If you’ve been reading my blogs for any length of time, you know that I often report on the politics of massage as well as my perceived shortcomings of some of our professional organizations. There is one organization that I have never criticized, and that’s because they’re above the fray: the Massage Therapy Foundation.
The Massage Therapy Foundation advances the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service.The goals of the Massage Therapy Foundation are:
1. Advance research on therapeutic massage and bodywork
2. Foster massage therapy initiatives that serve populations in need
3. Promote research literacy and capacity in the profession
4. Support the evidence-informed practice of therapeutic massage and bodywork based upon available research, client factors, and practitioner experience and judgment
5. Fortify the Foundation’s financial resources and organizational effectiveness
If we are to keep the massage profession moving forward, it is vitally important for us to start at the beginning–with students. As educators, the responsibility lies with us to teach students research literacy, not with the intent that everyone turns in to a researcher, but so they at least become a therapist who is capable of looking up existing research and interpreting the results, and being able to share that with clients and other health care providers. The MTF website contains a research database, as well as opportunities for students to submit case reports–but they have to be taught how to do that.
To this end, the Foundation offers a very low-cost opportunity to to massage schools to train instructors in research literacy. This class will also soon be available on line. The AMTA national convention is also annually featuring research track classes; a dozen or more will be offered this year in Minneapolis.
The Foundation’s President, Ruth Werner, particularly wants to reach out to schools and instructors and encourage them to join the MTF mailing list.
Finally, the Massage Therapy Foundation is a non-profit that depends on donations to survive. AMTA, ABMP, the NCBTMB and many industry partners support the Foundation, and the rest comes from individual therapists like me and you. Please give whatever you can, even if it’s only a dollar. Every little bit helps.