The purpose of this section of the Journal of Massage Science to inform the practitioners about valuable articles that frequently go unnoticed, as well as to point to those authors and publications who exhibit low educational standards. We do not play politics and we are not associated with any publishing company or professional association. We are a completely independent voice and we promise you direct unbiased reviews based strictly on the science.

If the author of the reviewed article does not agree with our opinion, we will be more than happy to publish his or her response and have a productive discussion over the article’s subject.

At the end of the year we will recognize and reward the author of the most important publication(s) and point to the authors of the most unscientific publication(s). We hope this will help to raise the bar of published materials in massage journals for the benefit of the entire profession.

Massage & Bodywork Magazine

Massage Magazine

Massage Therapy Journal

Massage Today

Massage & Bodywork Magazine

Spinal Tongue Twisters. Understanding Low Back Pain: Spondylosis, Spondylolisis, Spondylolisthesis. Massage & Bodywork Jan-Feb: 98-103, 2011, by Ruth Werner

A very good and informative article on the subject of spine pathology. Of course, the subject is very complicated as the author was able to fit major important points into the short article. We may wish to have more information on treatment options, but it is not the topic of the article and it demands a separate discussion.

Essential Skills. Discover the Root Cause of Injury. Massage & BodyworkJan-Feb: 92-97, 2011, by Ben E. Benjamin

This is a very important article for those practitioners who work with athletes or sports enthusiasts, especially those who have repeatedly injured themselves. In the majority of cases the practitioners see the client when it is too late and the injury has already occurred.

The article raises the important issue of early engaging by the practitioner in order to prevent injury. It can be done only if the practitioner has enough skills to help the client in the development of optimal input for his or her exercise routine or work with a personal trainer who is in charge of the exercise program. The experienced practitioner has unique knowledge of the body’s strong and weak areas and his or her input will have great value.

From our own experience we may say that injuries caused by incorrectly designed exercise routine by personal trainers who wish to help clients get results as soon as possible, are one of the most common type of posttraumatic injures we are dealing with. This is why this very well written article is so important.

Functional Anatomy. Serratus Anterior. Massage & Bodywork Jan-Feb: 87-88, 2011, by Christy Cael

This article is dedicated to the anatomy, physiology and palpation of the serratus anterior muscle. The author did a good job presenting this information to the readers. Illustrations are of great help.

Myofascial Techniques. Working With Scalene. Massage & Bodywork, Jan-Feb: 108-113, 2011, by Till Luchau

An excellent article on a very important subject. We highly recommend it to the readers!

Somatic Research. The Case For Case Reports. Massage & Bodywork Jan-Feb: 114-121, 2011, by Dana Thompson

An article on the same topic was published in the March issue of Massage Today (see review below). We would like to admit that this article provides much better in-depth information on the topic and we highly recommend it to those who are considering writing and submitting case reports.

Add Substance to Your Warm Up. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 31-33, 2011, by Art Riggs

It is a small but beautifully written piece which addresses seemingly a common issue. However, the author is completely right in his position that very frequently practitioners don’t have a clear goal and understanding of what they are doing, even during basic therapeutic massage.

We can’t agree more when the author said that:

“The most important thing is to have a clear purpose in your strokes. The stroke without intention is empty gesture”

We think that each massage school must start classes on various techniques with these great words.

Integrative Medicine and Massage. Bodyworker’s Role in Paradigm Shift.Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 34-41, 2011, by Karrie Osborn

A simply excellent article! If you would like to know where your profession may lead you in the near future, you must read this article, and what is more important be ready. As the author correctly pointed out, we are living in the time of a perfect storm for the massage profession.

The idea of integrative medicine seems by many health practitioners is the only way to go and this concept is impossible without a wide integration and usage of massage therapy in the medical setting.

At the same time, we would like to add that the concept of integrative medicine, which includes massage therapy, requires highly trained massage practitioners. Please remember that!

The Vision of Integrative Medicine. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 42-43, 2011, by Dr. Andrew Weil

In this short piece Dr. Weil shared his vision of integrative medicine. Today it may read like a dream, but with his energy and vision and with our help and participation, these dreams may become reality very soon.

