Back To Basics - What's To Come

Welcome to 2018! At the end of last year I took a hiatus from massage-related social media. I didn’t post on Instagram or Facebook like I had been, though I still checked them regularly because I’m a Millennial and it is my lifeblood.

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I realized I had to change some things behind the scenes so I didn’t drive myself toward internet burnout. In the fall, I had developed a schedule for posting blogs, videos, and photos that made me stress out for no reason and I needed to take a step back. The world will not end if I don’t make a Facebook Live video (though I have gotten a lot of good feedback on those, so thanks! They’re coming back, don’t worry!)

I had a grand plan for the blog and what topics I wanted to cover but knew with the schedule I had made it just wasn’t going to happen. I wanted to go more in depth, do a bit more research, and really get cozy in one topic or the other before moving on. I wanted to wave my nerd flag!

So here’s the shiny new 2018 plan: one topic per month, with one big ol’ honkin blog post, a video and a handful of other social media posts to go with it. Y’all are about to get INFORMED. Plus I did a bit of a website facelift and did this whole “brand identity” thing because I am hip and with it.

Hey Molly, What Are You Going To Write About?

Excellent question. I’m going back to the basics. In a way, I want to re-educate about massage. I’ve been immersed in this world for over five years and loving it. But that means that my education is five years in the past. There are things I remember, things I forget, and things I honestly never learned but wanted to. This is a way to dive back into those fundamentals to refresh my memory and learn new things.

Google anything about massage and you’ll get a list of what it does. Relaxes the muscles, decreases stress, you’ve heard them all. But I want to get a little bit deeper to see the WHY and the HOW.  How does massage actually work? What the heck am I doing every day?

Research Methods Are My Jam

I was a psychology major (and music minor, if you’re interested) in college and a large portion of the program was devoted to research. Gaining research literacy, understanding research methods, developing studies, it was all there. I got a great background in this stuff and I LOVED IT. I know for some people reading a study will make their eyes glaze over before they’re finished the abstract but I just love this stuff.

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So I’ve always wanted to combine this research nerd side of me with the massage loving side. There’s a little hiccup though. Massage research is generally new - we’re talking, the last 20 years. There are some organizations like the Massage Therapy Foundation and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health that help to fund research but studies are expensive and the money simply isn’t there. Because of the nature of massage, it’s difficult to develop a randomized controlled trial with a placebo group, which is the standard for things like drug research.

So as I search for answers, often I get the road bump that scientific findings are inconclusive and my inner research nerd slumps a little. But there’s no need to be discouraged! Just because there hasn’t been exhaustive research done on the effects of massage doesn’t mean that they don’t exist! Just ask anyone who has spent an hour on a talented therapists table - they feel better, they’re moving better, and they feel more relaxed. Sure, it’s anecdotal, but it’s not a rarity!

Bring It On

Over the next year I’m going to be digging through that research when it exists, maybe putting together some theories or educated guesses when it doesn’t, learning from all the resources I can find and sharing it here.

Who’s with me?!?!

First up: muscles! How they work, why they sometimes don’t and what massage can do!

Molly Kerrigan