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.



Touch as a Language. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:12-13, 2017

by Amrit Ray

It seems that article covers trivial thing but we think that this important component of bodywork some therapists don’t fully understand and appreciate. This article reminds therapists about importance of correct touch which links them to their clients.

Just one example. If therapist while doing full body stress reduction massage thinks about what to cook for dinner or what to buy in the grocery store after the work he or she immediately loses touch connections with the clients They won’t complain about it but they will feel the difference. Just keep it in mind.

Massage As Catalyst. Helping Other Therapies to Work Better. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:28-29, 2017

By Douglas Nelson

This short article dedicated to important subject of integration of MT with other medical therapies of procedures. In some cases, the MT is solution in some cases it helps to control side effects of medical therapies and in some cases the MT is only part of the solution.

Gullian-Barre Syndrome. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:38-41, 2017

By Ruth Werner

Very good article which gives the readers overview of this debilitating disease. What is good about the article is fact that author gives correct recommendations for the MT application for these patients.

Skeletal Muscle Fibers. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:43-44, 2017 C. Cael

Short but informative article on physiology of muscle and its correlations with MT.

Sensory Overload. Effecgtive Touch for Fibromyalgia. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:48-53, 2017

Ginerva Liptan, MD, Jamie Liptan

Very informative article which covers basic aspects of Fibromyalgia and its treatment options. Despite that it is well documents the article covers only one aspect of Fibromyalgia’s pathophysiology. The other point of view isn’t presented at all despite that fact that these ideas are getting more and more recognition from scientists and medical community.

Alternative vision constitutes the fact that patients with Fibromyalgia exhibited fragmentation of mitochondria. If, these energy-generating stations inside the cell are compromised the contraction/relaxation circle of skeletal muscles is greatly affected and Fibromyalgia becomes result of energy crisis.  

In such case sensory overload and tension in the fascia which mentioned in the article as major contributors to the Fibromyalgia symptoms are secondary reactions and this fact greatly impact already used treatment options including MT.

How Breath Can Impact Your Client’s Fibromyalgia pain. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:62-71, 2017

Leon Chaitow ND, DO

Great article!

ElbowRoom. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:72-81, 2017

By Marybetts Sinclair

Excellent self-help case study!

Why Clients Stray. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:82-83, 2017

By Tera Johnson- Swartz

The topic of the article is how to build up successful practice by making clients faithful to the therapist. If therapist who work in stress reduction branch of MT would like to build stable clientele they first of all need to fight the clients’ brain and more precisely Phenomenon of Adaptation.  

In the article this subject is mentioned in the section ‘Stuck in a Rut’ but what is described there is way not enough. To win over the client’s brain just changing in the sequence of massage session from front to back or from back to front is not enough. Only wide technical arsenal and its constant alternations will make your practice bullet-proof. All other aspects mentioned in the article has secondary value. To read more about Phenomenon of Adaptation and its effect of therapist and client please click here:

Putting Squeeze on Morton’s Neuroma. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:88-91, 2017

By Whitney Lowe

Very good article on Morton’s Neuroma. We may only add that for many patients the treatment which is described in the article unfortunately will be unsuccessful. However, the therapist should try it and observe clinical results and after that make conclusion if further therapy is beneficial.

Iliosacral Alignment and Sciatic Nerve Entrapment. Sensory Overload. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:92-93, 2017

By Erik Dalton

Very good article!

Gentle Techniques for Jaw and TMJ. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Jan/Feb:98-101, 2017

By Til Luchau

If techniques which are described in the article is part of the treatment strategy they will have merit. If they are cornerstone of the therapy they are not enough to address tension in the masticatory muscles and decompress TMJ.

Masseter is able to generate 270 pounds (!) of pressure during the bite. It makes masseter is the most powerful muscle in the body. From this perspective techniques discussed in the article are not enough to reset the muscle spindle receptors in the masticatory muscles. The techniques discussed in the article can be used only as a preparation to more sophisticated treatment options.

Thoraco-lumbar Fascia Network. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 45-46-101, 2017

 By Cristy Cael

Small but important article which covers anatomy and function of Thoracolumbar Fascia.

Massage for Infantile Colic Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 48-49-101, 2017

By Jerrilyn Cambron, DC, PhD

Very good article for the therapists who practice Infant Massage. The article reviews recent medical studies on the subject and it justifies the application of MT to help infants and their parents to deal with Infantile Colic.

Pin and Stretch Technique. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 50-57, 2017

By Joseph Muscolino, DC

Very good article on application of different stretching techniques. Great illustrations!

Deciphering Nerve Injuries. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 86-89, 2017

By Whitney Lowe

Very good and very important article. The therapists must understand importance of different nerve entrapment syndromes.

