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B.C., Saskatchewan team up to launch national research fund for massage therapy

massageresearch.jpg*UPDATE: The article has been updated to clarify information about the Massage Therapy Research Fund, the current funding agency for massage therapy research in Canada.

British Columbia and Saskatchewan are partnering up to establish a new research foundation that will support and fund research initiatives in massage therapy.


November 29, 2013
By Mari-Len De


Topics

The Massage Therapists’ Association of British Columbia (MTABC) and the
Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS) are spearheading
the formation of the National Research Foundation for Massage Therapy,
according to Brenda Locke, executive director of MTABC.

“We are
in the process of doing the legal side of it,” Locke told Massage
Therapy Canada magazine. “We are hopeful that people are going to join
in as we roll it out and move forward.”

She said the new research
foundation is now in the process of setting up its legal entity, and
she is hopeful that “by next year we will have some real structure” and
start funding research initiatives.

Currently, many massage therapy research initiatives are funded through the Massage Therapy Research Fund (MTRF). The fund, first established by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, is now managed by the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (IN-CAM), an interdisciplinary,
collaborative research network, created to foster excellence in
complementary and alternative medicine research in Canada.

Evanston, Ill.-based
research firm Massage Therapy Foundation has also served as a great resource for the massage therapy profession in Canada, according to Locke.

The goal of the proposed research foundation is to create an organization exclusively focused on research in massage therapy.

“Canada’s
expertise in massage therapy is really quite extensive and we need to
develop that more,” she said. “We have some people that we know can do
some pretty amazing work that way.”

Although the new research
foundation is initially a cooperative venture between B.C. and
Saskatchewan, Lori Green, executive director of the MTAS, said the
intent is to build up the organization to eventually be a national
initiative that involves the other provinces as well.

The
foundation will help massage therapy practitioners and students gain
access to growing body of scientific literature that can enhance their
practice and their education.

“Research literacy is becoming more
common in the education system,” Green said. “I know in Saskatchewan,
we are talking about having a journal just so our members can learn how
to seek research and find information.”

In addition to the new
research foundation, the MTABC is also developing a “case study
repository” to serve as a national resource for students and,
eventually, something that massage therapists across Canada can also
use, according to Locke.


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