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I had the experience this morning of having one of my comments deleted on a discussion, and then the person who had started that discussion sent me an email about making personal attacks and keeping it friendly.

I would like to state for the record that I did not call anyone or any organization by name, but I did voice my opinion that I was sick and tired of people who act as if therapists who provide Swedish or relaxation massage are not valuable.

I went on to say that plenty of people need stress relief, and many people cannot take a deep tissue massage. I made a few other comments that the person running the discussion apparently found offensive, including my statement that you could call yourself the Pope and there will be 1% of people who still think massage is about sex.

My own clinic is mainly focused on medical massage, but we also have plenty of people who want nurturing, pampering, or whatever you want to call it, and none of the medical massage therapists who work there will refuse to give a relaxation massage if that's what the client wants.

My main blog, The Massage Pundit, which originates on the Massage Magazine website, is usually about the politics of massage. It is also on RSS feed on hundreds of other sites. I am known for being opinionated, and not mincing any words. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I print the comments I receive from every respondent, whether they agree with me or not. I would not dream of censoring yours or anyone's comments because they disagree with my opinion, or because of the way they state it.

If you'd really like for someone to kick your butt, go over to Bodhi Haraldsson's website on evidence-based massage, and let the scientists over there have at you. There are some real arguments going on there--and no censorship. I'd rather get ripped to shreds by one of them for my opinion than to be prevented from expressing it. They may think by my opinion that I'm a moron, but they still respect my right to express it.

I will go on further and say that the leadership at ABMP, which started this website, personally asked me to blog on here and assured me that I would not be censored. I will not hold them responsible for the fact that one individual deleted a comment, but I will say that censorship, in any form, is not what they had in mind when they started this forum. And that's my sermon for today.

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Thank you, Laura, for understanding about how conversations go.

I didn't read anything I would classify as a personal attack. In discussion groups, like this, the extent to which a person or people should moderate the posts always comes into question.
I happen to agree with you; as long as their's no vulgur langauge or such, people should be able to post what they think. Though I do feel sorry that anyone would feel personally attacked. I'm certain it's not the type of "atmosphere" anyone is wants to create. I do find that it seems to happen more often in cyperspace then in person.

Laura Allen said:
Yes, it does seem that way. I don't care if it goes off topic. At least they did weigh in on the censorship first, overwhelmingly against it.

Look at all the open discussion on here, and the person who censored me thought I was out of line, LOL! I think it's pathetic that she falsely accused me of making a personal attack in light of what goes on out here in the real world, but what the heck. I'd rather be with the crowd that feels free to say what they think!
Bert -

Very briefly - yes, other sciences including the behavioral and the medical sciences have ways of dealing with exactly what you are describing. They are known as "interactions" or "interaction effects" if you want to look for sources that describe them and how they are handled in analyses. In many studies, the interactions are more interesting and of more use than the individual effects.

-CM

Bert Davich said:
Hello Kim, I enjoy your posts. I do have some relevant comments regarding this one. For one thing you apparently missed the point I was trying to make regarding the parts acting synergistically. Your solution separates the parts to evaluate the effect of each part alone as if there is no synergistic relationship. The results will be valid for each part acting alone. The parts do not act alone in a real situation, they act together. If you are familiar with chemistry, think about the parts of a solution made up of several compounds and then think of each compound taken alone. I assure you no one part of that solution can be attributed to the resulting solution. NOW think about human emotions and tell me how many compound thoughts are involved that affect the resulting experience of the client to the whole massage experience. The sum of the APPARENT parts does not necessarily equal the total of the whole.

There are some other notable observations in your solution but I don't have time to answer now as I must leave to work. I will post later or possibly tomorrow.

Kim Goral said:
Hi Kat and Bert, thanks for your explanations.

Kat, if I am understanding what you are saying correctly (and let me know if I'm not), you are saying that you can't separate the pieces of this example of going to your clinic, especially if someone is getting multiple treatments (massage plus Reiki, for example). But, there actually is a way to do that- that's where control groups come in to play.

