Articles Of The Week July 18, 2021

We have written posts on this topic before but this is a good refresher on some issues our patients could be having with their sleep. Some of the results of sleep paralysis include muscle soreness and headaches. So while someone may not know they have sleep paralysis it could be something we recommend they have checked out by another professional.

Sleep Paralysis – Krista O’Connell

Quite often people with joint pain (especially stemming from arthritis) are prescribed steroid injections to help with the pain. As it turns out, new studies are showing this may be doing more harm than good.

A Warning From a Doctor Who Has Done Thousands of Steroid Injections for Arthritis – James Hamblin

No matter what our profession is within the manual therapy community, we all have a defined scope of practice from our regulatory bodies. It’s important we stick to these as giving advice that is out of scope can have some serious ramifications.

Chiropractors aren’t qualified to give COVID-19 vaccine advice, health experts warn – Scott Fralick & Denise Wong

Ahhh yes, anecdotal experience. This is often used in discussions online as a way to say someone doesn’t need to read or apply research in their practice. There are a lot more reasons something works in practice and a technique itself is probably not the reason.

The trouble with “it worked for me” and “athletes use it” – Paul Ingraham

We’ve written articles before on how many of us deal with “imposter syndrome”. But what about the opposite outlook “the dunning-kreuger effect”? Well, this might be the reason for some anti-vax attitudes that we are seeing right now.

How the Dunning-Kruger effect explains anti-vaccine attitudes – Paul Ratner

Articles Of The Week July 4, 2021

We frequently talk about the importance of changing basic education in our profession. However, we’re not alone. This article demonstrates that even doctors may need an overhaul of their profession as well. At least it’s good to know we’re not alone. 

How well do doctors understand probability? – Sebastian Rushworth

Super interesting article to look at how focusing or paying attention to one thing could make us miss another thing. Makes me think of using things like the “pain scale” with patients, if we’re too focused on their pain and not focusing on some other helpful things in their life, are we missing something?

Sometimes, paying attention means we see the world less clearly – Henry Taylor

Trauma can be a result of many things and of course trauma can also cause many things including a persons pain experience. So, how can we work and help people as a “trauma informed” therapist? Read on and see. 

Trauma Informed Massage Therapy – Jenn Sharman

I really like to get my bias confirmed because it makes me feel like I’m right…but am I? Sometimes yes, most times probably no, but at least there’s a name for it. Motivated Reasoning. 

Why you think you’re right — even if you’re wrong – Julia Galef

Trigger point therapy is a hotly debated topic in manual therapy. Here’s an updated discussion on what this actually is and how it can be applied in our clinical setting.

What Is Trigger Point Therapy? – Nick Ng & Tania Velásquez

Articles Of The Week June 27, 2021

I had a great conversation with a fellow skeptical Massage Therapist about a continuing education course they had taken and were debating taking “the next level”. This is an issue in our profession and I love how this post pokes a bit of fun at it but also teaches a valuable lesson.

The ABT Dilemma: Testing The Limits Of Evidence -Based Practice, Or Undermining It? – Tristen Attenborough

Any of you suffer from imposter syndrome the same way I do (honestly I hope you don’t). This is a great breakdown of how to overcome some self-doubt, but also a great rundown of how to look at information and gaining new knowledge.

The 5-step method that turns “I don’t know what I’m doing!” into a coaching superpower. – Alisa Bowman

The therapeutic relationship we have with our patients is a crucial part of any therapeutic intervention. But what happens if our empathy for people actually worked against us and how would we recognize that?

Three Ways Empathy Can Work Against You and How to Avoid Them – John Woolf

There are many, many things that can influence a person’s pain experience. One that is being brought to my attention with this article is the stigma of being a woman, and yes, some research is being done to show this.

The Stigma Of Being A Woman In Pain – Bronnie Lennox Thompson

With any hope we are helping the people who come to see us with establishing some achievable goals that will reduce disability and increase what they are able to do on a day-to-day basis. But something important to take into account is how we are communicating with our patients about this, so they are engaged in the importance and increasing their buy in.

Language Matters: Why No One Cares About Your Functional Goals – Heidi Jannenga

Articles Of The Week June 20, 2021

Unfortunately in our population chronic pain can cause some prejudice towards those who are dealing with it. We can have a hand in changing this with the way we help and interact with people, so it’s time we rethink chronic pain.

Rethinking chronic pain – The Lancet

As we recognize more about mental health, it requires more of us as therapists to be trauma-informed. This article outlines four steps to becoming more trauma-informed.

