Articles Of The Week October 10, 2021

We are big proponents of implementing research into your practice, but sometimes it can be hard to tell what is good and bad research. A systematic review is generally considered one of the better kinds of research papers to look at, but there can still be flaws with them too. This article helps us understand this a little better.

What is the difference between a systematic review and a meta-analysis? – Jennifer Hanratty

Learning is different for everyone. If you’re teaching in a massage college, or a continuing education course you’ve probably seen how students learn in a variety of ways. Perhaps the exams that go with courses should be changed to a ‘learning opportunity’ to focus on actual learning instead of memorizing?

Why I Went from Proctored Exams to Open-book – Debbie Fetter

Relationships are an important part of being a Massage Therapist. As we know therapeutic relationships are a crucial part of the interaction we have with our patients, but how much attention do we pay to our business relationships?

Why MTs Succeed: Massage Business Relationships – Mark Liskey

Some of the good research that has been done on massage is how it helps improve sleep and mood. So we know there is a potential to help those dealing with depression but we also have to ask is the lack of sleep potentially causing depression or vice-versa? This article can help us understand this a little better and has some great things we could share with our patients.

Does Depression Make You Tired And How? Meredith Flanagan

I think many of us suffer from burnout from time to time (I know I certainly have!). While this article is directed at trainers, many of the same things still apply to us Massage Therapists. Here are 5 signs you might be experiencing burnout and if you are, please talk to someone about it because YOUR mental health is crucially important.

5 Signs You’re a Trainer Approaching Burnout – Chris Cooper

Articles Of The Week September 26, 2021

Ever had a patient come in with ‘frozen shoulder’? Well, there’s some new research showing that maybe it’s not quite what we think it is.

Can the mind freeze shoulders? Five studies – Paul Ingraham

EDS can be a bit confusing for us to treat as it results in hypermobility. However, the more we understand we see it is a connective tissue disease that can be mistaken for others. So, the question remains, how can we help? Here are some options.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Does Massage and Physical Therapy Help? – Penny

We are big fans of implementing research to practice and adapting to the clinical guidelines set out in research. However, there is still an important part to all of this via the lived experience of the people who come to see you. Because THEIR experience is PERSONAL.

“Research Says” – And Why Lived Experience Matters – Bronnie Lennox Thompson

Remember in college when we were taught to do cross fiber frictions on a tendon? Well, turns out that’s probably the worst thing we can do for a tendon injury. However, progressive load…that’s where it’s at!

Effectiveness of progressive tendon-loading exercise therapy in patients with patellar tendinopathy: a randomised clinical trial – BJSM

Some of the good research that has been done on massage therapy shows how it benefits sleep (and who doesn’t love a great nights sleep?). A new study shows how using a sleep app in addition to therapy benefited compared to those who just had therapy alone.

Good sleep plus therapy works better than therapy alone – MedicalXpress

Articles Of The Week September 19, 2021



Reading research can be a daunting task, especially when it doesn’t really make sense to us how to read it. Here is a free course with small videos you can check out to up your research game!

Understanding Research Evidence – National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

There is strong evidence that a therapist’s beliefs get passed on to patients and they adapt to a therapist’s beliefs. So, when we have a more biomechanical belief or explanation for our patients, this can lead to more disability for them. Here’s a great article with some advice on how not to do that.

Chronic Pain: It’s More Than Mechanical – Laura Baehr

“Based on high-quality research, nonoperative management of ACL injuries is a really viable option for some ACL injured patients.” However, there are factors to take into account and this article does a great job of showing where this would be applicable, and where not.

Can All ACL’s be Managed Non-Operatively? – Mick Hughes

I love adapting movements for patients. This shows us some great ways we can adapt the ‘bridge’ exercise and simple progressions to suit your patient’s goals.

5 Ways to Adapt the Bridge Exercise to Suit Your Goals – Tom Goom

Quite often people come in for treatment because they want ‘injury prevention’. However, many times part of injury prevention could be because they’re scared of certain movements. So why not take an approach around building ‘wellness’? Here are some steps to do that.

Injury Prevention Through the Lens of Building Wellness – Richmond Stace

Articles Of The Week September 12, 2021

There is many a narrative that needs to change in our profession. One such narrative is the theory of “myofascial slings” and in this Facebook post it helps us understand why this theory isn’t really useful for us.

