The purpose of this section of the Journal of Massage Science is to inform the practitioners about valuable articles that frequently go unnoticed, as well as to point to those authors and publications who present very questionable views in their writings. 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

Reclaiming the Body. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 31-33, by Douglas Nelson

This article describes a clinical case the author encountered. There is not enough clinical information in this piece compared to previous contributions by the same author.

Palmaris Longus. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 51-52, by Christy Cael

The article correctly presents information about anatomy, action and palpation of the palmaris longus muscle.

6 Short Stories about Connective Tissue. Ubiquitous Material. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 82-93, by Andrew Biel

A simply excellent article! In a fun and easy-to-read form, the author is able to explain and deliver a lot of important information about the structure of fascia and its functions.

Darren’s Back and Leg Pain. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 100-103, by Whitney Lowe

A very good case study article which illustrates an important point that “…it is common for different conditions to have similar symptoms.”

The only issue we have with this article is the application of the elbow as a way to address the trigger point in the gluteus minimus as it was advocated in the article in Fig. 5. Such an aggressive approach will diminish the result of the therapy since the size of the contact area (i.e., elbow) greatly exceeds the size of the tissues in the gluteum minimus that need to be worked on.

In fact, the average adult elbow will compress almost the entire belly of the gluteus minimus instead of the affected area only. Such an approach unnecessarily traumatizes soft tissues including muscles located on the top the gluteus minimus.

In the long run excessive pressure and large contact areas contribute to the formation of myogelosis and these are irreversible degenerative changes which are frequently the result of such an aggressive approach.

Joint Alignment and Rotations of the Knee. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 104-105, by Mary Anna Foster

A very good and informative article on knee biomechanics.

The Wooby Wheel Syndrome. Addressing Joint Misalignment. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 107-108, by Erik Dalton

A great and important article! It was wonderful to read that the author pointed to the upper-crossed syndrome as a one of the causes of supraspinatus impingement. The practitioners frequently miss this important component.

Also we very much agree with this statement:

“Refrain from advising muscle-strengthening exercises for joints that are not moving freely.”

This is a frequent mistake physical therapists make when prescribing repetitive exercise as a first treatment option when the joint has restricted movement due to muscle tension. We see such consequences on a daily basis in our clinics.

Understanding Fascial Change. Massage & Bodywork 2014, May-June: 114-117, by Til Luchau

A great article on anatomy, structure and functions of fascia.

The Nocebo Effect. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 33-35, by Douglas Nelson

As usual, a very good piece by Mr. Nelson. Easy to read, informative and practical.

Peroneal Group. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 51-52, by Christy Cael

A good article on anatomy, action and palpation of peroneal muscles with self-helping stretchings.

Medication Matter. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 51-52, by Charlotte Michael Versagi

Every practitioner must read this article and have a copy in the room. The author lists the most common medications that clients may take and the massage considerations associated with them. We would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Versagi for an excellent and important piece.

Patrick’s Quadriceps Tear. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 100-103, by Whitney Lowe

A great article based on a clinical case. It illustrates correct clinical thinking and the ability to formulate efficient treatment protocol.

Tracking Motion in the Patella and Menisci. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 104-105, by Mary Ann Foster

A short but informative article on biomechanical relations of the patella and menisci. Evaluation of the menisci is also discussed, which increases the practical value of the article. The article is well illustrated.

Occipital Neuralgia Headaches. Addressing the O-A Joint. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 107-108, by Erik Dalton

This is a great article on a very important subject. Medical massage in many cases is the ultimate solution to Chronic Headaches triggered by occipital nerve neuralgia. The author discusses Myoskeletal Alignment Technique to address the occipitoatlantal joint.

Tools for Working With Fascia. Massage & Bodywork 2014, July-August: 114-117, by Til Luchau

This article is dedicated to the fascia and how to address tension there. Connective tissue structures in the form of fascia are located in three levels: in the dermis of the skin, in superficial fascia and in deep fascia. The author correctly describes the anatomy and physiology of the fascia in each level.

