Great article in the current Massage and Bodywork March/April issue. It's by Diana Thompson on Somatic Research and she does an excellent job of explaining research in our field; much like I've been promoting whole system research methods to investigate MT and other CIM (complimentary and integrative medicine).
I have to admit to becoming somewhat disillusioned by the recent discussion threads in Massage Professionals online and the Science Based Massage Therapy group on Ning. There are a few researchers who are narrowly focused on RCT's only for MT and ignore the value of qualitative research, pilot studies, and whole systems research. If we want MT's to become research literate and the public to appreciate the benefits of MT we have to give equal value to ALL research methods; many of which do an excellent job in TRANSLATING research.
The effectiveness of MT is realized in the whole experience of the session including it's context, the client/practitioner relationship, the values and beliefs each bring to the table, and the experience of the treatment by the client. A MT session is client centered and collaborative, so our research methods should not only reflect this but be inclusive as well.
Thanks Diana, for your hard work, AND for being a leader in our industry who's not afraid to say RCT's are not all that. Move over guys, think outside the box; don't be so attached to your own theories that you're not leaving room for the possibilities that could more fully capture our work as MT's.