Auth Method. Addressing Root of Back and Shoulder Pain. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 62-67, 2011, by Shari Auth

This is another article (see review below in Massage Magazine) by the same author who actively promotes her ‘newly’ developed Auth method which consists of using forearm only during the massage session. There are two problems: first that the author started to promote her ‘method’ as having medical value and another even more dangerous problem, that author is a prolific writer, and she is doing a great job to spread her very strange and misleading concept with the helping hands of the professional media.

When the Auth method starts to address medical issues, it is obvious how inexperienced its creator is in this field. This article filled with ‘gems’, which left us, let’s say, puzzled.. For example:

1. What exactly does the author mean under the ‘Root of the Back’ especially in regard to the upper shoulder? We would like to get clear explanation of this new anatomic discovery. 

2. This is our favorite one:

“The shoulders have no real job in our overall structure; they just hang. The shoulder doesn’t need to support anything – it’s simply the shirt on the hanger…”

We read a lot of bizarre things in this massage publication, but this is supposed to top the list. According to the author “the shoulders have no real job in overall structure…” because they don’t support anything. OK, but what about shoulders supporting the author’s neck and head while she worked on the article. Before this new discovery everyone believed that trapezius muscles insert into the acromioclavicular joints which form the roof of the both shoulder joints. In such case both shoulders were used by the author during her work on the article but she apparently denied that.

Also, the author sees the shoulders as “…simply the shirt on the hanger…” and what is amazing that such statement is printed in the respected professional journal! It so outrageous that it is even funny! The author, as well as the Editorial Board, is supposed to know that the shoulders, even without lifting anything, provide a critical dynamic role in the body posture, balance and movements. It seems that the author doesn’t appreciate her own shoulders or simply is not aware of their dynamic role, even being at rest. Obviously, she never talked to or saw how unfortunate people with advanced sarcoma of the humeral head feel or walk after the entire upper extremity including the scapula were amputated. Thus, to call the shoulders “…simply the shirt on the hanger…” means only one thing, that the author slept through the anatomy classes. There is no any other reasonable explanation.

3. The subject of the article is the application of the Auth method on the anterior chest and shoulder to release tension and balance the shoulder joint. This is a very well based intention. To do so, the Auth Method suggests to the readers to conduct a series of strokes using the forearm starting with the pectoral area all the way to the arm, down to the elbow joint. The major target of the method is the pectoralis major muscle which has a tendency to pull the shoulder forward and it affects the balance. These are great intentions but what about the pectoralis minor muscle? Why the pectoralis minor muscle is not addressed by the Auth Method, and how someone with even basic massage training may consider that working with the pectoralis major muscle alone will solve the imbalance of the shoulder? It is simply a useless waste of time. 

So why is the Auth Method silent about the pectoralis minor muscle? The answer is very simple, the author wasn’t able to fit the forearm and/or elbow under the pectoralis major muscle. We all know that to reach the pectoralis minor muscle, the practitioner must use their fingers but they are great competitors of the Auth Method. So to avoid the fingers’ application the author pretended that the pectoralis minor muscle doesn’t exist, or it doesn’t play a role in shoulder joint imbalance.

4. Of course, the article continues to disseminate myths like forearms as sensitivity and agile as hands. In recent months Massage&Bodywork as well asMassage Magazine helped to spread this false information and his sentence became kind of quintessence of the author’s message. We addressed this physiological nonsense with proper scientific data in May/June 2010 issue of JMS.

We don’t want the readers to get impression that we are against usage forearm during massage session. We are against destroying profession using only one technique for the entire session especially in times when the same magazine interviewed Dr. A. Weil and published article about perspectives of massage as part of integrative medicine. We would like to see how Auth’s Method will fit into this concept and the practitioners will face the reality of various abnormalities in a clinical setting.

Bodyreading The Meridians. Visual Assessment of Postural Patterns.Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 74-83, 2011, by Thomas Myers

This is quite an article! The visual examination of the client before any palpatory examination and treatment starts is a rarely mentioned subject in massage publications, and it is not common in practitioners’ practice. Meanwhile, this information has tremendous value. In many cases just by observation of postural changes allows the practitioner to formulate correct protocol of treatment.

