The purpose of this section of the Journal of Massage Science to inform the practitioners about valuable articles that frequently go unnoticed, as well as to point to those authors and publications who exhibit low educational standards. 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.


Ferraris & Eccentric Control. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 32-33, 2016 By

Douglas Nelson

This article is maybe fun to read but from our point of view it has limited practical value when compared to other quality pieces by the same author.

Vastus Lateralis. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 47-48, 2016

By Christy Cael

A short but helpful article on the anatomy, palpation and stretching of vastus lateralis.

Unusual Suspects. Often Overlooked Muscles. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 52-63, 2016

By Joseph E. Muscolino, DC

A great and important article on a subject which is rarely covered in massage publications.  Readers will learn about interossei, flexor pollicis longus and other rarely mentioned but important muscles. Very helpful illustrations.

How To Make Sciatica Worse. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 78-83, 2016

By Mark Liskey

This article covers the important subject of being careful when working on clients with Sciatica. While there is a lot of correct, basic info, some recommendations are questionable. For example, the author insists that the position on the stomach must be always avoided. From one perspective this is absolutely correct but this position can be painful for clients. From another perspective, it is a vital position for successful therapy.

If a pillow is placed and positioned under the client’s abdomen and upper pelvis, the majority of clients with Sciatica will be comfortable on their stomach. If they still are not, the side position can be used but the stomach position (with pillow) must be introduced as soon as they can tolerate it.

Hidden Nervous System. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 98-101, 2016

By Whitney Lowe

Great Article! Very important read! Thank you!

Sciatica Health Club Incident. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 102-103, 2016

By Erik Dalton

This article discusses the author’s personal struggle and recovery from Sciatica. The technique of stretching the peripheral nerve, in this case sciatic nerve, is discussed as a main treatment option.

It is true that this therapy is an important integrated part of the treatment strategy for patients with Sciatica. However, other modalities need to be implemented since reducing inflammation in the nerve itself in many cases isn’t enough.

Working With Sacroiliac Joint Mobility. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Nov-Dec: 102-103, 2016

By Til Luchau

A very good article on working with Sacroiliac Joints. However, there are couple things which require correction:

  1. This treatment was widely used in somatic rehabilitation and it is called the Technique of Stretching the Sacroiliac Joint.
  2. The technique discussed in the article reduces only 50% of the tension in the Sacroiliac Ligament since it addresses ONLY its anterior aspect. Thus it must be combined with the stretching technique of SI joint which targets the posterior aspect of the ligament for the entire treatment to be more efficient.


Key to Rehab Back Pain. Massage Today, Oct: 10; 20, 2016

By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSET

The author continues to entertain the false idea that removing as he called it, ‘core distortion’ eliminates such a complex abnormality as Lower Back Pain. One more time we are forced to address the same topic of false agenda which the author publishes in every issue of Massage Today.

The author is correct when saying that core distortion will eventually lead to pathological conditions like lower back pain. If he uses his therapy on those clients who exhibit such distortion while they are not in acute pain, his therapy plays a very important role in the prevention of the tension and spasm to happen.

Here is where the author is wrong. As soon as the client is in acute Lower Back Pain, the core distortion the author observes is a protective reaction developed by the brain to avoid or decrease the intensity of pain. At this point core distortion doesn’t reflect actual clinical changes since it is reflex reaction. Thus, the treatment strategy based on the kinesiology to correct protective reaction (i.e. core distortion) is simply incorrect.

However, when the patient is out of pain and he or she still exhibits core distortions, the therapy the author advocates is a great tool to restore biomechanical balance.

To summarize: the therapy Mr. McCann suggests is helpful as a preventive measure and as recovery after the acute pathological condition is eliminated by more sophisticated clinical massage techniques.

Triceps Injury. Massage Today, Oct: 16; 2016

By Ben Benjamin, PhD

This is a good introductory article regarding triceps injuries. The only issue we have with this and other articles by the same author is the very limited range of treatment options which are suggested: massage therapy, cross friction (btw our readers will agree that friction is part of massage therapy), and exercise therapy.

The only treatment description offered in the article is of friction therapy. The majority of arm exercises are contraindicated during the treatment including friction. So, what type of exercise is the author talking about? Besides friction therapy, why is fascial work not mentioned? Why didn’t the author even mention the necessity to address the triceps muscle itself to take pressure from the inflamed tendon before applying friction on the tendon itself? There are many similar questions which are again unanswered.

TDR Massage. Trigger Finger. Massage Today, Nov: 10-11; 2016

By Linda LePelley

This article covers the nature of Trigger Finger and its treatment by so called TDR. Here is the statement from the article which let’s say is mildly surprising:

“TDR Massage is based on my theory that all pain and dysfunction is associated with an elevation of tissue density at the exact location of pain.”

We think that the author’s theory is incorrect for two reasons:

  1. In many clinical cases (except trigger finger and similar pathologies) the area where the patient feels pain has nothing to do with where the cause of it is. This assumption that ALL “..pain and dysfunction is associated with an elevation of tissue density,” i.e., caused by local triggers, is false and it doesn’t even closely reflect clinical reality.

Let’s say mild irritation of the L5 spinal nerve by a tense quadratus lumborum muscle triggers Chronic Plantar Fasciitis secondarily while the patient never complained to anyone about lower back pain since irritation of the spinal nerve on the level of the lower back is mild to moderate.

In this very frequent case the author will find increased tissue density in the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot, while the real trigger is in a completely different area. Thus application of TDR massage in this and many similar cases becomes a waste of time.

  1. The elevated tissue density the author mentioned is called interstitial edema which in fact will increase tissue density. This elevation of the density can be the result of only local changes and in such case the author’s strategy is correct. However, it can be also the result of pathological changes located in a completely different part of the body as we just


The therapy of Trigger Finger discussed in the article is only partially correct since massaging the nodule only won’t get the therapist far. Cross friction, local stretching along and across the tendon are vital parts of the treatment protocol.

Newly Identified Self-Repair Methods. Massage Today, Nov: 12-13; 2016

By Leon Chaitow, ND, DO

As usual, an important piece by Dr. Chaitow which emphasizes the importance of clinical perspective for manual therapists.

Spaghetti Elbow. Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction. Massage Today, Nov: 12-13; 2016

By Debbi Roberts

A very good and informative article which covers the topic of instability of the ulnar collateral ligament, and correct rehabilitation strategy after the surgery.

Inflammation. The Significance of Energy Depletion. Massage Today, 247:42-47, December, 2016

By Amy Bradley Radford, LMT, BCTMB

A good article which gives a basic overview of inflammation. The author is correct when she correlates chronic inflammation with energy depletion since it is indeed accompanied by a decrease of ATP production.

Myofascial Trigger Points. What Are They Really? Massage Today, Nov: 52-57; 2016 By

Richard Lebert, RMT

This article is a discussion piece which raises the important clinical topic of the nature of TPs. In massage therapy circles this old concept, instead of continuing to be developed according to the latest data by medical science, became attacked and besides confusing the therapist, it hurts clinical application of MT in general. This article covers this important topic.


Massage For Shoulder Dysfunction. MTJ. 55(4):38-43, 2016

By Christian Bond

This article offers very basic information on Rotator Cuff. It is written from the words of Dr. G. Russell. We are sure readers would get a much better quality of info if it were written by Dr. Russell himself instead of his words being interpreted.

Alleviating Post-Op Pain. MTJ. 55(4):49-74, 2016

By Helen Tosh

A very good and helpful article which reviews the effect of MT on pain after surgeries. Besides being well written it gives readers a great list of references which they can use to promote and build their practices within the medical community.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples