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 2011 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.
For those massage practitioners who would like to experience and learn from scientific publications which cover massage and bodywork and are recognized by the international medical community, we recommend the following two sources:
International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (Editor G.M. Hymel, EdD, LMT) and
Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (Editor Dr. L. Chaitow, DO, ND)
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.
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 of massage.
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 has allowed us to formulate our own opinions about each national publication and we would like to share them with our readers. We are gladly agreed to publish responses or comments from authors or editors in the following issue of JMS.
1. Massage Today (MT)
Similarly to 2010 we think that MT offered the best Editorial content in 2011.MT provided a lot of helpful and scientifically based information for the readers which they may use immediately in the therapy room. We think that this practical value of published material is a great accomplishment of MT’ Editorial Board.
MT definitely benefitted from great contributions by Dr. L. Chaitow as well as other educators like Mr. E. Dalton. The readers found there a lot of helpful information which is rarely mentioned in massage publications ( e.g., article by J. DeLany “Improve your eyesight”).
Absence of promotional articles continues to reflect great Editorial standards of MT. MT is published monthly and it has an on-line version which is very helpful for the readers. Our congratulations to the entire Massage Today team with great work in 2011 and being acceptors of our Appreciation Award for two years in the row!
2. Massage & Bodywork Magazine (MBJ)
We think that MBJ is great publication with excellent format and very valuable scientific articles published there. All published materials had great illustrations and the authors tried to use reference sources. The MBJ is also available on-line.
However, we think that MBJ made several mistakes similar to 2010 by publishing very questionable articles by Christy Cael and by Suri Auth. These are only weak points MBJ had in 2011.
3. Massage Magazine (MM)
Despite that MM has journalistic format it published several very good and thoughtful articles in 2011. Of course MT and MBJ have much more exciting Editorial content but MM surprised us several times in 2011 (great article about work of Dr. Janda, article on Connective Tissue Massage, etc). MM continues to show great potential in 2011.
4. Massage Therapy Journal (MTJ)
MTJ is the official publication of American Massage Therapy Association which is published quarterly (4 issues). The content of MTJ in 2011 showed that science isn’t agenda for this publication which supposed to play leading role in the profession. The articles worth reading there were written by Dr. J. Muscolino. However it is impossible for one author to fill up scientific gaps in publication for entire year. There is only one article written by another author (Martha Brown Menard, PhD) on sports massage is worth to mention!
It seems that train with scientific data and information on clinical application of massage therapy left the station without MTJ long ago. We think that readers need to demand from the Editorial Board of MTJ to be in touch with reality and publish articles of real importance to assist practitioners who work not only in spas but also in the medical environment.