The second part of the article discusses examination and treatment options for superficial and deep fascia in the forms of Forearm Technique and Soft Fist Technique. We would like to give the author credit for mentioning in the article that “…there are many tools for working with fascia” while he suggested application of these two particular techniques. Despite that Mr. Luchau boldly stated, “Forearm Technique brings together many pieces of the fascial puzzle,” in reality, it is not a case.

The description of these two techniques in the article indicates one thing – they don’t have enough clinical specificity to address fascia on a layer by layer basis. In other words, their technical potential doesn’t allow for quickly and efficiently stretching fibrotic bridges or retinacula cutis. These techniques don’t follow any system rather than back and forth rubbing in one case by forearm and in another by soft fist. It is really puzzling why someone decides to invent the bicycle when it was already invented long ago.

For the reader’s general information, historically the tension in connective tissue zones is one of the initial components of medical massage and their evaluation and treatment has existed in modern medicine since 1929. At that time, E.Dickle and Prof. W. Kohlrausch in Austria and Germany developed the concept of pathological changes in the fascia and connective tissue massage as a tool to eliminate this tension. Over several decades this treatment was perfected in medical universities and clinics in Europe and greatly influenced I. Rolf in her work.

CTM is an exceptional clinical tool and its effectiveness has been proven in many clinical studies (Goats, Keir, 1991; Brattberg, 1999; Bongi et al., 2009; Castro-Sanchez et al., 2011).

Instead of informing and teaching practitioners how to use such an effective treatment tool as CTM (which was already proven to be clinically effective), Mr. Luchau decided to invent ‘new’ techniques which no one independently tested in clinical practice. While sitting in its own bubble, American massage therapy cries for recognition from mainstream medicine while continuing to rely on personal opinions rather than scientific and clinical data. This situation is great for the educators, but very bad for the profession.

Bongi SM, Del Rosso A, Galluccio F, Sigismondi F, Miniati I, Conforti ML, Nacci F, Cerinic MM. Efficacy of connective tissue massage and Mc Mennell joint manipulation in the rehabilitative treatment of the hands in systemic sclerosis. Clin Rheumatol. 2009, Oct; 28(10):1167-73.
Brattberg G. Connective tissue massage in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Eur J Pain. 1999 Jun; 3(3):235-244.
Castro-Sanchez AM, Moreno-Lorenzo C, Mataran-Penarrocha GA, Feriche-Fernandez-Castanys B, Granados-Gamez G, Quesada-Rubio JM. Connective Tissue Reflex Massage for Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternate Med. 2011: 804321.
Goats GC, Keir KA. Connective tissue massage. Br J Sports Med. 1991 Sep; 25(3):131-3.

Massage Today

Familiar Client, Fresh Perspective. Massage Today April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04, by Debbie Roberts, LMT

The author discusses a very important issue – the necessity of Health History Form intake. The author describes a case where the client was coming with lower back pain for six months and the therapist used various modalities trying to help the client, but she was coming back with the same symptoms. Eventually, the client was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and one of the early signs of it is indeed lower back pain.

The author made the correct conclusion in this article. Despite having the best intentions to help your client, don’t be shy to refer him or her to other health practitioners if you see that your treatment doesn’t produce a positive clinical dynamic in 3-4 sessions. In this particular case, the therapist having the best intentions delayed the client diagnosis and early treatment by giving her false hopes. Always remember that the health of the client is the priority and personal ego is the biggest enemy of everyone who is in healthcare.

Techniques to Help Your Pediatric Clients. Massage Today April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04, by Beth-ellen Zang, LMT, AHE, CNC

This article is about cupping for children. Cupping is a very helpful tool for the practitioner. JMS published an article on this subject (see Issue #1, 2014).

Unfortunately, readers won’t learn much from this article because the main piece of information is that cupping is good and it can be used on children. This is an obvious fact with universal agreement and we think that an article on any subject published in a national publication must have more substance.