This article is dedicated to a complex topic. It is not, let’s say, an article on the spiritual aspects of Lomi Lomi you may enjoy while have morning coffee, but it gives the practitioner a lot of basic information to study and think about this subject. However, we guarantee that masterminding postural analysis will help you in everyday clinical practice.

Stone Secrets. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 74-87, 2011, by Rebecca Jones

We think this is an informative article for those who practice Hot Stone Massage or consider including this great type of bodywork into their practice. The article challenges some wrongly established rules which practitioners frequently follow. The article helps to see Hot Stone Massage application from the correct perspective.

Functional Anatomy. Tensor Fasciae Lata. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 91-92, 2011, by Cristy Cael

The article is supposed to be dedicated to palpation of the tensor fasciae latae muscle, but what it did show was palpation of the iliotibial band. Yes, the palpatory examination of the tensor fasciae latae muscle must include the examination of the iliotibial band, but examination of the band alone and vice versa is a useless attempt to evaluate pathology.

The belly of the tensor fasciae latae muscle is the main player in controlling tension in the iliotibial band. If we translate the name of the muscle from Latin we will get the following: muscle which tightens the lateral part of fascia lata (i.e., iliotibial band). This is the major action of this muscle and the article didn’t provide any information on how to actually palpate the tensor fasciae latae muscle despite that it stated in the article title.

The palpation of the iliotibial band recommended in the article is also insufficient. The article recommended examining the iliotibial band by sliding the palm along the band while the other hand is placed on the lateral femoral condyle to stabilizes the thigh.

It seems that the author isn’t aware of the simple anatomical fact that the iliotibial tract inserts not into the lateral femoral condyle, but goes below the kneeand inserts into the lateral tibial condyle. This is why correct examination of the tension in the iliotibial band should start below the knee on the lateral tibial condyle. Why is it so important? Incorrectly examined and diagnosed strain or tension in the iliotibial band below the lateral femoral condyle frequently mimics clinical picture of Knee Osteoarthritis and patients sometimes spent months on unsuccessful treatments for knee pain while the correct solution was there and it is very simple.

Also the actual technique of palpatory examination of iliotibial bend recommended in the article is very uninformative. Yes, this technique is a part of the initial examination to evaluate general tightness and mobility of the iliotibial band. However, real palpatory examination starts after the proposed technique. The practitioner should examine the entire iliotibial band applying pressure using thumb and record each area of tightness and/or pain along the iliotibial band to see entire picture. The usage of the palm doesn’t allow practitioners to examine the structure of the iliotibial band in detail, while usage of thumb provides this important information.

During this examination the practitioner should mark his or her finding on the skin using a marker. Why is the mapping of tension in the iliotibial band so important? After a complete examination of the band you will be able to observe a clinical picture of tension developed along this entire anatomical structure, and it will give you the opportunity to formulate the optimal treatment protocol. For example, the tension is accumulated in the lower part of the band just above the knee joint or tension mostly detected in the upper part of the band just below greater trochanter. Each of this scenario requires a completely different treatment protocol.

The video below shows the palpatory examination of the tensor fasciae latae musle recommended in the article.


The video below shows the correct palpatory examination of the tensor fasciae latae muscle with following examination of the iliotibial tract. Anatomical landmarks indicated in the first part of the video:

Black dot- anterior superior iliac spine
A – iliac crest
B – tensor fascia latae muscle
C – greater trochanter
D – iliotibial band (tract)
E – head of the fibula


Notice that correct examination of ilitibial band starts below the knee joint and ascends superiorly until it reaches the greater trochanter. During the examination the practitioner has marked all sensitive and tensed areas along the iliotibial band to have entire picture of the pathological changes in the iliotibial band (tract).

Thus the article has not provided correct information on the subject examination of the tensor fasciae latae muscle.

Essential Skills. Soleus Muscle Strain. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 96-101, 2011, by Ben E. Benjamin

A very well written and informative article on the strain of the soleus muscle. All aspects from anatomy and action to the treatment options are covered. We may add two missed pieces of information.

1. The article recommended three tests to examine the soleus muscle. However, they are not 100% informative because they can be also positive in the client with strain of the gastrocnemius muscle. The Trigger Point Test is a much more specific examination tool which allows the practitioner to rule in or out tension in the soleus muscle.