You Can’t Teach Experience. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 56-89, 2017

By Erik Dalton, PhD

The article emphasizes a very important concept of personal clinical experience which is needed to successful practice of bodywork and manual therapies.

Sympathetic Sacrum. Massage&Bodywork Magazine, Mar/Apr 586-89, 2017

By Til Luchau

This is article of great importance! Everyone who practice clinical aspects of bodywork and massage therapy MUST read it. The article discussed newly discovered fact that there are no parasympathetic fibers which innervate lower pelvic organs: rectum, urine bladder, sex organs and soft tissues and circulatory system of the pelvis and lower extremities. From this perspective instead of dual innervation from BOTH parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions, function of these organs and tissues controls by sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system ONLY. More precisely by simple increase of decrease of the sympathetic tone. This looks like a purely scientific fact, but it has enormous clinical meaning for everyone who practice massage and manual therapy.

The author deserves a lot of credit to bring this information to the attention of the readers and not to be afraid to challenge established status quo. There are several widely-practiced modalities (Craniosacral Therapy, some Rolfing techniques etc.) which built on the fact that parasympathetic nervous system has two divisions cranial and sacral. The goal of these treatments was to balance parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions and one of the key therapy’s component was stimulation of the parasympathetic tone by working with the cranium and sacrum of patients.

Thank to exceptional study by Espinosa-Medina, et al., (2016) we now know that there is only ONE (cranial) division of the parasympathetic nervous system and there is no sacral division of parasympathetic nervous system. This fact completely changes dynamic of bodywork since it puts modalities we mentioned above and their proclaimed clinical effectiveness in question. Now we can say without any doubts that these therapies relay mostly on the placebo effect with limited clinical impact despite of widely accepted views.


Espinosa-Medina, I., Saha, O., Boismoreau, F., Chettouh, Z., Rossi, F., Richardson, W.D., Brunet, J.-F. The sacral autonomic outflow is sympathetic. Science, 2016, Vol. 354. Issue 6314, pp. 893-897


Inside Look at Cruciate Ligaments. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (1)

By Whitney Lowe, LMT

Very good article about Cruciate Ligament. We would like to confirm one detail regarding the MT option. Yes, it is mentioned that in case of severe trauma of cruciate ligaments the surgery must be performed. However, from reading article the therapist may get wrong impression that restoring balance between muscles antagonists which support the knee function is treatment option in all injuries of cruciate ligament. It is not. The ONLY solution to severely damaged cruciate ligaments is surgery with MT plays role in rehabilitation only.

Palpation Skills. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (1)

By Dr. Leon Chaitow, ND, DO

Article covers very important subject of the palpation skills but it gives very basic information about it

Enhance Healing With Therapeutic Endings. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (1)

By Dale Alexander, LMT. PhD

The article is dedicated to important subject and touched some central concepts like adaptation of the nervous system to the chronically persisted somatic dysfunction.

However, the author apparently is not aware about recent discoveries in regard to parasympathetic flow which he constantly tries to stimulate and balance with his sacral work as a part of Craniosacral Therapy.

There is nothing to balance in the sacrum since parasympathetic nervous system is not there to start with. Thus, the author can’t treat something which isn’t there. To read more we refer readers to the great article by Til Luchau which we reviewed above.

When Cancer Involves the Brain. Part I. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (2)

By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS

The article covers very basic aspects of brain cancer, its treatment options and MT intake.

Movement. Valuable Technique. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (2)

Debbi Roberts

The article covers the aspect of soft tissue and joint’s rehabilitation after prolonged immobilization due to the surgery or fracture. The article discusses this issue from the clinical perspective of foot/ankle joint immobilization in the boot. The author is completely correct when she mentioned a correct movement therapy as a tool to speed up the recovery.

Manual Resistive Tests. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (2)

Whitney Lowe

The article covers basic aspects of muscle evaluation using Resistive Tests. Indeed, this testing is important part of client/patient’s evaluation.

Let’s Talk About. Supinator Injuries. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (2)

By Ben Benjamine, PhD

The article is completely correct when describes anatomy, function of supinator muscle and it covers some testing for potential injury and tension. Indeed, the tension in the supinator muscle may mimic or coincide with acute elbow pain due to the Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis. Therefore, issue of supinator muscle is very important. If therapist tries to help the patient with the Tennis Elbow while his or her symptoms due to the tension in the supinator muscle the treatment will fail.

However, we have a lot of questions about treatment options author offers. The ONLY treatment suggested in the article is cross fiber friction.

  1. Let’s start with cross fiber friction itself. The supinator muscle is located UNDER the extensor digitorum muscle. Fig. 1 illustrates anatomy of the dorsal forearm.

Fig. 1. Anatomy of dorsal forearm

As readers may see in Fig. 1 the area for the application of the cross-fiber friction recommended in the article will target superficially located extensor digitorum muscle first with very little therapeutic impact to the supinator itself.

