Saturday, November 14, 2009

Talk About a Fragmented Industry

Look at all these different kinds of massage:
  • Acupressure
  • Qigong
  • Alexander Technique
  • Integrative Energy Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Integrative Manual Therapy
  • Ashiatsu
  • Integrative Massage
  • Relaxation Massage
  • Aston Patterning
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu
  • Repetitive-use Injury Therapy
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Rolfing
  • Brennan Healing
  • Lomilomi Massage
  • Rosen Method
  • Chair Massage
  • Lymph Drainage
  • Shiatsu
  • Cranio-Sacral Therapy
  • Lymphatic Massage
  • Soft Tissue Release
  • Deep Tissue Integration
  • Sports Massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Medical Massage
  • Stone/LaStone
  • Energy Healing
  • Myofascial Release
  • Structural Integration
  • Myomassology
  • Swedish Massage
  • Esalen Massage
  • Neuro-Muscular Therapy
  • Thai Massage
  • Esthetics
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Feldenkrais
  • Ortho-Bionomy
  • Touch for Health
  • Geriatric
  • Orthopedic Massage
  • Trager
  • Hanna Somatic
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Healing Touch
  • Tui-Na Accupressure
  • Heller Method
  • Watsu
Does the sheer size of this list indicate that there still are some critical things missing to our understanding of massage and its effects?

I think so. And I think we need better quality data and better theories to isolate the truly valuable things that are common to all of these traditions, as well those things that give each their unique power (if indeed they have any at all).

What if we could compare we could somehow measure the effects of each of these therapies? We could identify which works best and save a lot of time and effort. And get a bit closer to understand the underlying characteristics of the body that make massage so valuable.

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