2. The strain of the soleus muscle may trigger symptoms of Tibial Nerve Neuralgia (i.e., numbness, tingling, burning pain on the bottom of the foot). In such a case the tensed soleus muscle irritates the tibial nerve in the tibial canal located under the soleus muscle.

Pathology Perspective. Crackle, Pop, Snap! Joint Disruptions. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 102-105, 2011, by Ruth Werner

A good review of basic pathological changes in the joints. It helps the experienced practitioners to review the basic concepts and provides fresh information for those who are unfamiliar with both the subject and terminology.

Myofascial Techniques. Working With Ankle Mobility. Part I. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 110-115, 2011, by Til Luchau

A very good and informative article which addresses the issue of tension in the gastrocnemius, soleus muscles and plantar fascia. We highly recommend it to our readers.

Somatic Research. The lactic Acid Debate. Massage & Bodywork Mar-Apr: 117- 121, 2011, by Diana Thompson

This article raises a very important topic. Despite that modern sports physiology and medicine completely changed views on the role of lactic acid in post exercise muscle soreness many massage practitioners still believe and greatly promote the myth about lactic acid removal through sports massage.

However this article fell short of one critical issue: How exactly does massage therapy help the athletes or sports enthusiasts recover from strenuous exercise? In the last section of the article, which has the encouraging name of “Reform Our Claim” the author didn’t offer any reasonable suggestion to accomplish that except that more research is needed.

In September/October 2009 issue of JMS we addressed exactly the same topic but based upon the world’s scientific data we actually provided the readers with enough information to reform claims. If you practice or plan to practice sports massage you must read ‘United We Will Stand!’ article (please click on link above).

Massage Magazine

Research. Massage Magazine 177, February: 76-77, 2011

Two articles are reviewed in this section of the journal. One examined the impact of Reiki on level of stress and the second one studied trigger point therapy in combination with stretching on the activity of trigger points in major muscle groups. If you are looking for scientific data to justify your practice, keep these reviews in mind.

Massaging the Hips. The Auth Method of Forearm Massage. Massage Magazine 177, February: 62-65, 2011, by Shari Auth

We have already reviewed similar articles in this and previous issues of JMS(May/June 2010 issue of JMS). There is nothing new in this one. The same story about conducting the entire massage session using forearms only, which is the core of the Auth method. If this trend continues we should expect an emergence soon of the principally new and refreshing massage method when the entire massage session is conducted by fists only and so on.

The only thing ‘new’ about this article is how it is written. It seems that this article is for the general population, rather than the professional audience. We don’t think that naming ischial spines ‘sit bones’ or claiming that main reason for sciatica is the client’s falling over, etc. is the way to talk with colleagues in the 21st century.

Massage for Life. Massage Magazine 177, February: 50-53, 2011, by Andrea Kelly

This article is well written and interesting to read. We should mention that it was refreshing to read in massage magazine an article which talks about epigenetics, a new branch of medical genetics which challenges an already established system of beliefs and promises incredible discoveries in the nearest future. It is even more interesting that this information is linked with infant massage. JMS also addressed this topic in November/December 2010 issue in the article ‘Infant Massage. Part I’ because of its importance to the infants, parents and practitioners.

CranioSacral Therapy for Fibromyalgia. Massage Magazine 177, February: 54-59, 2011, by Carol Mclellan, CMT, CST-D

This article is dedicated to the importance of Craniosacral Therapy for Fibromyalgia patients. Yes, this method has definite advantages as an initial step in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Later other techniques and methods need to be added to completely control symptoms of this debilitating disease but Craniosacral Therapy will help during the most difficult initial period of treatment.

Of course, there is no way that anyone who works in the Upledger Institute will write any article on the subject of Craniosacral Therapy without a sales pitch. Unfortunately, this article saved room for that as well.

Address Solid Bloat With Massage Cupping. Massage Magazine 177, February: 28-33, 2011, by Anita J. Shannon

The vacuum cupping (MediCupping in the article) is a very helpful and effective treatment and the article is dedicated to this rarely mentioned treatment option. So why are there five rotten apples? It is nothing to do with the treatment itself but rather with the article. We think that the author is missing a point of great importance: There is no silver bullet in medicine especially when it comes to the management of chronic disorders!

