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Two different takes on the same massage evidence

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Recently the (Australian) Association of Massage Therapy published a review of massage research that reeks of industry boosterism. Although it contains some perfectly good information, there’s also a conspicuous failure to acknowledge the poor quality and limitations of most of the evidence. In several cases they’ve made too much of the conclusions of junky reviews of thin science that provide faint praise for massage at best. Rather than reporting such evidence as damning, or at least an absence of evidence, it is applauded and cited in a way that, to most readers, just makes massage therapy look good and science-y.

That was my first impression. For much more detailed and specific impression, I’m linking to Nick Ng of Massage & Fitness Magazine, who quickly produced a more balanced review of some of the papers featured prominently in the AMT’s review … while I was off getting dental work done and writing a review of my new MacBook Pro, because I frankly needed a break from pain and therapy science. 😉

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