fbpx

The Massage Therapy Foundation is a crucial organization for the growth and development of our profession. In this episode, Whitney talks with Adrienne Asta, current president of the Foundation. In this episode, they discuss:

  • What are the different programs the Foundation runs?
  • What is the role of the Foundation in our profession?
  • Why is research important for practitioners?
  • How can people get involved with the Foundation?
  • ...much more!
  • Scroll down for the full video and transcript! 

Resources:

Sponsor Offers:

About Whitney Lowe  |  About Til Luchau  |  Email Us: info@thethinkingpractitioner.com

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings        whitney lowe

        Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings Til Luchau

whitney lowe Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Full Transcript (click me!)

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:


Episode 106: The Massage Therapy Foundation (with Adrienne Asta) 

Whitney Lowe:

Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner Podcast.

Til Luchau:

A podcast where we dig into the fascinating issues, conditions, and quandaries in the massage and manual therapy world today.

Whitney Lowe:

I'm Whitney Lowe.

 

Til Luchau:

And I'm Til Lucca.

Whitney Lowe:

Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner.

 

Til Luchau:

Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner.

Whitney Lowe:

And welcome to the Thinking Practitioner Podcast, where we are supported by ABMP, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. ABMP membership gives professional practitioners like you a package including individual liability insurance, free continuing education, and quick reference apps, online scheduling and payments with Pocket Suite, and much more. ABMP's CE courses, podcasts, and Massage and bodywork Magazine always feature expert voices and new perspectives in the profession, including from Til and myself and Thinking Practitioner listeners can of course save on joining ABMP at abmp.com/thinking. This show is also sponsored by the Academy of Clinical Massage, where our mission is to help you become a better practitioner working with pain and injury conditions. You know it's challenging to find high quality training in these areas, in your location when you need it, and we bring you exceptional orthopedic massage training to the comfort of your home through our innovative online program so you can learn anytime, anywhere, and immediately help your clients as much as possible.

This year, we have completely revised all of our online orthopedic massage programs, and you can learn more about these programs at academyofclinicalmassage.com. I am delighted to have a good friend and colleague, Adrienne Asta with me today. Adrienne, welcome to The Thinking Practitioner podcast.

Adrienne Asta:

Thanks for having me, Whitney. I'm so grateful to be a guest on your podcast, man. I listen all of the time. I love all of the guests you have, and I feel privileged to be here. Thank you.

Whitney Lowe:

Wonderful. Adrienne, for our listeners who don't know you are, not familiar with you, tell me a little bit about who you are and what your role is and we'll jump into what we're going to be talking about today with your projects.

Adrienne Asta:

Of course. I've been a licensed massage therapist for about 22 and a half years and grew up in the education arm of our industry. I think that's how you and I first got acquainted, Whitney, and then right now I have a full-time practice in Tucson, Arizona. And just really excited about the future of massage and the Massage Therapy Foundation was something that I was acutely aware of since school, since massage school. I think what happened was we used the Trail Guide to the Body in our curriculum at the time and Books of Discovery who publishes Trail Guide had on one of their intro pages that they were a donor to the Massage Therapy Foundation. I think that's how I got introduced to it, and when I looked into it, I was like, oh yeah, that's great. The Massage Therapy Foundation sounds like a really great organization, and I feel like at that time I viewed it as this research entity for the profession.

And when I graduated school and started working, I just thrown a couple bucks towards the foundation since it's a nonprofit thinking, I'm not a researcher, I'm a clinician. Thanks researchers for doing that thing you do over there. Here's a couple of bucks. And speaking of Books of Discovery, Tim Herbert actually was on the board of the Foundation at the time that he reached out to me and asked if I would consider being a committee member for the community service grant review committee.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

And while I had checked out Massage Therapy Foundation, that part didn't stick out to me at the time. When I looked at it, I said, okay, yeah, this is a great way for me to volunteer some time, which I wanted to do for the foundation considering the prestige of the organization, but considering myself not a researcher, I didn't know how. This was a really great introduction for me, really great foot in the door to give some of my time because a dollar here and there I didn't think was making that much of an impact. I wanted to be a little bit more impactful. Tim Herbert asked me to be on the committee and being inside the organization, I got to see a little bit more about what the foundation does. Your listeners are really the type of people that I think would benefit from the resources of the Massage Therapy Foundation, right? We are a nonprofit organization. We're a 501(c)3. And-

Whitney Lowe:

Let me just interrupt for just a second.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah. Sure, sure.

Whitney Lowe:

And apologize for my rudeness in not announcing your title so everybody knows why we're talking to you about this because you are the president of the Massage Therapy Foundation.

Adrienne Asta:

I am, I am.

Whitney Lowe:

I'm sure we'll get there, but I just want to give that hint at the outset there. Go ahead.

Adrienne Asta:

Thank you, thank you. I feel really honored and privileged and blessed and all of the positive words that surround that to be stewarding the vision of the foundation through this role and contributing to the industry in this way. Essentially, when you look at any nonprofit organization, you have a research component, you have a community service component, you have an education component, and that's no different at the foundation, but taking a step back and looking at the vision, we're looking at making massage evidence informed and accessible to everyone. If we can just keep that in the back of our minds, throughout the entire span of our careers, and maybe even beyond that, I think that is a really beautiful vision for the way that our industry can go, and we can do that on a lot of levels.

We have a bunch of resources, which I'll get into a little bit later in this podcast, but also this community and collaboration of just moving the profession forward as a group of people and not just this little tiny organization over here because the foundation keeps its operating budget as small as possible in order to make those donated funds more towards our programming.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Tell our listeners a little bit about, I mean, I'm kind of a research junkie, so I mean, I've been delving into this kind of stuff for a long time and really see it obvious in the benefits for the work that I do. But let's talk to the average clinician who's a practitioner out there doing their work every day in the clinic. How does research and the work of the foundation really impact that practitioner on a day-to-day basis?

Adrienne Asta:

We try to take the research not only that we do, but also the other types of touch and body work research that's happening across the world. And we make it into digestible information for the practitioner who's on the front lines to be able to see what's happening currently and adapt if they think they need to adapt their technique or their table side manner in order to get the most benefit to their clients and patients.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

That is a really important piece that helps my clients see that they are getting the best care, they are getting the most current care, they're getting the most up-to-date care because they know that I'm in the weeds, let's say, of what's happening through the foundation. We have a bunch of resources that we fund along with the registered massage therapists of British Columbia.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

We fund the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Whitney Lowe:

Okay.

Adrienne Asta:

We are so fortunate to have such a lovely journal like ITJMB. It's open access, which means we get the whole entire article, not just an abstract, and then there's a paywall behind it. We're able to see all of the information. On top of that, the authors do not have to pay to submit their articles to the ITJMB either, and that's kind of a unicorn in professional journals.

Whitney Lowe:

And I would think most people don't realize it that that's increasingly becoming a case in a lot of academic publishing.

Adrienne Asta:

For sure, for sure. That part of the vision, that accessible to everyone part, that open access free for the consumer and free for the author, I think really meets that part of the vision just to have all of this rich information at our fingertips quarterly, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

It's fully online, also it's peer reviewed, it's pubmed indexed. All of the gold standards of rigor of research go into the journal. If you haven't subscribed to the journal yet, it doesn't cost you anything. They don't throw any spam your way, right? You get four emails a year, the journal's ready, and then you can either download it or print it, whatever your fancy is.

Whitney Lowe:

And if somebody wanted to get that and subscribe to it and they don't, where's the site where they can get to it? And we will of course put this in the show notes as well here.

Adrienne Asta:

For sure. You could go directly to ijtmb.org, and there's also a link through massagetherapyfoundation.org as well.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, wonderful.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah. We also have infographics that I've been using in my office as well, where again, we're taking these more recent research concepts and we're distilling them down into really digestible parts, not only for the practitioner, but there are some that are appropriate for me to give my clients. Those are free to download off the Massage Therapy Foundation website.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