The Forgotten Rotator Cuff, Part 2. Massage Today April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04, by Ben Benjamin, PhD

This article discusses tests which the author recommends to examine the teres minor muscle. There are two resistance tests which are recommended but they are a very questionable diagnostic tool.

The teres minor muscle isn’t the only prime mover for lateral rotation. This is why resistance tests discussed in the article are very approximate and they don’t give the practitioner accurate information. Even the author acknowledged that in the article:

“Differentiating a teres minor from an infraspinatus injury is a very tricky piece of assessment.”

In such case why are these tests even discussed as a major evaluation tool if the function of both muscles is identical? The ONLY clinically valuable test to find out if injury happened or tension built up specifically in the teres minor muscle is its direct palpation. Resistance Tests should play only a supportive role in clinical evaluation.

Deep Tissue Massage Helps Plantar Fasciitis. Massage Today May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05, contributed by Derek R. Austin, MS, CMT, Beth Barberree, BA, RMT, MK Brennan, MS, RN, LMBT

The article is a review of a study conducted in Israel which examined the effect of deep massage in combination with neural mobilization exercise on patients with Plantar Heel Pain Syndrome. The article discusses the results of this study. We think that it will be helpful if therapists use the results of this study to inform patients and their physicians about the clinical value of massage therapy.

The Accuracy of Sacroiliac Joint Evaluation Tests. Massage Today May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05, by Whitney Lowe, LMT

This article touches on a very important subject. From publication to publication we observed that various authors and educators push the issue of sacroiliac joint evaluation as a critical factor in the examination of patients with various pain syndromes, starting from lower back pain to TMJ dysfunction. We are glad that we are not alone in pointing out that SI joint dysfunction has much more limited clinical value since in the majority of patients.

SI joint misalignment is a consequence of the problem (e.g., to the tension in quadratus lumborum muscle) rather than its cause or don’t have any direct association with the other pathologies (e.g., TMJ dysfunction). There is no doubt that SI joint dysfunction must be evaluated, but when it is really a factor. We completely agree with the author who stated,

“… it is a good idea to use these procedures (SI joint evaluation by JMS) with caution and not rely on them as a clear determination of a client’s problem.”

Myofascial Pain from the Gluteus Maximus. Massage Today May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05, by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

This article discusses myofascial pain originated from active trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle. All writings by Mr. Kent are heavily ‘borrowed’ from J. Travel and D.G. Simmons “Trigger Point Manual” without even mentioning them as original authors of the material he publishes.

Using Travel and Simmons’ publication as the only source of information supports the author’s claims, but at the same time he falls victim to a simplistic view of trigger point formation and its nature. Information in the article is correct only in one instance – when active trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle form as a result of direct trauma or severe overload as can happen in cases of really strenuous exercise. However, in the article the author postulates other causes of active trigger points formation in the gluteus maxims muscle, including repetitive motions like ‘lifting a baby from a crib’ or incorrect ergonomics at the work place and this is false assumptions.

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in our body and it has the biggest muscle mass. This is why the formation of active trigger points doesn’t follow such simple, almost mechanistic views as suggested in the article. The human body is extremely resilient. If it was so vulnerable that repetitive ‘lifting a baby from a crib’ became such a critical factor in the development of trigger points in the largest muscle of the body which affects our dynamic performance, we would have gone extinct from the Earth millions of years ago.

Could a patient with bad posture, incorrect ergonomics or ‘baby lifter’ motions develop active trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle? Yes, definitely! However, the trigger points are the result of a completely different chain of events to the ones suggested in the article and that has great implication for the treatment options.

Unfortunately, practitioners have not kept up with modern views on somatic rehabilitation since they left massage school or thanks to articles like this one, they have developed a very simplistic view of trigger point formation in the skeletal muscles.

When the original concept of trigger point was developed by Dr. Shade (1921) in Germany and Dr. MacKenzie (1923) in England, it was widely believed the main cause of active trigger point formation is irritation of the peripheral nerve which innervates the muscle-harboring active trigger point.