To avoid completely unnecessary traumatization of extensor digitorum the therapist must move this muscle to the side first to expose supinator and only after that apply cross fiber friction to the fibers of supinator only. Since the article advocates direct application of the cross fiber friction there it is clinical mistake.

The therapist MUST leave as less as possible imprint in the soft tissues while deliver as much as possible therapeutic impact. Unfortunately, the application of cross fiber friction suggested in the article works oppositely.

  1. Cross fiber friction as ONLY treatment option for the tension or injury of the supinator muscle is insufficient treatment strategy. The tension in the superficial fascia which covers the extensor digitorum and in the deep fascia which separate extensor and supinator must be addressed as well.

What about extensor digitorum muscle itself? Why this superficially located muscle which will ALWAYS carry protective tension wasn’t even mentioned as an initial target of the therapy?

Also the anatomical length of the supinator muscle MUST be restored and muscle spindle receptors MUST be reset after the application of cross-fiber frictions. Otherwise the same problem sooner or later will re-emerge.

What about insertions of the supinator muscle to the bones? From reading the article the therapists will get incorrect impression that there are no other components in the treatment of the tension in the supinator muscle. From this perspective the treatment mentioned in the article is one very small component of the treatment strategy and refusing to see full clinical picture and not addressing it with correct treatment tools is professional mistake.

  1. Finally, why the author didn’t even mention posterior interosseous nerve and its anatomical position regarding the supinator muscle? This nerve is first major branch of the radial nerve on the forearm and absence of this critical piece of information may greatly affect treatment options. The supinator muscle is part of so called Arcade of Frohse which is arch over the posterior interosseous nerve where it can be easily entrapped. Fig. 1 also illustrated location and anatomy of Arcade of Frohse.

Application of cross fiber friction without understanding and considering the anatomy of the posterior interosseous nerve, supinator muscle and Arcade of Frohse may lead to direct traumatization of the nerve during back and forth cross fiber frictions which will rub the nerve and it will weakened hand extension.

There are some the basic rules of cross fiber (i.e., Cyriax’s) friction that the author and therapist MUST know its application in regard to neighboring important anatomical structures. Apparently, this important piece of information is completely missed in the article.

At the Foundation of Bodywork. Palpation. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (3)

By William R. McKnight, DPL AC, LMT

The article is dedicated to very important and underrepresented topic of palpation. Unfortunately, it provides very basic information without significant practical input.

When Cancer Involves the Brain. Part II. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (3)

By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS

The Part II is much better article because it gives therapists enough guidelines on how to adjust therapy to the needs of the clients with brain cancer.

Get Re-Educated for Success. Neuromuscular Way. Massage Today, Vol. 17 (3)

By Peter J. Levy, DC

The article discusses Neuromuscular Re-education Therapy as important tool of somatic rehabilitation. The information in the article is correct and helpful. However, we would like to emphasize that this treatment is less effective when used alone and it is helpful only in cases of soft tissue trauma or overload. At the beginning of the article the author emphasized this aspect saying that irritation of the peripheral nerves (which is a very frequent clinical scenario) should be rule out first.



Help For Migraines. Massage Magazine, March, 250: 42-45

Jan Mundo, CMT, CMSC

The article covers Migraine treatment by so called Mundo Method. The author describes some correct aspects of the Touch Therapy but they can be only introductory component of the therapy. Additionally, the author claimed that she works with Migraines. This is subject of great confusion because for the True Migraine patients this therapy is pure waste of time and money. Thus, the author more likely talks about Migraine type Headache and the difference is great. 

The True Migraine ALWAYS must be preceded by the aura which is sensory abnormalities (sound, smell, taste, visuals, etc.) the patient feels 30-60 min before the attack. For these patients, the therapy may bring some temporary relief without any stable clinical outcome.

For the patients with Migraine type headaches the Touch Therapy suggested in the article can be initial segment of the therapy if the patient has very acute clinical picture. Thus, to achieve stable clinical results more sophisticated modalities of somatic rehabilitation must be added later.

Visceral Manipulations. Massage Magazine, March, 250: 42-45

By Carey Taussig, DO (MP)

Excellent introductory article to Visceral Massage and Manipulations.

What Does Research Say About Massage and Pain? Massage Magazine, April, 251: 28-32

By Linda Derick

Very basic review of role MT plays in pain management. We think that for the article be more helpful for the therapists who can use mentioned data full list of references must be included into the article


Breaking Through. MTJ, Spring 2017; 5(1): 20-30

By Donna Shryer 

This article examines the effect of massage therapy on children with autism. In fact, massage therapy is a very important and sometimes even critical tool to get through to an autistic child. In these cases the therapist and parents use somatic stimulation to alter the function of the brain. This is an irreplaceable tool when it is done right.

Category: Good Apples, Bad Apples