For example, if we wanted to test massage versus the friendly therapist, or the music, or even the effect of laying on the table for an hour, we can. All we have to do (and we have done this) is to run two separate procedures that are identical with the exception that one involves the actual massage, and the other does not. So in both conditions, a subject would come in, lay on the table, interact with the therapist, listen to the same music, the same temperature in the room, turn over at approximately the same time (supine tp prone or vice versa), but in only 1 condition would the subject actually get the massage. That way, we can pretty conclusively determine if it was the massage causing the effect, or some other component of the treatment. Obviously we'd do more than each once, and this is a short explanation, but that is how it can be done. And you can do that for different variables, too.

So theoretically, if you were interested in the massage/energy combination treatment, one thing you could do would be to set up 4 different treatments: one in level, they would go to your clinic, go through the motions of signing in, being in the treatment room with the music and therapist, but not receive any treatment. Another level could go in, same conditions, and receive massage only. A third would receive Reiki only. The fourth would receive both. Then you could look at the differences in effectiveness between all 4 groups and try to narrow down exactly what the difference was- more research might be needed once you have narrowed down some elements, but that would be a good place to start, anyways.

Time to go to school for finals, but let me know if this example makes sense and answers your question at all, or if I was missing the target :)
What'd you find Christopher?

Thanks for asking, Robin. I'm going to try to send you a PM with a summary attached to it, since we're getting pretty far away from this thread's intended topic.

-CM
To all of us, including me who are off topic with this thread, maybe we should move to another discussion or create one that would be on topic for this thread

Apologies Laura

Chris, believe it or not I have some familiarity with "interactions" in medical science. My point was that there is no model or method that I have ever seen that can accurately and reliably take into account the emotional component of the recipient in the experience or the missing elements that are unknown or overlooked. The established ways to measure the effect of individual components on the whole work well with interactions that tend to produce a physical reliably measurable result such as a medication for hypertension, or a chemical interaction that can be subjected to pathology testing. This would also hold true for most bodywork as long as the skill of the therapist is taken into account. Skill levels in bodywork varies greatly.

In bodywork, where we look to address structural imbalances we can accurately measure the effect of treatment. An example would be a client with a shoulder restriction preventing internal rotation of the humerus prior to reaching the physiological barrier. If that restriction is caused by a constricted external rotator, there are methods of lengthening constricted external rotator(s) if that is the cause. This is measurable. Either the range of internal rotation is increased or it is not. We could also reduce it to component parts regarding which (if any) external rotators were the cause. Perfect for evidence based research. This type of change is not normally subject to emotional or personal feelings unless the client is so tense they cannot consciously relax to the extent needed to do the work. This does not happen often enough to skew results. The same can be said of other structural imbalances such as posture, gait, change in range of active motion as well as other imbalances that are measurable, including pain.

HOWEVER, I do not believe there are established reliable methods that can account for the effects of an interaction between a Therapist and Client or the emotional component of the client. This involves trust which cannot be measured. Asking the client for a 1 to 5, (more or less trust) answer is expecting them to consciously be in tune with their subconscious emotions AND be willing to share that with an emotionless researcher. It also involves the emotional baggage of the client, their personal beliefs and expectations and how they perceive the therapist and the setting when receiving massage.

Have you ever discussed with therapists you know the phenomena of a client having an emotional break down and start crying on the table because of past experiences? This is more common than you may think. Are you aware of how much effect the quality of touch the therapist brings to the table (no pun intended) has on every massage session? And to complicate it more, one clients perception of great quality of touch may be not so great or even uncomfortable to another client. There are also the "unknown" effectors that even us practitioners are unaware of.

