5 Research Resources You Should Have in Your Bookmarks


[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

It’s sometimes hard to figure out whether an article you are reading is citing an actual research study, or whether it is just another story about what we think is happening. So much of what I learned in massage school years ago was based on what we think is happening, because there was little to no real evidenced-based research on which to plan effective treatments. That is certainly not the case anymore. If you are still talking to your clients about their treatment plans without really knowing if your particular therapy, condition, or session details have been studied for real effectiveness, here are 5 places you can look for evidence.


Across Disciplines

These sites gather reports from all over the integrative health world and describe them for you.

The Integrator Blog

weeks tribJohn Weeks publishes and edits this site. From their website: “News, Reports, Opinion and Networking for the Business, Education, Policy and Practice of Integrative Medicine, CAM and Integrated Health Care.”


Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 11.06.40 AMFrom their website: “Welcome to CaseRe3, the digital open access repository of case reports in integrative healthcare. CaseRe3 is a resource for practitioners, educators, and researchers in the integrative healthcare disciplines. Practitioners can locate case reports on particular health conditions and find descriptions and results of treatment approaches across disciplines.”


Specific to Massage and Bodywork

Massage Today

The Massage Therapy Foundation has a research Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 11.07.03 AMcolumn on MassageToday.com, where they publish a monthly synopsis of a research project, referencing the original article. This is tremendously helpful if you have trouble understanding research articles.

Research Perch

research-perch-introslideIf you like to take advantage of new technologies, the Research Perch podcast is the way to go. Each episode discusses a particular article from the IJTMB (see below) to help you understand it and be able to apply this research to your own practice.


For those who really want the details, there is no better Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 9.02.35 AMplace than the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (IJTMB) itself. From their website: “The International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (IJTMB) is an open access, peer-reviewed publication intended to accommodate the diverse needs of the rapidly-expanding therapeutic massage and bodywork community. Principal sections of the journal span the areas of research, education, and clinical practice.”


Learn What to Look For

Basics of Research Literacy Course

BRL-Logo_webIf you are just getting started with trying to understand all this research stuff, do yourself a favor and take this online course from the Massage Therapy Foundation (NCBTMB-approved for 8 CEs). Not only does it help you understand the basics of research, it also helps you understand how to apply these things to your practice. That way, when you are exploring the 5 resources I mentioned above, you will get a lot more out of them.


If you have any other good research resources, share them in the comments below…