Editorial Board of the Journal of Massage Science recognizes Massage & Bodywork Magazine as a best scientifically based massage publication in the USA in 2009. Thus, our Appreciation Award for 2009

goes to: 

(Editor L. Young, PhD)

Our congratulations to Leslie Young (Editor in Chief) and entire stuff ofMassage & Bodywork Magazine!

There are four major national massage publications in the USA. This is more than in any other country. Each publication tries to inform massage practitioners on a wide variety of topics. During 2009 our Editorial Board reviewed articles published in all four massage journals to direct the readers to the most valuable publications and point out to the authors who made mistakes or unscientific claims.

First we would like to state what we didn’t review:

1. We didn’t review articles which discussed the spiritual aspects of massage therapy. We think that this equally important side of massage therapy is very well presented. The reader may find a great variety of articles on this topic. They range from weird claims like the author who described the healing which occurs when he actually talks with the inner organ and he feels it responded to his calls when he commanded it to legitimate publications on energy therapy. 

2. We didn’t review any political articles. We are a completely independent source and we are not associated with any massage therapy organization or association. We are here only for the science.

3. We didn’t review articles on Oriental medicine despite the fact that we try in our Journal to build up bridges between Western and Eastern concepts. We are sure that the split between both views is unfortunate and was forced on the practitioners by misunderstanding and miscommunication widely supported by many authors and educators.

We reviewed articles which are scientifically based or claimed to be based on the science. A year of reviews allowed us to formulate our own opinions about each national publication and we would like to share it with our readers.

1. Massage & Bodywork Magazine (MBJ)

From our point of view MBJ was the best scientifically based massage publication in the USA in 2009. MBJ raised a lot of important topics which other publications didn’t even consider as a subject. The articles have great illustrations and the authors tried to use reference sources. The MBJ is also available on-line which definitely helps with its circulation.

We think that some mistakes were made, for example the articles of C. Cael, but overall the quality, and what is more important, the topics of the published materials way surpass all other national publications.

We think that one of the most important features of MBJ is its practical value. The reader will always find information in every issue which can be put at work immediately and this factor will definitely assist the practitioners to build up their practice in these harsh economic times. This is why we choose MBJ as recipient of our Appreciation Award for 2009.

2. Massage Today (MT)

In our view MT firmly occupies second position on the national scene. This publication also tries to inform the practitioners on a variety of topics and several very good articles were published in 2009. MT also has an on-line version.

However, there are several weak points in this publication which significantly affect its educational and practical value. First of all its structure; it seems that MT has a newspaper mentality. There are several experts who have their own columns and from issue to issue they publish short articles on a variety of topics. After reading the same authors from issue to issue it seems that some of them were running out of important topics to discuss. Thus, the absence of new authors and ideas is one of the weakest points of MT.

Another issue is the practical value of the information in the articles. For example, what practical or even theoretical information the readers may learn from the articles in Cranio-Sacral Therapy column. There are no practical recommendations regarding what to do, where to do, when to do or how to do the therapy except the basic message that craniosacral therapy is good. Articles of some other authors of MT share the same promotional flavor. The information in these articles does not enriching the reader, it helps to promote books, DVDs or seminars.

Reading of some articles becomes a hassle, because the editors split them into several pieces and scatter them through the entire issue. Finally, illustration is not the strongest point of this publication.

3. Massage Therapy Journal (MTJ)

MTJ is official publication of American Massage Therapy Association which is published quarterly (4 issues). From our point of view MTJ must have a leadership position in education. Unfortunately this is not a case. MTJ tries as hard as possible to be politically correct. We don’t think this is a way to leadership. Reading the articles in MTJ it is impossible to imagine that this publication will ever publish an article similar to article “Is Swedish Massage Dead?” published in Massage & Bodywork. It seems that MTJ does not have a backbone. Yes, there are occasional success articles (Dr. J. Muscolinos’ column is very good) but overall MTJ has obligation to do better. We hope that the current situation will change.

4. Massage Journal (MJ)

MJ is the weakest publication on massage therapy in the USA. In some issues there are no articles to review. The best articles published in MJ have a tendency to be written in journalistic format rather than professional and scientifically based pieces.

MJ will be a great publication for the general public to promote massage therapy. However, for the massage practitioners who are looking for professional help and updated education in this difficult economy MJ is an insignificant source. On the other hand, MJ can be easy reading on a Sunday morning as a companion to your coffee. We think that MJ had the lowest contribution to massage science.

Category: Letter From The Editor