I submit there are no models that will account for these variables reliably and I cannot accept the assurance from you or anyone else that there is such a model or method unless they can prove it to the level of evidence you are holding the efficacy of massage to. If you have such a model, please present it or you can link us to it. If not I will have to accept that your assurance is an assumption based on your subjective view of science and without substance relevant to this thread....... Show and tell time

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Bert -

Very briefly - yes, other sciences including the behavioral and the medical sciences have ways of dealing with exactly what you are describing. They are known as "interactions" or "interaction effects" if you want to look for sources that describe them and how they are handled in analyses. In many studies, the interactions are more interesting and of more use than the individual effects.

-CM

Bert Davich said:
Hello Kim, I enjoy your posts. I do have some relevant comments regarding this one. For one thing you apparently missed the point I was trying to make regarding the parts acting synergistically. Your solution separates the parts to evaluate the effect of each part alone as if there is no synergistic relationship. The results will be valid for each part acting alone. The parts do not act alone in a real situation, they act together. If you are familiar with chemistry, think about the parts of a solution made up of several compounds and then think of each compound taken alone. I assure you no one part of that solution can be attributed to the resulting solution. NOW think about human emotions and tell me how many compound thoughts are involved that affect the resulting experience of the client to the whole massage experience. The sum of the APPARENT parts does not necessarily equal the total of the whole.

There are some other notable observations in your solution but I don't have time to answer now as I must leave to work. I will post later or possibly tomorrow.

Kim Goral said:
Hi Kat and Bert, thanks for your explanations.

Kat, if I am understanding what you are saying correctly (and let me know if I'm not), you are saying that you can't separate the pieces of this example of going to your clinic, especially if someone is getting multiple treatments (massage plus Reiki, for example). But, there actually is a way to do that- that's where control groups come in to play.

For example, if we wanted to test massage versus the friendly therapist, or the music, or even the effect of laying on the table for an hour, we can. All we have to do (and we have done this) is to run two separate procedures that are identical with the exception that one involves the actual massage, and the other does not. So in both conditions, a subject would come in, lay on the table, interact with the therapist, listen to the same music, the same temperature in the room, turn over at approximately the same time (supine tp prone or vice versa), but in only 1 condition would the subject actually get the massage. That way, we can pretty conclusively determine if it was the massage causing the effect, or some other component of the treatment. Obviously we'd do more than each once, and this is a short explanation, but that is how it can be done. And you can do that for different variables, too.

So theoretically, if you were interested in the massage/energy combination treatment, one thing you could do would be to set up 4 different treatments: one in level, they would go to your clinic, go through the motions of signing in, being in the treatment room with the music and therapist, but not receive any treatment. Another level could go in, same conditions, and receive massage only. A third would receive Reiki only. The fourth would receive both. Then you could look at the differences in effectiveness between all 4 groups and try to narrow down exactly what the difference was- more research might be needed once you have narrowed down some elements, but that would be a good place to start, anyways.

Time to go to school for finals, but let me know if this example makes sense and answers your question at all, or if I was missing the target :)
Bert -

Thanks for the clarification. I think I understand what you are getting at now.

I will address this issue, but can't do it at the present moment. Also, as you suggest, this might be better addressed in a new thread. I'll try to get to this tonight...

-CM
Dear Laura -

You wrote: I had the experience this morning of having one of my comments deleted on a discussion, and then the person who had started that discussion sent me an email about making personal attacks and keeping it friendly.

Thanks so much for asking for comments about censorship. I agree with you.

It seems unfortunate that this censorship occurred in the way that it did. I'm glad you spoke up about it instead of just internalizing your feelings.

I couldn't help but notice that many of the replies to the discussion seem to be way off the topic of censorship; however, you did not delete them.

I'm glad ABMP invited you to blog on this site. You always have something worthwhile to share and you are, by nature, a very articulate person.

I agree with you that Swedish massage is important.

In my massage classes I impresses on students how important touch is, in all of its forms.

When it comes to speaking out for the clinical importance of touch, Deepak Chopra talks about how rich in hormones and biologically active the skin is, he explains that, "when we stimulate the skin, we can cause, literally, a shower of healing chemicals into our blood stream."