Dr. Travel and Dr. Simmons’ (1983) work emphasized another equally important mechanism as local trauma and chronic overload and they indicated the importance of local treatment. The medical community including therapists moved in this direction and started to treat trigger points in the skeletal muscles as predominantly a local pathology.

However, the overall treatment results were not satisfactory since in many cases treatment brought temporary relief and trigger points became easily reactivated. Such a one-sided approach to the treatment of trigger points eventually convinced scientists to revive the initial concept of trigger point formation due to their neurological nature (Glezer and Dalicho, 1955; Quintner, and Cohen, 1994). This completely changed the treatment options and dramatically increased their results.

To eliminate an active trigger point completely, the therapist must combine locally applied Trigger Point Therapy with addressing the origin of innervation of the affected muscle. If we project this concept to this article, the trigger point in the gluteus maximus muscle can develop as a result of mild irritation of the L4-L5 spinal nerves by lumbar erectors, quadratus lumborum muscle or lumbar rotators. Such mild irritation will first of all trigger the formation of trigger points in the muscles of the gluteal group, including the gluteus maximus. The problem is that patients with such mild irritation will rarely complain about uncomfortable symptoms in the lower back since the secondary reaction in the form of tension or spasm in the gluteal muscles becomes a leading and frequently the only symptom of L5-L5 spinal nerves’ mild irritation.

Another equally frequent cause of trigger point formation in the gluteus maximus muscle is its protective reaction to the Sciatic Nerve Neuralgia developed as a result of tension or spasm in the piriformis muscle located under the gluteus maximus.

This is why patients with bad posture, ergonomic or while lifting a baby develop active trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle. Thus, if practitioners follow the article’s recommendation they will treat the consequence of the problem instead of addressing the original trigger which is located in a completely different part of the body. Thus, the absence of this critically important information for the therapist in the article makes it to some degree a misleading piece, since if there isn’t direct trauma in the patient’s medical history, the active trigger points in the gluteus maximus muscle form secondary to another cause. It is a therapist’s job to find this cause and eliminate it while continuing to use local treatment in the gluteus maximus muscle.

Glezer O., Dalicho V.A. Segmentmassage. 2009, Leipzig, 1955.
MacKenzie J. Angina Pectoris. Henry, Frowde & Stroughton, London, 1923.
Quintner JL. Cohen ML. Referred pain of peripheral nerve origin: an alternative to the “myofascial pain” construct. Clin J Pain. 1994 Sep;10(3):243-51. Review.
Schade H. Untersuchungen in der Erkaltungstrade: III Uber den Rheumatismus, in besondere den Muskelrheumatismus (Myogelose). Munch Med Wschr. 68, 95-99, 1921.
Travel J.G., Simmons D.G. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. The Trigger Point Manual. Williams &Wilkins, 1983.

A Practical Application of the Tissue Density Grading Scale. Massage Today May, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 05, by Linda LePelley, RN, NMT

Unfortunately for Massage Today and its readers, articles describing the method of Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) continue to be published. We reviewed them in previous issues of JMS with the same sad conclusion. Despite that the articles promote TDR as an effective clinical method, in reality it has the same effectiveness as a basic therapeutic massage applied locally.

Method or technique is effective when it has solid theoretic foundation. TDR is based on the most bizarre idea we’ve ever read in massage publications which are frequently filled with bizarre ideas – increased density of the soft tissue is a result of the accumulation and deposit of cholesterol. It seems that the articles about TDR completely overlook medical science.

This article discusses the Tissue Density Grading Scale, which is composed of different colors associated with various degrees of tension in the soft tissue. If practitioners would like to use this particular color-definition of soft tissue tension, it is their choice. To some degree it can even be helpful.

The second part of the article is a description of the case the author treated and this is a very interesting read. Let us quote just one of the descriptions of local pathology the author found in the patient:

“Patch of dense tissue between medial border of Scapula and the spine, approx. 9cm by 5cm in diameter.”

