From my last pos
t that created quite a stir, I have a new concept of research and the importance of it but now I see that my last post was more that I was and still am research illiterate! I was able to attend a great conference here in Seattle (OK I couldn't not go since it was a block away from my office) put on by the Massage Therapy Foundation called Highlighting
Massage Therapy in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM)
Research” conference with a special focus on translational research and public health.
Translational Research (TR) means from the Massage Therapy Foundation Website
TR transforms scientific discoveries arising from laboratory, clinical, or
population studies into clinical applications. In this equal parts
researchers have access to clinical information and practitioners feed
information back to researchers on the clinical relevance of discoveries.
OK I still don't really know what it all means! I didn't see any way to take some of the studies presented and put them into practice. Maybe that would have been the more hands on presentations that I didn't go to.
What I did get is a new appreciation for being in WA State. One of the panels on the first morning included Debra Senn who was the past insurance commissioner that made it possible for MT and other CAM providers to become contracted providers with major medical like Blue Cross and be able to bill and get paid by them! The thing that confuses me still is that didn't come about by having research on massage. It really started because Debra Senn was a big believer in massage and had one of the most prominent people from our profession here in WA -Lori Belinski as her massage therapist. Lori was a lobbyist for MT in WA and an avid member of AMTA. She now works for the chiropractic association. So what I know of the whole process was that Senn just created this law called the Every Category Law and it took 6 years, 11 law suits to get it accepted and then 5 different times of having it challenged. It is still going today which means I can still bill companies like Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield and all of the other companies as long as I am a provider. One of the other things though are that most of the provider lists are closed so if you are just starting out you can't get on them!
Anyways - I thought that the whole conference could have been about just that - how can we get insurance companies in other states to do that for massage. Here in WA because of that and also the fact that our licensing is done through the Board of Health makes us Health care practitioners. I don't think it is the same in every state although some do have licensing through the board of health.
So back to the research conference....I really didn't understand what most of the keynote speakers were talking about. To me it seemed like it was all about them but then again as I said I am research illiterate. I really should have had some more training to understand more. I could actually see a whole conference on just teaching research literacy - teaching how to look at a study and learn what it all means. From what little that I did get - just having one study show something does not really mean anything. What it does is gives us more to research!
The biggest reason I can see for promoting research literacy and getting more research done is to get more clients! Yes. If we can have more research showing just how effective massage is and then get it into the doctors hands and also learn how to present it to clients - massage can someday just be a widely accepted service - sort of like going for an oil change. You know it will help the longevity of your car.
So I am on a path of learning about research and hopefully sharing what I learn along the way. I have started blogging about it and I know that there are many sites in development to help you learn which I will also be talking about. For now you can start with Vlads site - www.mt-online.com
and start posting questions and comments about the various research that she has posted.
Here is my research tread on www.thebodyworker.com
. I have some posts on the general overviews of the conference and will be adding more thoughts as I process the whole weekend and my learning. And I am sure I will see you all at the next one -whenever that is - right?!
Thanks much for reading!