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Research Class Descriptions



Research about massage therapy is not the abstract exercise that you might think! The best research being conducted today uses professional therapists doing work in real-life settings so that results reflect what truly happens in a successful massage session or series. This produces results that can make you a better and more successful therapist, but only if you know how to access the right studies.

This class will barely scratch the surface of what research can mean to you, but it will cover some current massage therapy research findings and events; some basic information on how to find the research you want, and apply it to your practice; and finally we will discuss what you can do in the research world: writing case reports that can benefit all your colleagues.



Case reports are simple things: they are the story of what happens between one practitioner and one client, when they work together to achieve some specific goals. Writing case reports in the same language that every other scientist uses, however, is a learned skill—and a vital one to help us build our evidence base for massage therapy. Case reports are citizen science: they are a way massage therapists can share their successes (and challenges) so that others can benefit from those experiences.

In this lively class participants will …

  • Discuss the importance of case reports in the hierarchy of science
  • Review the scientific method
  • Apply it to case report construction
  • Explore the basic steps in creating a case report, including
    • Identifying a good research question
    • Conducting a literature review
    • Designing a strategy for bodywork
    • Choosing metrics for that strategy
    • Recording and reporting results
    • Discussing the importance of those results
  • Then, participants will work in small groups to design their own fictional case reports, running briefly through each of the steps.
  • A concluding discussion lists various venues for case report publication and other research-related opportunities for massage therapists.


research recap: the best massage therapy research of the last two year, and how to make sense of it

What is the best, most relevant, most important massage therapy research from the past two years? Come to this class to find out. We will discuss where the chosen articles fit in the research hierarchy, strengths and weaknesses in each, final conclusions, and useful takeaways to use in your practice. Links for participants to download the chosen articles will be shared ahead of time; all articles will be available subscription-free. Guidance for accessing this kind of information will also be shared. This class covers the research requirement for Board Certification.