dear massage therapists, for us, evidence-based practice means our ability to reproduce positive treatment outcomes. As a massage educator, my mission is to share my knowledge in a way that enables my students to achieve sustainable results and reproduce these outcomes. I adopted FDA approach,and have chosen to teach based on real cases presented by patients and patient-reported outcomes. Please click on this link to listen to patient-reported outcomes , and feel free to explore my blogs where I explain the treatments I administered and the programs I utilized to successfully treat my patients. In the near future, I will write explanations on cases presented by Annie, Jon, and Mark. I will provide detailed explanations of the individual decisions made for each case to prevent spinal surgeries and knee replacements. I also recommend listening to Eileen O'Farrell's presentations; seven years ago, she was scheduled for a hip replacement. How did I achieve such sustainable results? All will be explained in detail. Additionally, I will discuss Jodie’s unique concussion case. Worsening post-concussion encephalopathy could lead to dementia, movement disorders, and other degenerative brain diseases. In future writings, I will provide detailed explanations of the treatment and how I succeeded in such cases by choosing the correct strategy. Simply follow my writings. Most likely, I will present each case based on patient-reported outcomes every week.

Importance of keeping the Record Straight

I was inspired to write this article after a long discussion with an MD, the head of a medical organization. He mentioned that he had talked to some medical massage practitioners, referred patients to them, but saw no sustainable results or ability to reproduce outcomes. He said:” They tried to teach me medicine” I argued that not every doctor has the same ability, and many massage therapists without special training in medical massage are calling themselves medical massage practitioners. When I arrived in the United States 32 years ago, the term "medical massage" was not commonly used. Most of my colleagues advertised themselves as Swedish or sports massage practitioners. I introduced the term "medical massage" to the US massage community through my first VHS. Published articles, books, or video ,this is what we call "on the record,"  in this five-minute presentation I am clarifying medical massage term. 

IS MEDICAL AND SPORTS MASSAGE A MYTH????? (Introductory lesson number one)

I strongly believe that no one can be a good massage therapist without being well-informed about the methods they are practicing. Confusion is an obstacle to professional skills development. For example,

The term "deep massage" lacks a clear definition. It typically refers to vigorous pressure, which lacks therapeutic elements and can lead to soft tissue injury. I call it anger management. When massage therapist applying vigorous pressure, inflicting pain, and clients encouraging to press harder , it isn't nothing else but anger Management .As an educator, it's my duty to educate and set the record straight.

Since arriving in the United States 32 years ago, I've noticed a divide in our massage community. Some consider advanced practitioners to be those who treat painful skeletal muscular disorders, while others see full-body massage practitioners as less advanced. Over my 48-year career, I've developed mastery in treating various disorders such as lower back, neck, upper back, hip, knee, and other painful skeletal muscular disorders.

As you could hear from patient-reported outcomes. Yes, the application of medical massage can prevent surgeries.

However, it's alarming to see statistics showing that 75 to 90% of doctors' visits are stress-related cases, leading to essential hypertension, mental fog, sleep disorders, muscular aches and pains, lack of focus, clinical depression, anxieties, and more. As I've written in many articles, painful skeletal muscular disorders not only cause suffering but also affect the quality of life. Stress-related illnesses lead to life-threatening heart attacks and cancers.

I have been a big advocate for full-body medical stress management throughout my career. I incorporate it when treating chronic painful skeletal muscular disorders and stress-related illnesses.

In an article published in Massage Today in August 2005, I wrote: "Recent discussions in professional publications have debated advanced certifications. In my opinion, those of us who have made our careers by providing full-body stress management massage are advanced massage therapists. Full-body stress management massage is scientifically and clinically proven as a powerful method for managing stress."

Consider this analogy: a dentist who is not an oral surgeon can still be a qualified dentist. Similarly, not being a specialist in a particular discipline does not make one therapist better than another. After this article was published, I faced critiques suggesting that I was proposing to pull the massage community back to full-body Swedish massage instead of advancing it. To these critiques, I responded that full-body stress management massage has always been and will remain an advanced method of treatment.

On the record: 25 years ago, I produced a DVD program teaching full-body medical stress management massage and a protocol for medical massage in cases of essential hypertension. Today, this program is available as an electronic file. As you can see, I practice and teach what I believe in, considering myself an advanced medical massage practitioner, and hopefully, my patients see me the same way because I achieve results and can reproduce outcomes of massage procedures. In summary. Now days,no massage practitioner should or can consider themselves advanced practitioners, without capability to perform medical stress management massage.

You're welcome to post questions.

Best wishes,

Boris Prilutsky

Add New
  • February 29 2024 04:37 PM boris prilutsky
    Hi Irene.
    Thank you for posting . When we are talking on medical massage ,we should not to complicate, because this is simple approach to massage procedure, but in no case we can to simplify medical full body stress management massage, as well as other medical massage protocols. Physiological effect of massage on human body, strategies and individual treatment plan adjustment, sequence of massage techniques,all developed through intensive research, well observed, and for many years clinically proven to be most powerful methodology in stress management. As you know message in details. We are starting full body medical stress management massage from toes, lateral parts of toes, spending 50% of procedure on different kneading techniques, having good scientific reason to pay special attention, to lower extremities, as well as neck to normalize blood perfusion to the brain. With out this what I have mentioned, you cannot sustain results in cases of essential hypertension, mental fogey brain, sleep disorders, muscular aches and pains and more stress-related disorders. At my program #2 I'm covering protocols including but not limited to essential Hypertension, Dizziness, Headaches, & Worsening of Vision (secondary to Vertebral Artery Syndrome) Greater Occipital Neuralgia, Neck Rehabilitative Exercises, but not less important additionally to protocols I mentioned above, I'm teaching and explaining and most time hands-on demonstrating medical full body stress management massage protocol. All in one program. Once you purchasing this program, it's available for you anytime and all time. Repeatedly watching my hands on performances, helping to adapt the correct idea of touch.For more details please click these link
    Best wishes
  • February 25 2024 05:55 PM Irene Diamond
    I appreciate you being open to colleagues’ thoughts and feedback.

    I briefly scanned the linked article and regarding your summary, “Now days,no massage practitioner should or can consider themselves advanced practitioners, without capability to perform medical stress management massage.”

    I may be wrong, but I believe most massaged. Therapist advanced or not are capable of performing a stress management massage.

    However, I would not consider adding the word “medical”

    Regardless of the technique, modality, or approach used in a session with a client, the differentiation is between the intent to initiate a relaxation response, versus another clinical outcome / goal. ????

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