Can Myofascial Slings Transmit Stretch From One Body Part To Another? – Raphael Bender

I remember a teacher in college telling me that some people will come in for treatment just to experience human touch. This has perhaps never been more important than during this pandemic where people have been isolated and lack the normal human touch they are used to.

Touch Deprivation Post-Covid: A “Tsunami Of Need” For Massage – Doug Nelson

Trigger points (TrPs) are a common source of discussion and debate on social media and even though most of us were taught about trigger points in school, the research has long been updated. We need to pay attention to that.

A Trigger Point Review – Eric Purves

One of the other articles we cited talked about interception, this article refers to this as: “your brain’s perception of your body’s state, transmitted from receptors on all your internal organs.” This plays some interesting roles in both physical and mental health.

Interoception: The Hidden Sense That Shapes Wellbeing – David Robson

We really like analogies around here, so this one really resonated. When we look at someone dealing with pain we have to be careful around causation. There are too many factors that contribute to a pain experience to narrow it down to just one thing.

Understanding Causation, A Coffee Mug Analogy – Modern Pain Care

Articles Of The Week August 29, 2021

I posted something earlier this week about other practitioners questioning what you are doing in practice (specifically to movement). Naturally, this post was a good reminder that we don’t know what is going on in another person’s practice. More specifically we don’t know what’s going on with the person in front of that practitioner and why they’re recommending certain things to their patient. Contextual factors play a large role in what we do, even when it comes to recommending exercise.

What Is Wrong With 3 Sets Of 10 Reps – Marcus Blumensaat

We know how important communication is with our patients so it’s really interesting to see when new research learns new things about this in the brain. After years of research, neuroscientists have discovered a new pathway in the human brain that processes the sounds of language. While we will still need to work on our communication skills, it’s interesting to see how the brain processes this.

Sounds And Words Are Processed Separately And Simultaneously In The Brain – Cell Press

We quite often identify with the techniques we use as therapists. Quite often we hear therapists talking about what they are “doing to a patient”, where a therapist is an ‘operator’. However, this takes the person on your table out of the equation making them a passive recipient. Since we know there are more factors to a successful treatment than just a passive technique, we need to move past the ‘operator’ thinking.

Therapist As Operator Or Interactor? Moving Beyond The Technique – Diane Jacobs & Jason Silvernail

Ever use dad jokes as part of your communication with your patients? Turns out this might be a way to help build a better therapeutic alliance with your patients!

Shop Talk: Therapeutic Alliance – Sheila Schindler-Ivens

I was reading something the other day about how important it is to make tough decisions in life vs. easy decisions and their outcomes. For instance, when working on your business, the easy decision is to sleep in, the tough decision is to get up and get to work. While this post is talking about fitness, the point behind it still rings true; “Easy decisions, tough life. Tough decisions, easy life.”

The Paradox Of Tough Decisions – Eric Bach

Articles Of The Week August 15, 2021

Unfortunately, cancer is so prevalent in society that it is likely we’ve all been affected by it in one way or another. This article is the story of how one of our colleagues dealt with a breast cancer diagnosis, how she managed it, and what we all need to learn from this in order to help someone who walks through our clinic doors and may need our help.

Lessons From A Massage Therapist Turned Cancer Patient – Meaghan Mounce

Most of us in business are likely trying to generate some consistent content that either gets the attention of new people to book in for appointments or possibly getting some people we haven’t seen for a while to come back to our clinics. Content creation can be tough, but here are some good tools you can put in place to create new content.

My Writing Process: The Mental Tools I Use to Produce Consistent Creative Output – Emily Rudow

Manual therapy is rife with pseudoscience and trying to apply it. This is commonly seen in high-performance sport where an athlete will do just about anything possible to gain an edge over the competition and their favourite therapist applying whatever new modality they can use to gain an edge. Every time the Olympics are on we see a new thing applied to athletes, however, these fads usually come and go, but why?

Olympic Pseudoscience – Tokyo Edition – Steven Novella

This article blends really well with the above one. What does Kinesiotape really do? Well, it kinda depends on if you like it.

Is Kinesiology Tape (KT) A Placebo? – Marc Surdyka

As a profession, we need to keep pushing for evidence-based practice in order to be taken seriously as a health care entity. In order to do that many of the old teachings surrounding the profession either have to be updated or let go of completely, including the myth of healing hands.

The Myth of Healing Hands – Paul Ingraham