While reading the article one will get the impression that massage cupping is a new panacea which will solve the problems of scar formation (which is true) and varicose veins (which is completely wrong) to chronic heat in the lungs (we really don’t know what the author is talking about).

Let’s take as an example, varicose veins. In the article the author showed two pictures of varicose veins before and after MediCupping. On the first picture the varicose veins are extended and filed with venous blood and on the second picture the same veins are shown flat, empty and collapsed. For the eye untrained in medicine including the author’s eyes this is great visual justification of MediCupping.

So let’s go over what did happened on varicose veins before and after cupping. The client was in the vertical position before entering the Mrs. Shannon’s office. Her existed varicose veins were filled with venous blood because they were already dilated (this is nature of pathology) and the force of gravity pulled the venous blood down additionally dilating the veins and made the valves inefficient. This is how varicose veins progress.

The client gets on Mrs. Shannon’s table and force of gravity as a factor in which additionally dilated veins is eliminated, however the veins are still enlarged because they are still carrying extra blood. The author applies MediCupping and after the treatment the veins collapsed and this fact is registered on the picture. Sounds logical.

First of all these veins will collapse without MediCupping if the client stays in the prone position (because the force of gravity is eliminated) or if the practitioner will apply Lymph Drainage Massage there. The MediCupping, similarly to laying prone or Lymph Drainage massage, will in fact empty the dilated vein. So why is using MediCupping is so bad in these cases? The major issue is not vein drainage but fact that the author’s treatment is directly responsible for the further increase of varicose veins in the treated area despite their collapsing on the table just after the therapy.

Everything in the body follows common sense so let’s follow it. Anyone who has experienced medical cupping knows that after release of pressure the tissues which were sucked into the cup become red and with incorrect application severe hematoma may develop. These events are results of significant vasodilation (in the first case) or actual damage of the vascular walls with following blood leaking (in the second case).

Mrs. Shannon’s client had already dilated veins, and applied cupping in this area initially drained stagnated blood , but what will happened to already dilated veins? Their weak walls will be additionally distended by the negative pressure in the cup and this factor (especially with repetitive application) will greatly jeopardize local drainage as well as drainage from the entire segment. As a result, the author and her recommendations will actually worsen the client’s state of health in the long run.

We are trying to analyze articles rather than the work of each author separately. However, in this case we are sure that by following Mrs. Shannon’s recommendations the practitioners will harm the clients, and this is unacceptable. The first rule of medicine established at the very beginning ‘Do Not Harm!’ This article does exactly the opposite. The sad part is that the article in general is dedicated to an important topic, and it has some strong points.

Also, there is a reasonable question to Massage Magazine: Is there any editorial review procedure set up to review articles before they published?

Four Steps to a Happy Jaw. Massage Magazine 178, March: 83, 2011 , by Karen Axelrod

This short article doesn’t do a lot in regard to such complicated abnormality as TMJ dysfunction. We addressed this issue in three issues of JMS (July/August;September/October and November/December of 2010). Four steps which this article proposes as solution do little except increase awareness of the problem, and this is the only helpful part of the article. Also we are sure that the practitioners should avoid the final fourth step:

“Find skilled CranioSacral Therapist to work with. CranioSacral Therapy’s light touch is ideal for TMJD because it won’t re-traumatize sensitive areas”

Why author thinks that other techniques and protocols (we discussed MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOL for TMJ in September/October issue of JMS) ‘…re-traumatize sensitive areas”. If she had such personal experience she more the likely worked with someone who didn’t use correct treatment protocol.

Additionally, CranioSacral Therapy isn’t a valid choice for the treatment of TMJD. Effective treatment with stable clinical results must be quick and decisive to unload the TMJ first and secondarily re-set peripheral receptors in the masticatory muscle to the physiological level of activation. The CranioSacral Therapy simply doesn’t have means to do that. It is great type of bodywork in the areas where it is effective. TMJ dysfunction is not such an area.

