Overcoming The Difficulties Of Being An Evidence Based Massage Therapist
Often we see courses offered as the next new “technique” to have in our toolbox but we know when we look at evidence-based practice, the technique really doesn’t matter as much as things like communication, and therapeutic alliance, education, and movement.
As we strive to become more evidence-based a lot of what we see can get confusing as it sometimes seems like it’s telling us what not to do, rather than what to do, while many of the aforementioned courses seem like they’re giving us the “recipe” that will work for everything.
So how do we know which direction to go?
Recognizing The Limitations
One of the limitations of evidence-based massage therapy are that the practitioner must have the ability to quickly implement this into practice, yet it can take years of practice and training.
Also, the literature fairly consistently talks about EBP in a multidisciplinary setting, which is typically referring to a hospital setting.
We quite often mistake this with a multi-disciplinary setting as we work in, but the two are quite different from each other. In those cases, people are paid hourly, have paid staff meetings, and have situations where collaboration is made easier because they are given the time to do so.
In order for a team to take this approach in the hospital setting someone’s designated job is to take on the leadership role of implementing EBP throughout the team, however, this doesn’t really happen in most musculoskeletal clinics.
I don’t know about you but sometimes (even when you’re working in a multi-disciplinary setting) it can feel like you’re working in a silo.
You go to work and spend the day working with your patients and kind of see your colleagues in passing while you’re focused on doing charting and cleanup between treatments.
This can be even more of a challenge if you’re the only one in the clinic who is working on being evidence-based and others in the clinic are still sticking to the old narratives they’ve used for years, especially when the recommendations for success are for the entire organization to work as a team and adopt this approach.
Another issue we deal with is the arguments we often see on social media discussions where people are scared to even ask questions to help their practice for fear of the negative feedback they will receive. Yet because it sometimes feels like we’re working in a silo this may be our only way to reach out and ask for help or guidance if we need it.
And let’s be honest, implementing an evidence-based practice can just seem like a daunting task. When we look at reading research, dissecting, applying, and then collaborating with others to be truly effective, in addition to running our business, no wonder this is a huge difficulty for us.
So what can we do?
Is There A Solution?
Truthfully speaking, Massage Therapy is the best-positioned profession to spearhead the application of evidence-informed and science-based practice.
When it comes to evidence-based practice, there are many ways to make this process easier. The first thing to do is to get familiar with the most recent research that has been done in the field. This will help you to become aware of what works and what doesn’t work. You should also find out if there is any further research that needs to be done. The second thing to do is to use the internet. You can find a lot of information on the internet using sites like google scholar, PubMed, or sci-hub to find research articles and you can check out various blogs (like this one) to find what you are looking for.
However, this does take a lot of time.
What if there was a place that could help you with all of these things, plus could give you:
- a safe space to ask questions about your practice
- regular presentations to help implement new research
- research reviews
- a community of like-minded practitioners willing to help and share their experience
- people in leadership roles to help the team implement EBP
That’s what we have created with theMTDC Community.
We truly believe that Massage Therapists can be the leaders in MSK care because we have all the tools necessary to do so. We can educate, reassure, provide movement, and give one delicious feeling massage…which is exactly what evidence-based guidelines recommend!
One of the biggest reasons we can be leaders in MSK care is also because of the time we get to spend with our patients. This extra time we get with people gives us more opportunities to connect, interact, and explore options that will work well for the people in front of us. This is a huge bonus for not only our success but for the success in helping the person in front of us.
However, in order to be a leader in MSK care, we still need to implement new research and keep up to date with the new information available to us. This is where we want to help. We want you to be able to focus on that extra time with your patients and not have to spend so much time seeking out the new research.
We’re going to do that for you with monthly presentations from industry experts and regular research reviews to not only make your practice better (and make you a leader) but also to save you time, money, and build a supportive community around you.
You can continue working hard on your own but we want to help you take the next step and get on the right path to a successful practice! Join us and get involved in a community where you will have a place to get the guidance and support we all need in our practice. Click on the image below to join theMTDC community today.
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