Trauma-Informed Practice in Massage Therapy Settings – Jen Sharman

It’s not just our profession that is full of many myth’s, the food and diet industry is full of probably more. With the advent of “detox” diets many people are lead astray thinking they can detox their bodies with some new fad, however, we know that’s not the case.

You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy? – Dara Mohammadi

Pain and exercise is always a bit of a hot button topic. But this is a great article that breaks down the value of exercise and pain.

Is It Safe To Do Activities That Are Painful: Exploring The Expose Versus Protect Debate – Greg Lehman

Here is a great list of must read articles to help you become a more evidence-based practitioner.

Evidence in Practice: A New Series for Clinicians – Lars Avemarie

Articles Of The Week June 06, 2021


This week’s articles of the week are centred around therapeutic alliance and communication. As opposed to blog’s it’s centred more around research papers.

This paper attempts to explore the patient perspective of ending the therapeutic relationship in regards to massage therapy, which is rarely explored in literature. This is a great read to offer us clinicians some insight into why patients may independently choose to cease treatment with their therapist. –  Patients’ Experiences of Ending Massage Therapy Care: a Commentary Amanda Baskwill, PhD, MSc, BEd, RMT1,* and Suzanne Michaud, BA, RMT2

This paper looks at the therapist’s personal attributes and in-session activities that positively influence the therapeutic alliance from a broad range of psychotherapy perspectives. Attributes such as being flexible, honest, respectful, trustworthy, confident, warm, interested, and open were found to contribute positively to the alliance. I included this paper to offer a moment of self-reflection; how might these attributes look in the context of massage therapy?

This article looks at behavioural aspects of pain (ie, peoples’ responses to pain) by identifying individual expectations, beliefs, and feelings as prognostic factors for clinical and occupational outcomes indicating progression to chronicity and how physical therapists directly or indirectly address these barriers to recovery.

Advancing Psychologically Informed Practice for Patients With Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain: Promise, Pitfalls, and SolutionsFrancis J Keefe, Chris J Main, Steven Z George 

This paper talks about the history of Motivational Interviewing and gives the reader indications and some broad ideas of how to implement this into practice. Although the MI approach in massage has been questioned for its scope of practice concerns, how might you adapt this or aspects of into your scope to improve your interviewing skills?

Motivational interviewing in musculoskeletal careRobert Shannon BSc MSc1 and Melvyn Hillsdon PhD2

Reflection on your practice and therapeutic relationships is something the massage therapy profession should take part in to help us foster growth within the way we approach treating and collaborating with our patients. Occupational Therapists are known for their practice of self-reflection. This analysis looks at 13 occupation therapists are their reflection on the complexities of building and maintaining therapeutic relationships, barriers they identified and proposed resolutions to barriers.

Qualitative Analysis of Occupational Therapists’ Reflective Notes on Practicing Their Skills in Building and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships – Farzaneh Yazdani, BSc, MSc OT, MA, PhD1 , Amy Stringer BSc OT 2 , Laya Nobakht BSc, MSc3 , Tore Bonsaksen, BSc OT, MSc4 , Kellie Tune BSc OT,

Articles Of The Week May 30, 2021

Understanding how to help people with tendon injuries is an important aspect of what we do. I know in college we were told to do aggressive cross-fibre-frictions, but I have since learned this is actually a bad thing to do. So, here’s a great podcast from one of the worlds leading tendon researchers and one of our MTDC coaches.

Podcast: Ebonie Rio on Tendon Pain – Todd Hargrove & Ebonie Rio

Ever wondered what to look at if a patient brings in their MRI? Well, here’s a beginner’s guide to understand what’s going on inside those images.

A Beginners Guide to Musculoskeletal MRI – Sandra Mechó & Carles Pedret

Over the years we’ve seen much discussion on pain and what “type” of pain someone could be experiencing. It is quite often classified as inflammatory, mechanical, or another type of descriptive word. But should we change the way we look at that? Probably.

Not All Pain Is The Same – Bronnie Thompson

Spinal Manipulation Therapy has long been the bread and butter of chiropractic treatments. However, do you know how to communicate with your patients about what it is and what it does? This will help.

What Is SMT? – Richard Mclimoyle

As time goes on, we start to recognize more and more about mental health. We’ve written several blog posts on this over the years but it’s a topic that begs repeating. While this article comes from a personal trainer, there’s info in here that’s valuable to us as well.

How to Work with Clients Who Have Mental Health Challenges – Jodie Becker