Let’s pause for a second. Massage Today is a national professional publication which basically gave the author a column. In the article which is supposed to reach and educate thousands of practitioners, the author didn’t even bother to enlighten readers what exact tissue are involved in “patch of dense tissues between medial border of scapula and the spine.” Was it trapezius, rhomboids, iliocostalis, longissimus or all together in some particular combination? Were superficial or/and deep fascia involved? How about skin? The author just “packed” these and other tissues with completely different anatomy histology and physiology in a one-term ‘patch of dense tissue” basket. We think that in the 21st century, practitioners deserve more from the author and Massage Today.

Massage Provides Benefits for Children Suffering from Headaches. Massage Today June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06, by Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT

This article discusses the issue of children’s headaches and their treatment by massage therapy. The article is based on the results of a study where the clinical effects of two per week, 45-minute massage sessions were examined. It is great that this information is starting to become available for practitioners.

We have some important clarifications. In the study, basic stress reduction massage was used and even that professionally simple procedure gave the patients with headaches pain relief. However, MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs in the cases of tension headaches are the complete solution to this pathological condition.

Important Therapies for Breast Health and Wellness. Massage Today June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06, by William F. Burton Jr., LMT, CMCE

This article discusses the most common breast abnormalities and their potential treatment using cupping. Despite that there are not any clinical tips on how to do it, it is a very rare article on this subject and it can be an introduction for further research by therapists who would like to extend their practices in this area.

We would like to add a personal clinical observation. It is much more beneficial for the client if the therapist starts with manual Lymph Drainage Massage and applies cupping later, after initial lymphatic drainage is enhanced and tissue resistance built up.

Treating the Symptoms vs. Rehabilitating the Causes of Pain and Dysfunction. Massage Today June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06, by Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT

This article is one more attempt by Mr. McCann to present Structural Integration which he developed and tirelessly promotes as a ‘panacea’ for musculoskeletal pain.

First of all, we would like to state at the very beginning that we are completely agreed that Structural Integration or a similar technique should be a component of any successful somatic rehabilitation. We don’t have any problems with the treatment itself, but we have problems with the “panacea” part and how it is presented to practitioners.

According to Mr. McCann, he sees the structural imbalance, especially the core imbalance, as the main evil and origin of all musculoskeletal pains. In such case the only ‘reasonable’ solution is to take a Structural Integration seminar and that alone will eliminate all chronic pains.

In previous reviews of Mr. McCann’s articles, which had a lot of bold statements, we emphasized that in the majority of clinical cases the core imbalance is the protective reaction of the brain to its chronic bombardment by noxious stimuli from peripheral sources.

Let’s briefly go over the main points from this article using quotes:

1. “When clients come for massage treatment, much of their pain is a symptom of an underlying cause. So, our challenge is to first understand the origins of musculoskeletal pain and then to treat it by rehabilitating the causes of the pain.”

Yes, this is an excellent statement and we all should agree with it.

2. “Within the musculoskeletal field, structural imbalance results in pain and dysfunction, whereas structural balance equates to pain free function.”

We would say definitely ‘yes’ to the second part of the quote that structural balance indeed equates to pain free function.

However, in the first part of the quote the author starts to twist medical science, proclaiming that “structural imbalance results in pain and dysfunction.” As we mentioned above, in clinical reality chronic pains trigger a protective reaction from the brain which resets receptors in the soft tissues to cope with pain and reduce its intensity. This is the real cause of core distortion in a majority of clinical cases and addressing it as a first treatment priority is exactly what the author is against – fight with the consequences.

3. “Babies are born with it (i.e., core distortion by JMS). The rotation of the iliums and the hip complex in infants and children is well documented by Dr. Terry R. Yochum and Dr. Lindsay J. Rowe in their description and images of normal acetabula angles in children from birth to three months and three to twelve months.”

