Appreciation Award 2013
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
Massage & Bodywork Magazine (MBM) is published every two months in print and digital format. In our opinion, MBM is the leader in the scientific presentation of material compared to other national, massage-therapy publications. The articles in MBM are dedicated to relevant and interesting topics and offer significant practical information, which readers can immediately apply in their massage practices. Articles are well-written, educational and with clear illustrations. It seems that the Editorial Board of MBM follows an efficient, content-review process that maintains the scientific integrity of the magazine, and does not accept articles with questionable or incorrect information or claims. This standard greatly increases the value of MBM to its readers.
Of course, some mistakes in 2013 have occurred. For example, incorrect information in the two following articles:
MS. Easing Symptoms with Informed Massage, Massage & Bodywork, Nov-Dec: 56-65, 2012, by Charlotte Michael Versagi
However, these are exceptions to MBM’s overall, high-quality editorial content. The overall editorial offering is far more accurate than other national massage publications.
We gladly recognize Massage & Bodywork Magazine as the best, scientifically based professional massage publication in the United States. Thank you for keeping science within the massage therapy profession!
2. MASSAGE TODAY
Massage Today (MT) is a monthly publication offered in print and digital format. Unfortunately, about two years ago, the standard of quality for articles accepted by MT began to significantly decrease. In the same issue, readers may find an exceptional and accurate educational piece next to a strange and, in many cases incorrect, article that disseminates misleading ideas. However, the number of incorrect articles published this year by MT and, consequently their negative impact on the massage profession, is lower than in 2012, which is a significant improvement.
Everyone can make mistakes, but what is confusing is that the Editorial Board of MT gives authors who regularly misinterpret even basic science an almost constant presence in the magazine. Is this due to a lack of credible submissions to MT or it is simply a matter of convenience for MT’s editors to publish articles by the same authors? We are sure that articles by L. LePelley, D.G. Alexander and, to a lesser degree, by D. McCann, must go through vigorous review process before they are accepted for publication by this or any other professional publication. It seems that Editorial Board of MT lacks the same reviewing standards as Massage & Bodywork Magazine, which greatly decreases the overall value of MT as an informative and authoritative publication since incorrect articles negate the value of good ones.
3. MASSAGE MAGAZINE
Massage Magazine (MM) is published 10 times per year in print format. Its editorial board decided to publish MM in a journalistic format, which makes it more difficult for authors to include science in articles and have deeper professional impact on readers. Thus, the less-technical content of MM fills the niche of easier professional reading.
At the same time, we would like to acknowledge that articles published in MM in 2013 have offered a deeper and more detailed content. For example, the articles Neural Manipulation, Massage Magazine, 208:60-64, 2013, by Jean-Pierre Barral, DO, MRO (F), RPT and Swell. Fascia as Sponge, Massage Magazine, November, 198:52-55, 2012, by Thomas Myers are perfect examples of articles that offer relevant professional value. The only problem is that MM does not publish enough articles of this caliber.
MM has great potential but if Editorial Board does not change the same content-selection criteria and continues with only the journalistic format the science of massage will have a very small presence on pages of this publication.
4. MASSAGE THERAPY JOURNAL
Massage Therapy Journal (MTJ) is published quarterly in print format. From massage science point of view it is the weakest professional-massage publication currently available, and nothing has changed in 2013 in regard to the value of the publication in reflecting the science of massage.