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 2014, the Editorial Board of JMS reviewed 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.)
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 Asian medicine, despite the fact that we try in our Journal to build bridges between Western and Eastern concepts. We are sure that the split between both views is unfortunate and was forced on 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
There is no doubt that Massage & Bodywork Magazine remains the best professional massage publication in the country. The publication is available in hard copy and digital format and it is issued 6 times per year.
The information in the articles is very well presented and illustrated. In the digital edition of Massage&Bodywork Magazine readers may find short clips which additionally illustrate information in the articles.
It seems that the Editorial Board doesn’t restrict authors with space and that increases the value of the material.
Massage&Bodywork Magazine, besides presenting information on common topics, published excellent pieces on rarely mentioned subjects, e.g,. bodywork for the eyes, adverse effects of massage therapy, etc. There is only a small chance that such articles can be found in other massage publications.
Some mistakes were made but they are not the fault of the Editorial Board, but rather Mr. Till Luchau Working With the Vestibular System, Massage & Bodywork Mar/Apr: 114-117, 2014 and Working With Lumbars, Part 2. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov/Dec: 100-101, 2014) who ‘borrowed’ well known and existing techniques without giving any credit to the original authors and rebranded them as his own developments. Unfortunately, while trying to simplify well known medical procedures, the author lost the essence of the therapy or even applied techniques in anatomically incorrect areas.
However, this is just minor bump on a wonderful trip which Massage&Bodywork Magazine took readers in 2014. The Editorial Board as well as its Editor in Chief deserve a lot of credit for their work. It is especially important in regard to keeping pages of the publication clean from bias and unscientific claims which fragment the profession and contribute to the confusion among practitioners.
Dear colleagues in Massage&Bodywork Magazine, please accept our congratulations for winning our Appreciation Award and our thanks for promoting science among therapists!
JMS Editorial Board
In our ranking we decided that Massage Therapy Journal and Massage Magazine both deserve the second place recognition
2. MASSAGE THERAPY JOURNAL (MTJ)
MTJ is publication of AMTA and it is published four times per year. Since 2009 when we started our Appreciation Award program, MTJ has always been the weakest publication.
In 2014 something unbelievable happened and we are very happy with this fact. MTJ greatly increased its theoretical and clinical value for practitioners. Besides Dr. Muscolino’s articles, which were the bright spots, in 2014 the MTJ showed that it has great potential.
The column like Research Literacy, articles on interaction between massage and medications, role massage after hip replacement, etc. are very good and informative pieces.
We think that in 2014 MTJ made great improvements and it is an impressive comeback.
2. MASSAGE MAGAZINE (MM)
MM is a monthly publication. Overall MM and MTJ are very close in their educational value for therapists. The main difference of MM compared to other publications is the fact that articles there are written in a journalistic format. They are easy to read but at the same time this format deprives them of some essence. In contrast, Massage&Bodywork Magazine tries to lift readers to the new level.
The articles about sacral pain, fascia, vacuum therapy after mastectomy, etc. are excellent examples that a journalistic format may work if the author knows his subject and has enough clinical expertise.
MM also has online presence and there are positive changes there as well. One of them is a new Medical Massage blog led by Mr. B. Prilutsky, who is also a regular contributor to JMS. This is a great addition.
3. MASSAGE TODAY (MT)
MT is a monthly publication. It is available in hard copy and digital format. We don’t know what happened with this previously well respected professional publication but since the new Editor in Chief took the reins, MT has slid into para-scientific publications, weird theories, etc. The authors who would never be published in any other respected publication flock under the umbrella of MT and flourish there.
The really sad part is that MT hosts the authors who know what they are talking about and they are excellent contributors to the profession. Thus, these responsible authors give validity to MT while a group of authors who from issue to issue publish misleading junk uses this validity and spreads their unscientific ideas among practitioners.
Articles written by Linda LePelley, Dale G. Alexander and Don McCann which are published in every issue of MT are not just personal opinions which may provoke intellectual discussion. They are unscientific, bizarre and sometimes even irrational pieces that are impossible to find anywhere else except MT.
MT deserves last place in our ranking in 2014 for its Editorial Board’s failure to separate good and bad eggs and putting them all in one basket. Thus MT is directly responsible for spreading unscientific information and confusing therapists. This has nothing to do with the very good articles that are written by responsible authors and published in MT.
Tags: Issue #1 2015