It is amazing how truth can be manipulated to prove the wrong concept. No one argues that babies are born with core distortion. This is how they get through the birth canal! We didn’t find any medical references (including authors cited in the article) which support idea that after 12 months the babies’ core distortion continues to stay with them for the rest of their adult lives. Mr. McCann cited BTW conveniently without any references. We are waiting for Mr. McCann to explain this interesting fact.

The core distortion the author tries to change will go away as soon as babies start to walk. The more stable their gate becomes the more fluid it will get while residuals of core distortion will melt away as a result of combined influence of body weight and force of gravity. The brain and the force of gravity will do it better than Structural Integration.

4. “It is amazing that most of the medical field has not looked at the imbalances in the entire structure, but rather focuses on individual areas.”

Since the entire medical field can’t defend itself in massage publications against Mr. McCann’s cry of its incompetence, we would like to do that for the accused in the form of a letter from the medical field to Mr. McCann.

Dear Mr. McCann,

I’ve already examined what you preach long ago and concluded that before addressing core disbalance, the source of nociception needs to be eliminated asap. As soon as chronic pain isn’t the factor anymore, addressing core distortion becomes the next equally important step in somatic rehabilitation, if it is needed at this point.

Let me give you one of the thousands of clinical scenarios which the therapist may encounter in the treatment room daily. If you’ve ever treated patients with acute or chronic headache you may have noticed that their gate, movements, body positions are greatly changed and they are changed sometimes for months or even years. Why did this happen? Because the brain tries at least somehow to decrease pain intensity so it can function.

A patient like this one will get to you and you will definitely find core distortion, just because the brain triggers overall pathological changes in body mechanics to cope with pain. You will find everything you mentioned in the article including TMJ dysfunction.

However, in clinical reality, the main cause of Chronic Tension headache is compression of the greater or minor or both occipital nerves in the suboccipital area. Until the nerve(s) is free and the pain-analyzing system is pacified, Structural Integration is a waste of the patient’s money and the practitioner’s time. It will only patch the problem.

The same scenario can be projected on the compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle, irritation of the femoral nerve by the quadratus lumborum muscle, etc. I’m perfectly aware of your counter argument that core distortion is the cause of tension in the posterior cervical muscles and compression of the occipital nerves. However, this isn’t the case since in the majority of cases after the source of the chronic pain is eliminated the brain will slowly melt away core disbalance. It is true that in some long lasting cases of chronic pain core distortion remains a factor even after the source of chronic pain is removed. This is where you and your Structural Integration can be very helpful.

You mentioned the diagnostic value of kinesiology which you use in Structural Integration. Indeed the kinesiology is important science which explains step by step the complicated chain of events occurring during the function of the musculo-skeletal system in health and disease. However, this isn’t a diagnostic tool.

Here is what I recently confirmed with the help of Schwartz, et al., (2014) who tested the diagnostic value of applied kinesiology on 51 participates who in double-blinded randomized trials examined this topic during three(!) trials with two highly trained kinesiologists. Here is final result of the study:

“The research published by the Applied Kinesiology field itself is not to be relied upon, and in the experimental studies that do meet accepted standards of science, Applied Kinesiology has not demonstrated that it is a useful or reliable diagnostic tool upon which health decisions can be based.”

Of course you will deny this as my conspiracy to undermine value of Structural Integration, but six other studies conducted by different authors earlier (1984; 1988; 1989; 1999; 2001 and 2003) examined the same subject and got identical results. This is why I am not looking at the imbalances in the entire body structure, but rather focusing on individual areas first. When the pain is gone I will graciously ask for your assistance with putting pieces in their final order.

Sincerely yours,
The Medical Field

As a final thought, we would like to emphasize the value of core treatment one more time – addressing core, body balance, gate distortion is a very important component of somatic rehabilitation and practitioners should use it but ONLY after the initial trigger of chronic pain is eliminated.