Breathe Work for Massage Therapists. Massage Magazine 178, March: 64-69, 2011, by Kathryn Yarborough

The topic of the article is correct breathing for the practitioners. This is an issue which is frequently overlooked by the practitioners and what is even more important by the massage schools. The correct breathing pattern is very important because it keeps the practitioner relaxed and gives his or her strokes such needed fluidity. The practitioner’s state of mind always affects the client’s body and his or her response to the therapeutic and stress-reduction massage sessions. The clients will always feel tension the practitioner carries when his or her work is labored. Correct breathing is a key to a successful and long carrier.

As correctly pointed out by the author, the practitioners who masterminds correct breathing practice may also help their clients to establish optimal breathing pattern as a first but frequently critical step in stress control. We may add that breathing yoga can be the first important step.

Dynamic Ligaments. Massage Magazine March: 58-63, 2011, by Thomas Myers

We aren’t going to write a lengthy review of this article. It is an excellent piece which we highly recommend to read and wish that more articles like this one are published by professional journals.

Massage Therapy Journal

Massage For Seniors: What the Research Says. Massage Therapy Journal50(1):95-98, by Martha Brown Menard, PhD, CMT

This article reviews latest scientific studies which have examined the impact of massage on patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. This article is a helpful source of references for those who work with these clients or are planning to extend their practice in this direction.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Massage Therapy Journal 50(50(1):87-93, by Joe Muscolino, DC

An excellent article of the subject of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), in regard to its etiology, pathology and diagnostic evaluation. The illustrations are great. The only missed part is massage treatment options for the patients with CTS.

We do not agree with the position that “Hands-on treatment can be challenging”. We strongly believe and see it regularly in the clinical practice that correctly formulated MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOL is a major component of the treatment of any case of CTS. Actually, in any stage the patient with CTS must receive several session of such therapy in combination with self-care before any other more aggressive treatment options are considered.

Massage&Medications. Massage Therapy Journal 50(1): 65-78, 2008, by Jeannette Vaupel

This is a very unusual for the massage publication article which educates the practitioners about most common drugs their clients may take and what implication massage therapy may have on these clients. It is worth to copy this article and keep it in the office as great reference source.

Massage Today

By the Sweat of the Brow. Massage Today 11(1): 13;17, 2011, by Judith DeLany, LMT

A very good article on a rarely mentioned subject of corrugator muscles, their role and treatment options. There are two issues we would like to add to the article. The article correctly described the action of corrugator muscle and their need. However, the article didn’t mention two important aspects. The tension in the corrugator muscles is always present if the patient has:

a. Frontal Sinus Headache 
b. Cluster headache (i.e. around the eye) as a result of Greater Occipital Nerve Neuralgia or true Migraine. 
c. Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia especially when supraorbital division of the trigeminal nerve is affected. 

The role the tension in the corrugator muscles plays in the clinical picture of these conditions elevates these muscles’s role from cosmetic problem mentioned in the article to essential treatment part of the MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs when mentioned above pathological abnormalities are addressed. If client has one of these three conditions the practitioner must work on the corrugator muscles.

The second issue which didn’t get mentioned in the article, is usage of muscle energy technique as a part of the treatment protocol. The compression and myofascial release mentioned in the article are very important but if the practitioner would like to obtain quick and stable clinical results the muscle energy technique should be used as a final part of the treatment.

The application is very simple. Ask the client to frown their brows while you resist active contraction of corrugator muscles. After the counter resistance part is over, pull both brows apart during long exhalation repeating it three times.

Rehabilitation. The Protocol Defined. Massage Today 11(1): 12; 20, 2011, by Whitney Lowe, LMT

The article attempts to define rehabilitation protocol of orthopedic massage. It is a theoretic attempt with very limited practical information and clinical value. The author stated that he developed concept of rehabilitation protocol during the 1990s, which includes four components: assessment, matching physiology of the tissue with treatment, combining variety of techniques and appropriate (???) use of rehabilitation protocol.

For those who are familiar even with basic aspects of for example Ida Rolf’s work it is obvious that these very common concepts were established well before author ‘developed’ them in 1990s. Thus the article’s claims are completely groundless.

Thus, besides the claim to ‘define’ rehabilitation protocol the article does very little to actually do that. It simply repeats very basic concepts which are supposed to be part of the clinical curriculum in every massage school.