It communicates to your client that you are interested in always being up-to-date, and my clients really appreciate and feel cared for knowing that I have tools like this to give them. We have webinars that you can earn CE credit for. We have past ones that you can watch on our website. Let's see. Every three years we have a international massage therapy research conference, which attracts researchers from all over the world to come talk about the work that they're doing and really gives us an opportunity to see in real time the research that's going on.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. These are wonderful initiatives too that the foundation, it's great to see them getting involved in all these different programs. You also have a grant program there that you do with the foundation.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah. We have a few grant programs. I mentioned the community service grant review committee.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

This provides funds to projects that are providing massage therapy to populations that wouldn't otherwise have access.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

And I've been on that committee since Tim invited me on that committee, I think '07 or '08 been when I joined the committee. And to see the breadth of work that is getting funded all over the world for pediatric cancer, veterans, domestic violence survivors, we've had some that were disaster recovery. Really kind of current situations as far as they're impacted by nature's events and things like that, fires and things like that. There's a group of people who would come in and provide not only to the victims, but also the firefighters and EMTs and everybody who's working on the front lines. It's heartwarming to see all of those types that we've funded. And you could see the past history on our website of everybody who got funded. It's also heartbreaking to say no to the other applicants because really, almost every application's worthy of funding. And there's a limit to the amount that we can fund in the moment.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah. That's the community service pillar, which is really, really fantastic. And I'm hoping that we can take some of that community service information and turn it into some research. We also have two different types of research grants. We have a smaller $30,000 grant for research that we fund internally through the foundation. Those are really exciting because often we'll see that be seed money for a pilot program, and then the successes from that smaller grant, the researcher then gets to apply for larger grants from NIH, et cetera.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

One that we've-

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. What are some of the research programs, research questions and things that have been pursued by the foundation so far?

Adrienne Asta:

One of the $30,000 grants that we funded a few years ago was really an implementation study, which is exciting for the industry. What the implementation study does, it's not this, I'm going to take this client in here and do this protocol and it feels very clinical, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

An implementation study is more about integrating the massage into a full care system where the massage therapist is part of the team and the client sees the massage therapist in the massage therapist environment, not in this like, hey, you're coming for this study or this trial and it's this very regimented, which we need. We need those things too. And we have funded things like that, but the implementation study was really profound because it was integrated in a full whole person care team.

Whitney Lowe:

With something like an implementation study, you're really trying to look at maybe more realistic aspects of how massage is regularly used. I know this has been one of my beefs with a lot of massage research over the years is that they take something in the clinic and in many instances study it because that's what we can study. Somebody's got this kind of problem, we'll do 10 minutes of petrissage on their knee or something like that. It's like, but nobody does that. It's just not realistic.

Adrienne Asta:

Nobody does that. Yes, for sure.

Whitney Lowe:

Right.

Adrienne Asta:

And that's really, I don't want to say the charge of the foundation because we're meeting it. Our vision and mission is to make sure that massage therapists are doing the massage work in a true massage environment and really encouraging when we ask people for, we did a research agenda back in 2020 as an effort to put a call out. This is what we're looking for for research, and we're advocating that massage therapists do the massage work, not a nurse or a loved one. And not that that's unusable information, but we want to show that an educated and skilled compassionate practitioner, it makes a difference in the outcomes.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

The implementation study is a piece of that.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

And the research that we fund and propose that's part of the rigor is that a massage therapist is doing the massage work.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

We do also have larger studies. Most of them have been funded in kind support from the American Massage Therapy Association. We're grateful for them for funding those bigger projects that are 285,000, 300,000, $350,000. One that's happening right now got stalled a little bit because of COVID, but again, is looking at integrating massage therapy into the VA. The bonus of that is here in the States, for everybody who's listening from the United States, is that once something gets through and implemented in the VA and through the military, we see a really quick upswing into civilian life as far as it being adopted into non-military settings.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

It's exciting to have that. We appreciate the AMTA for helping fund that research. We should have a decent amount of data coming out of that for the next IMTRC, International Massage Therapy Research Conference. I'm really excited to see that we could go on and on about the research being funded. And I'm really going to encourage your listeners to go to the Massage Therapy Foundation website in order to see what's currently happening and what's happened in the past.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And one of the places where it feels to me like there's a lot of potential for maybe let's say growth or expansion of awareness about this is having the students who are just coming into this field understand and know a little bit more about what the foundation does. Do you all do any kind of outreach work with massage schools to try to help them kind of get on board with what you're doing at the foundation?

Adrienne Asta:

We do. The education pillar of the foundation really helps to educate schools and students on research literacy and Whitney's going to be on our podcast in a few weeks or so to talk about the basics of research literacy course, which I think will be really fantastic for schools. But for those schools that are accredited by the Commission of Massage Therapy Accreditation, there is a research literacy component that they have to meet, and we have all of the information for that. We have a free ebook with a full curriculum, how to teach massage literacy in a massage curriculum. Excited that we have a school group out in California, NHI, that is starting to use these resources to implement. We're hoping that other schools can reach out to that school group and see how they're doing it, but we have a free ebook. It's all there. It seems far away when you're just learning how to stand the right way and what an effleurage is and when not to massage, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Wow, research literacy seems so far from where I am now, but it's really about the habit of making sure that you're in it, right? It's creating the habit. It's not necessarily, oh, now I'm ready to write a research paper.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

And some students will be, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

There are some students who that's their jam and whatnot. But really it's about just being informed, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

Just having the most up-to-date information, the foundation is a perfect place for that.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah. We do quite a bit of outreach to schools and we could always be doing more.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

If you're listening to this and you are a director of education or an admin at an entry-level massage school, please reach out and let's talk about how we can make this really easy for you. We have it all.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Mm-hmm.

Whitney Lowe:

One of the things that I have always felt was a challenge of getting greater acceptance with research into some of our educational programs and institutions is that massage therapy education, at least in the United States, really doesn't sort of fit that traditional academic model that you see in a lot of other, let's say for example, healthcare professions. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, all those other professions have kind of an academic curriculum background in them that is based on a wider body of research. And we have more of a lineage model of education that has immersed or emerged over the years where somebody started a school and they trained some teachers and those teachers trained the other students, and those students became teachers of that particular method or model. And it never has been really strongly leaned on from a research perspective, but it has been interesting for me to watch over the last thirty-five or so years I've been in the field, a migration towards a much stronger emphasis on research and validation of the things that we're doing and that kind of thing.

I'm pleased to see us certainly going in that direction. But one of the things that I wanted to ask you about in relation to that was that we all do recognize, I think in this field, that we have a very significant shortage of research about massage in a lot of different realms. And we sort of put the clarion call out there all the time, yeah, we need more research, we need more research, we need more research. But when you talked at the very beginning of your introduction here about sort of an evidence-informed perspective, can you talk just a little bit about from a research perspective in terms of how that really informs a person's work, if there's not necessarily a study they can go point to that says, massage does this, how does this whole idea of evidence-informed practice and using research from other fields play into us making some of those kinds of decisions about what's really appropriate for us to be doing?

Adrienne Asta:

I think when we look at what other fields might be doing, part of how they got there was because there was a bunch of lower-level on the hierarchy of research, right? There was a bunch of lower-level case reports that they were able to pull from to then do higher-level research from that. And the foundation had a really big case report push. Oh man, maybe it was a decade ago or so. I remember Michael Hamm was kind of the champion of the case report back in the day and the brilliance of the case report. I have so many practitioners that come up to me while we're at a convention and at the expo booth and they can't wait to tell me about this client that they helped with their massage, and I just want to tell them to write it down, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, right.

Adrienne Asta:

That case report contest, we've had a case report contest for schools. We had one for practitioners, which we put on pause for a little bit, but now we're putting some energy behind that because it's one massage therapist, one client over, I think the group is requiring at least six treatments. And so there's 300,000 massage therapists approximately in the states, right? If everybody did one case report, just one, tell me about that favorite client.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Can you imagine the amount of information we have to pull on in order to just create that higher level? As far as the importance of doing that, it's like you're telling people what's happening in the treatment room by a licensed practitioner over the course of time, we all know that you have that client that you helped. If you let us know that we get that higher level easy, easy just one, we're asking for six weeks, right? We're asking for six weeks of information. Anyway, when we look at some of the studies I tend to gravitate towards when I'm doing my own research about a particular condition or something of that nature, I tend to see acupuncture, I tend to see physical therapy kind in those realms of research. We can do it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

We can do this really easily. And there's tons of help. I think we have a webinar on how to write a case report. We have a couple of research perch podcasts that talk about how to write a case report. I'm charging myself with this, writing this case report also. And there's really no reason why we can't.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

It's not going to take up too much time, and there's a lot of opportunity for you to be able to be a part of this process without having that higher degree that you might think that you need to do research.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

We have instituted MassageNet, which is the foundation's practice-based research network. MassageNet is free, it's free to join, at least at this moment. And we really encourage everybody to put your profile on there. You're not committing yourself to anything, but if there's a researcher in your area and they're looking at how massage therapy might impact multiple sclerosis, let's say, right? They'll look in MassageNet, hey, in these zip codes, which practitioners are part of this practice-based research network. Hey, we're doing a study on massage's impact on MS. Are you interested? And you say yes or no, and you're contributing to research with your skill set in your environment. And it's a really great way to connect both practitioner and researcher. Highly encourage it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. It's kind of like then sort of case report information that goes into the practice-based network that people can pull on.

Adrienne Asta:

The case reports wouldn't be stored there, although I wouldn't imagine that there would be ability to have access to them from that point. In our contest, there's a cash prize. If you get a gold level, there's a cash prize if you publish at IJTMB. The case reports can get published in IJTMB too.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Yes, they exist and we can contact our research committees to talk about the accessibility of all of those case reports that are done.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

Mm-hmm.

Whitney Lowe:

I want to just take off on a little bit of a different track here now, and you mentioned a couple things early on, and I certainly have been seeing this popping up more and more in a lot of the academic discussions in other podcasts, articles, blogs, papers and things like that about the various changes in academic publishing. Some things like you mentioned, authors having to pay to get their articles submitted into journals and sort of the problems that we have with improper or ineffective research getting published into journals. I have to share this, I saw this note the other day on a, what was this, maybe on a Facebook group or something like that that was discussing the use of artificial intelligence and the big tool that everybody's talking about this year, ChatGPT.

Adrienne Asta:

Mm-hmm.

Whitney Lowe:

And they were talking about something where an academic research paper got published in this journal. And somehow or other, obviously the authors had used ChatGPT extensively for producing the paper because they left the phrase regenerate response in the text that they submitted with their article.

Adrienne Asta:

Oh, man.

Whitney Lowe:

But the thing that was distressing about that was not only that they did it, but how did that get past the editorial review process and get published without, and the authors obviously signed off on the editorial version before it went in there. It seems like a lot of challenges and things that are happening now in the realm of academic publishing. And it's been kind of a little bit of a black eye on everybody who's been trying to say how important it is to pursue research. And then there's a lot of these kinds of things that come up and say like, well, there's all these kinds of problems here as well. My question out of that for you is what are some of the major challenges and things that you see the foundation having to look at and as you're looking down the road with the five and 10 year visions of the big things that are challenges for the foundation in the world of massage? What are some of the big things that you see coming down the pipe?

Adrienne Asta:

AI could be a really great tool for organizing, right? And certainly as we push out more communications and try to get more awareness for the foundation in particular, technology is going to be a piece of that. And we have dedicated and affirmed within the organization to make sure that it's not the voice, that it's a tool to help, but not the voice of the foundation. As far as other challenges, that I would say that funding is always a challenge, right? Because research is expensive, it's time sensitive and it takes a long time, which is a hard place to meet. But I think getting that information in front of the people who are making decisions about healthcare is always challenging because of who's going to listen. Maybe we could go to a certain integrative health conference, which is something that we're looking to budget for next year, is to be more involved outside of the massage industry so that those implementation studies make sense, so that we can see more of that so that we can see that integrated care should include massage therapy from massage therapists.

I think access to our allied health professions, and we're seeing more acceptance, but there's still barriers to get there, right? There's still funding barriers, there's still time barriers, there's still human resource barriers to be able to get there and be impactful. I think as far as the foundation's challenges in particular, funding is probably the biggest challenge. We are a non-profit, so we require donations in order to make our programming run. It's really to increase our visibility, which is why I'm super grateful about being a guest on this podcast because the impact comes from not just one or two bigger organizations giving us money, but from all of us to give them-

Whitney Lowe:

Each individual.