In Molecules of Emotion, Neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert details how her neurochemistry research and a host of other events led her to the realization that “our emotions and our biochemistry are part of one continuous information loop that accounts for how we feel and how mind-body medicine works.” Research has shown that touch has positive systemic effects for the individual suffering from pain: touch influences the immune system, the endocrine system, and the cardiovascular system. Touch offers a focus on pain management that is part of a growing trend that includes a philosophy based on the concept of total care for the individual – body, mind and soul. By employing touch, one can rejuvenate and refresh the mind while improving joint movement and increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to muscles and other tissue. The effectiveness of touch lies in a simple and direct strategy: working from the external, outer mechanisms of pain to the primary, root cause. Touch not only helps relieve muscle and other soft tissue pain, but also has an impact on the recipient by virtue of healthy, caring human contact. One touch can soothe, comfort and convey caring in a way words never can. Touching has the power to heal, connect us, and ease pain. It also lessens anxiety and softens the blows of life. The simple act of touching is so powerful that it can slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, and strengthen your immune system.

I respect you for honoring Swedish massage and valuing the important role it plays in the pantheon of healing modalities available to us as therapists and as clients.

I also respect you for speaking up about censorship and for not allowing yourself to be silenced.

Wishing you the very best, Laura.

Warmly, Ariana
*nod* I don't know anything about Emma deleting her message, although she sent me a personal email about it. IIRC, Mike then deleted all of his posts . . . and then the original poster (OP) deleted the entire thread. I did message Mike about it, much the same as I messaged you.

Christopher A. Moyer said:
Not true Christopher. Emma deleted her message because she felt it was wrong to even be having that discussion in that group.

My mistake then. I apologize for getting the facts wrong.

It's funny to me that people could think that discussion somehow didn't belong in that group. The poster was getting her questions answered. The fact that she and some of the lurkers didn't like the answers was the issue.
This thread did go way off the topic, but I didn't delete anything because these discussions just seem to evolve and take on a life of their own, and it's all important. I do thank everyone who weighed in on the censorship issue.
Hi Laura,
Thanks again for your patience regarding the off topic threads. The thread Chris & I were engaged in has been moved to Chris's Skeptical about energy work discussion.

I am curious if you know if it is possible to 'move' a thread or a post made on one discussion to another discussion?

And thanks for your willingness to openly submit your opinions based on your experience and knowledge. Your courage to do so is appreciated by all.


Laura Allen said:
This thread did go way off the topic, but I didn't delete anything because these discussions just seem to evolve and take on a life of their own, and it's all important. I do thank everyone who weighed in on the censorship issue.
I LOVE SMILEYS!

massagenerd said:
What I've noticed is, it all relates back to what they were taught in massage school and it's hard for some people to look beyond their schooling. I've heard this quote many times: "The more education you have...the dumber you get". I don't totally agree with it, but people tend to take on others beliefs too much and some are not willing to look beyond the massage table. As massage students, they are like sponges and believe most things their instructors tell them and when they get in the real world, they seem to see many other options...it all depends if they can see all the sides to it.

I've seen people get into arguments about what style or technique to use on a client and it all boils down to what actually works for that individual client. My belief is try something and it if doesn't work, then try something else and if this certain style or techniques works, then it might not work for the next client...keep your options open and your mind clear.

Another thing, writing down peoples thoughts/beliefs is totally different than voicing them in person and that's why somebody back in the day invented smileys.

aloha Laura

i just read from your blog. thank you for paying attention and for writing beautifully. politics are unavoidable and your watchful eyes are appreciated. i also think you're right about censorship and just wanted you to know that i support you and respect you and your opinions.

with aloha,

jaya jeff
Thank you so much!

Jaya Jeff Sims said:
aloha Laura

i just read from your blog. thank you for paying attention and for writing beautifully. politics are unavoidable and your watchful eyes are appreciated. i also think you're right about censorship and just wanted you to know that i support you and respect you and your opinions.

with aloha,

jaya jeff

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