Understanding Alzheimer’s. Part I. Massage Today 11(1): 16; 22, 2011, by Ann Catlin

The article gives a very general overview of Alzheimer’s Disease. The article is written in question/answer mode and it looks more like a flier to educate the general population. We think that the professional audience should expect more scientific information, especially if it can be used to communicate with other health practitioners or client’s relatives about clinical benefits of massage therapy.

NMT. Two Versions Defined. Massage Today 11(2): 1; 12-13, 2011, by Leon Chaitow, ND, DO

A very good and informative article on the history of Neuro-Muscular Therapy and its development. It contains a lot of interesting facts readers will not find in any other sources because it is written by a person who was at the beginning of the NMT. Great read!

The Bike Body. Massage Today 11(2): 1; 18-20, 2011, by Erik Dalton, PhD

Bicycling is a very popular type of fitness. This article gives readers an unusual view on bicycling from the practitioner’s point of view and discusses such rarely mentioned information as relations between bike and bicyclist’s body. If you work on bicyclists you must read this article!

Writing the Case Report. Massage Today 11(3):1; 8, 2011, by Jerrilyn Cambron, LMT, DC, MPH, PhD

Very good article on a rarely discussed topic. There are a lot of very talented practitioners who were able to solve complicated cases when other modalities have failed. They have information of great importance and are ready to share with colleagues in form of Case Reports. These cases are great encouragement and at the same time give other practitioners a unique look on the case they maybe encounter tomorrow. However, many practitioners are shy to submit cases because they don’t have the experience to write information in correct form.

This article gives guidelines to the future authors and we suggest to read it to everyone who are ready to share their clinical experience with other practitioners. We also suggest to the readers to carefully read case reports in any publication to develop clinical thinking.

Understanding Alzheimer’s. Part II. Massage Today 11(3): 12-13, 2011, by Ann Catlin

Unfortunately Part II didn’t get significantly better compared to Part I. The author shared her own experience of working with clients who suffer from Alzheimer’s using Compassion Touch. Besides the general mentioning of gentle massage there is no word in the article which actually define Compassionate Touch the author constantly referred to.

The readers of the professional journal should expect more information from the author. The article provides a list of seven major benefits for clients with Alzheimer’s (from pain reduction to increase sense of self and diffusing confusion) they obtain as a result of Compassionate Touch.

If readers learned that Compassionate Touch is a great and helpful method for the clients with Alzheimer’s they have all rights to know what it is all about, and how it is different from what they are doing. Without such information the entire article becomes an empty statement that massage is good.

Also, the author mentioned two factors which are responsible for the effect of massage of client’s with Alzheimer’s: increase of oxytocin level and hardwiring, The hardwiring is more philosophical than physiological concept and there are always proponents and opponents of it.

However, the claims of increase of oxytocin level as a body response to massage is much more controversial issue. It is correct that studies conducted in 1990s supported the idea that massage in fact increases oxytocin level (Turner, 1999). However, several recent studies with more sophisticated design seem to prove otherwise.

Billhult et al, (2008) and Rapaport et al., (2010) showed that massage strokes didn’t increase oxytocin level. Bello et al., (2008) registered an increase of oxytocin level in clinical and control groups. In such case massage alone is not responsible for the increase of oxytocin production.

Finally, Wikstrom et al, (2008) registered an increase in oxytocin level only in groups where massage was performed by the practitioner of opposite sex. This finding allowed authors to conclude that:

“The results imply that there might be sex-related difference in neurohormonal response to tactile stimuli such as in massage, and the results contradict those of previously reported experiments.”

This is another evidence that the article mostly based on personal believes rather than on concrete scientific data.


Bello D, White-Traut R, Schwertz D, Pournajafi-Nazarloo H, Carter CS. An exploratory study of neurohormonal responses of healthy men to massage. J Altern Complement Med, May;14(4):387-94. 2008.
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Hip Abductors: A Pain in the… Massage Today 11(3): 14-15, 2011, by Whitney Lowe, LMT

An excellent article! We highly recommend practitioners read it. It is written in simple but scientifically and clinically sounding language with very good illustrations. The anatomy, physiology, innervation, symptoms as well as basic treatment strategies are covered. We wish to have more treatment options but this topic definitely requires a separate article.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples