a community of practitioners
In my opinion Evidence Based Practice is critical for the advancement of our profession, especially for those who want to be a part of the American health care system. I understand that some therapists do not want to go there, and that's fine--I'm speaking about those who do. EBP makes the most sense for massage because, as you point out Bodhi, it is a three pronged approach, taking into account the patient/client preferences and clinical experiences as well as using best available evidence.
The first step is to get research literacy into the schools so that new graduates can evaluate research and use it appropriately. Then we need massage therapists to actually conduct research. At least in this country, most research having to do with massage is being conducted by other health care professionals--as the principal investigator. That too needs to change and requires massage therapists to have a higher level of education. The result of research is the evidence, and who better to conduct it than those who were trained in it?
I always am intrigued by research having an undergrad degree in biology but there is also the other side of it that I have seen with a friend who works in it for a big university and gets millions of dollars from drug companies. She tells me horror stories of people in her office throwing out results that they didn't like and scary things like that.
I also wonder how you can really track the changes from a massage accurately. If you teach one technique to 10 massage therapists and they do it on one person it will feel different from each person and on each person. How do you track anything then really?
It is just big guesses but people want to know more about what works and what doesn't before they try things like massage for different conditions. I need to know more about how research is done and how to interpret it all because otherwise it is meaningless.
Hmmmm, why is it, that unless it can be proven "scientifically", it must not be viable. Massage (to me) is such an individual experience. I would question the intent behind EBM, is it just monetary (to be more readily accepted by the insurance companies) or is it to find techniques/modalities that consistently provide clients with positive results. I would think that answer would then be used to skew the data to favor which ever outcome was wanted.
Jennifer L. Hensley said: If you don't have a scientific rationing for the way you collect data, it's useless.
I used to believe that. I majored in Physics and work with computers for 40 years and thought that everything valid cold be explained scientifically. However I now understand that we need to use both halves of our brain. The problem with medicine is that one limits everything to left-brain thought. In the process you miss so much. I find that the essential part of my work complements scientific (atomistic) work by integrating perceptions that go beyond the limits of rational understanding. I also think that it is evidence based in a sense because it produces concrete results that are measurable.
Too often people are intimidated by this rationally based society and attempt to use pseudo science to explain what they do. It comes out as quackery. Instead one has to have the courage to admit that what one does is not knowable with left-brained rational knowledge.
To try to confine massage and bodywork to science is making it a poor subset to medicine. Instead we need to have to courage to complement medicine by embracing the holistic approach to wellness and working with the body to heal itself rather than just trying to be fixers.