The Forgotten Rotator Cuff Muscle, Part 3. Massage Today June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06, by Ben Benjamin, PhD

The third part of this article discusses the treatment option for the teres minor muscle. The therapy which is discussed is cross fiber friction and it is a completely correct suggestion. However, cross-fiber friction by itself isn’t enough. Besides removing local inflammation at the insertion of the tendinous part of the teres minor muscle into the humerus, the therapist MUST reset the muscle spindle receptors and restore the anatomical length of the muscle to completely eliminate the problem. In all other scenarios there is a good chance the pathology can come back.

Massage Magazine

Sacral Pain. One Complaint, Many Causes. Massage Magazine, 2014, 215:50-52, by Dawn Lewis

This article is a general overview of the complex issue of sacral pain. The author deserves credit for presenting it in an easy-to-read format. Those who are already practicing clinical aspects of massage therapy won’t find a lot of new information, but for therapists who would like to expand their practices in this direction or for students of massage schools it is a very good piece.

It emphasizes two critically important aspects – sacral pain is a result of complex biomechanical relations between different muscle groups and connective tissue structures must be equally addressed.

Expert Advice: What are the benefits of attending a full body dissection seminar? Massage Magazine, 2014, 217:36-37, by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

The author is correct. If you have a chance to attend such a seminar, do it!

Orthopedic Massage for Athletes. Massage Magazine, 2014, 217:39-41, by James Waslaski, LMT, CPT

This is a very good, short article overview of the application of Orthopedic Massage for athletes.

A Multi-Modality Approach. 7 Steps to Pain Management in Sports Massage. Massage Magazine, 2014, 217:42-43, by Michael McGillicuddy, LMT, NCTMB, CKTI

This article presents a seven step approach to pain management in sports. All steps discussed in the article are helpful tools. However, the topic itself is incorrect. If an athlete requires pain management his treatment can’t be labeled as Sports Massage. The goal of Sports Massage is through various techniques and their combination, using a special regime of therapy to assist a healthy athlete in obtaining his or her peak form without injury.

When an athlete requires pain management he leaves the umbrella of Sports Massage and he is immediately in the field of medical, clinical, or orthopedic massage, which is the clinical application of massage therapy and it has nothing to do with Sports Massage.

Let us offer our readers the following analogy. An athlete during competition strains his plantar fascia and develops Plantar Fasciitis. In another scenario a healthy women slips on the floor in the grocery store and strains her plantar fascia with the same result of Plantar Fasciitis. In the latter case nobody would call her treatment ‘Supermarket Massage.’ In both scenarios Plantar Fasciitis would be addressed as the same clinical case by Medical Massage and Sports Massage wouldn’t have anything to do with it. As me mentioned above, Sports Massage addresses the healthy athlete or sports enthusiast.

Deep Tissue Massage. Massage Magazine, 2014, 217:46-49, by Shari Auth

Finally the author published a good article where major aspects of body mechanics when deeper pressure should be used by the therapist are correctly addressed. Of course, Mrs. Auth couldn’t avoid her favorite topic suggesting therapists should use only forearms instead of hands. If this small slice of incorrect information weren’t there, it would be a very great piece.

Fascia. The Matrix Reloaded. Massage Magazine, 2014, 217:50-53, by Thomas Myers

As always, a very good article by Mr. Myers. Mentioning Ida Rolf is especially appreciated since her work and legacy have been frequently exploited for personal benefit by some ‘educators’ and practitioners.

Massage Therapy Journal

Body Mechanics. The Importance of Joint Mobilization. Massage Therapy Journal 2014 53(2):17-27, by Joseph E. Muscolino

Great article! Don’t expect that you will be flipping its pages. If you are interested in the clinical application of massage therapy, study it and go over the information slowly to let it sink in. As usual, the author provides great illustrations to support information in the text.

Massage and Depression. Massage Therapy Journal 2014 53(2):40-48, by Micelle Vallet

This article is a review of depression and massage therapy as a tool to help patients who suffer from this condition. There are a lot of good points in the article. The main one which we agreed with and would like to emphasize is the necessity of building personal relations with the client when sensory stimulation by massage therapy is enforced by the trust the practitioner builds up in the client while working on him or her.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples