Blogging, discussion boards, Linked In, Face book, Twitter; unbelievable how we network these days. Check out this wonderfully creative YouTube Video that has put it all to music and dance in an updated version of West Side Story called Web Site Story: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1913584
I'm also reading a book my advisor suggested, when I was whining recently about massage therapy not being accepted by the medical community, called The Diffusion of Innovation by Everett M. Rogers; great book! When Pete first suggested it I thought, how can this apply to a practice that's been around for thousands of years? Lot's of reasons, it turns out, and there's a whole discipline of study around this subject that is subdivided into at least ten different major research traditions, including public health (which is my college at the university). The reasons behind MT's slow diffusion into current mainstream health practise include social and cultural explanations. That leads back to an oft debated discussion in our industry to evidence based practise. I'm only going to go there briefly as MT's debate this quite thoroughly through our associations discussion board: http://www.massageprofessionals.com/group/EBMT. It's just time for more and better research, plain and simple.
I don't want to change the fact that we get to spend an hour or more with our clients, we touch them in healthy ways, we listen to them, and encourage healthy behaviors. I do want to be able to answer their questions, to the best of my knowledge, and explore the mechanisms behind what we see works, with illness and injury, on the table each session. I also want to be able to look it up, when I have questions, to see what other MT's have tried and found successful; their outcomes. I want to be able to trust that their research has been reviewed by my knowledgeable peers and critiqued for bias, confounders, and limitations. I want to be able to review those studies with my well trained critical eye, and make up my own mind as I filter all the information that's out there. I want the research to include MT's because we know muscles best! Yes, our work is intuitive, and that's best mixed with experience and education.