There are four major national massage publications in the United States, which is more than any other country. Each publication tries to inform massage practitioners on a wide variety of topics. During 2012, the Editorial Board of JMSreviewed articles published in all four massage journals in order to direct readers to the most valuable publications, and indicate 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 Antony Porcino, Ph.D.) 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 only articles that are scientifically based or claimed to be based on 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 gladly agree to publish responses or comments from authors or editors in future issues of JMS.

1. Massage & Bodywork Magazine (MBM)

There are no doubts that MBM is the best publication on massage therapy in the United States in 2012. It is published in hard copy as well as in an on-line format. The readers of the on-line format also have access to short videos that illustrate the articles’ contents.

MBM is published every two months but each new issue is a larger massage publication. The Editorial Board did an excellent job in publishing valuable articles that provide practitioners with excellent sources while the theoretical and practical aspects of massage profession are equally balanced.

Unfortunately, a couple of mistakes were made. Two articles by Christy Cael on the muscle palpation were completely incorrect about palpation (our reviews in Issue #2 and #3 of JMS, 2012), and Shari Auth’s article that was a complete disaster as usual for this author (our review in Issue #3, 2012).

However, compared to the great number of excellent articles published in 2012, these are relatively minor complaints. The contributors to MBM did an excellent job of expressing their unique voice, and it seems that MBM’s editorial Board encourages that, since many articles have a distinctive personal style, which enhance the reading and make the publication so interesting.

Thank you very much for the great job MBM did in 2012, and our congratulations for the Appreciation Award for 2012!

2. Massage Magazine (MM)

MM is a monthly publication that seems to target the more preventive part of massage therapy as well as Oriental Styles of Massage, which are equally important parts of the massage profession. MM is much easier reading, and its articles are mostly written in a journalistic style.

Until 2012, the reader rarely was able to find scientifically based information in MM especially on the clinical aspects of massage therapy. However, last year MMsignificantly improved its content while preserving the journalistic nature of its presentations (e.g., articles by Nicole Nelson, Joachim Zuther, O. Bouimer).

Thus, we think that MM significantly improved its content by offering readers real substance, and for that its Editorial Board deserves considerable credit.

3. Massage Therapy Journal (MTJ)

Nothing changed for MTJ in 2012. To save time we are just reprinting our review of MTJ we wrote in 2011.

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.”

4. Massage Today (MT)

MT was a recipient of our Appreciation Award two years in a row (2010 and 2011). However, something happened to MT in 2012, since from issue to issue we read articles that made it difficult for us to believe they should have been published in a source that once was a leader in providing great scientifically based and helpful information for practitioners. Here is a list of the most outrages articles we read in MT in 2012:

1. A Massage Protocol for Peripheral Neuropathy. Massage Today, February, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 02, by Rita Woods, LMT (our review in issue #2JMS, 2012) 

2. Freeing the Heart, Part III: Elongating the Esophagus. Massage Today, February, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 02, by Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD (our review in issue #2JMS, 2012)

3. A New Method for Dealing with Hip Rotators. Massage Today, March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03, by Shari Auth, MA, Lac., LMT, NCBTMB (our review in issue #2JMS, 2012) 

4. Current Trends in Relieving Migraine Pain. Massage Today, April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04, by Kelly Lott, LMT, MTI, NCBTMB, CIMI (our review in issue #3JMS, 2012) 

5. Freeing the Heart Part IV: Reducing Resistance to the Heart’s Expansion. Massage Today, April, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 04, by Dale G. Alexander, LMT, M.A., Ph.D. (our review in issue #3JMS, 2012) 

6. An Introduction to TDR Massage: Focus on the Hand. Massage Today, July, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 07, by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT (our review in issue #4JMS, 2012) 

We do not want readers to obtain the wrong impression that all issues of MToffered poor quality information. Each issue also contained excellent pieces, such as articles written by Leon Chaitow, James Waslaski, Whitney Lowe and others, which were excellent. However, there is the first medical rule established by Hippocrates that says: “Do no harm!” Since MT publishes articles on the clinical application of massage, the Editorial Board must follow this basic rule if it would like to be leader in massage industry. Unfortunately, in 2012 MT failed its readers. We are sure that:

Someone on the MT Editorial Board must have enough basic medical knowledge to tell D. Alexander that gastric content does not leak into the pericardium and it does not cause cardiac arrhythmia.

Someone on the MT Editorial Board must stop the publication of the article by Rita Woods who recommended treating cancer survivors who suffer from peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy by using deep-to-the-bone pressure.

Someone on the MT Editorial Board must be shaking their head in disbelief after they read the article submitted by Linda LePelley who enlightened readers by stating that osteophytes that form around the joint affected by osteoarthritis are 60% comprised of fat, and by massaging the pathologically changed areas of the bone, the practitioner will cure osteoarthritis,


What is amazing is that these and other contributors did not even bother to check how their personal belief fit into modern science before they wrote their “masterpieces.”

Publishing such a significant number of absurd articles in one year is an unexplained mystery. We are outraged because readers were misled by the authors and also were failed by MT. Now massage practitioners who decide to repeat the information from these articles to any other health practitioner are at risk of being a “laughing stock,” and no one will take their work seriously. This is why we think that the harm done by these articles outweighs the list of great articles, and their knowledgeable authors who contributed their work to MT in 2012 and it puts MT on the last spot on our list.

Category: News