Adrienne Asta:

A dollar here and there, right? Like I had said with the case report, if there's 300,000 practitioners and everybody did one case report, if there's 300,000 practitioners and everybody gave $1, then we have a large research study funded by the massage therapists of this country. I think that's a really kind of... I know it's rose-colored glasses and all of that, but that that's who I am.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, you got to think that way for sure.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah, yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

I'm curious that so many of the non-profits and other organizations that relied on individual funding had a very difficult time with COVID just because everybody was impacted financially. Did you all see challenges and things like that that came out of funding sources during COVID as well?

Adrienne Asta:

We did.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

We did. Yeah. We had a dip in donations. Of course we did. We didn't want to stretch our stakeholders and our donors during that time. We were able to really cut a lot of operational things in order to just reduce our operational costs.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

We're still kind of feeling that as the industry's coming up out of it and the future looks bright, but certainly COVID was negatively impactful for the foundation, for sure.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I'm also curious about this because I don't know the answer to this, and I don't know that I've really ever given it much thought before, but when you talked about some of the studies that you were doing of trying to look at how massage is being inclusively engaged into some of these other professions, are there corresponding sister and brother professions in these other fields, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, et cetera, et cetera? Are there similar foundations or organizations like ours that exist in those fields?

Adrienne Asta:

I know that there's a APTA Foundation, American Physical Therapy Association Foundation. I've been trying to get in touch with somebody who's on the board for that, but I think that's a great place to start. The chair of our writing committee, Andrea Wimmser is also getting her MS for mental health as a mental health practitioner. And she saw an opportunity through her studies to connect with their foundation as well and their organization because everybody's kind of seeing the opportunity for integration in their own little silo.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

Now it's just really building that bridge.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

And I'm encouraging your listeners that if you have occupations that you refer to a lot, talk to those people, talk to those referral partners, and even if it's getting connected to somebody on a foundation level on their profession, or if it's just starting that conversation, I think the more conversations we have, the better it's going to be. It's where that PBRN, that practice-based research network, then starts to really take shape so that we can really do what we want to do, which is provide this whole person wellness and whole person healthcare for our communities.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

I think more of us want that than not.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Sometimes an organization, the foundation can seem sort of like it's out there away from us. It's something that's happening out there, but I wanted to know, do you have maybe a personal story or two of things that you've seen in terms of impact of the foundation's work directly, either on your clients, your practice, or something like that, that can get people to understand and be inspired by the work that the foundation has done?

Adrienne Asta:

Man, I feel like my whole practice is based on that. I'm not saying this to be self-serving, but I'm just kind of showing the full spectrum of the story. I let my clients know that a portion of their massage is being donated to the foundation=, right?

Whitney Lowe:

Uh-huh.

Adrienne Asta:

When they check out on my online system, like, hey, a portion's going to the foundation and helps me stay up to date and give you the best care, and do you want to throw a dollar to the foundation too? They add a dollar onto their appointment. And then-

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, that got me thinking. With all those automated checkout systems now at every single place you go now it's like, okay, do you want to add an 18% tip on there? It's like, when did you start tipping the dog food store?

Adrienne Asta:

Grocery store.

Whitney Lowe:

It's like-

Adrienne Asta:

Grocery stores.

Whitney Lowe:

Maybe we can do that with our massage sessions here. Do you want to add a tip for the Massage Therapy Foundation or something like that?

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's essentially what it is.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

But then what happens there is they start asking questions about what does that foundation do? And I get to share all of these resources and they feel really cared for.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

And there's less hesitation for me to say, I don't know. I never really had a big hesitation saying, I don't know. But you're in a position of power, for lack of a better word, of authority in that treatment room. If they know that you're in it, if they know that you're constantly looking at the resources, if they know that you care about providing them the best care for the best outcome, then they keep coming back to you. You see your books full. You see your clients really advocate for massage therapy to be a part of their healthcare, to be a part of their wellness. Unfortunately, we're still in a spot where massage is, I'm going to say expensive, right? As massages is something that people will, if they have to choose between eating and massage, they're probably going to choose to eat, right? Where we know it.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

We know that massage works. We know that an evidence-informed practice by a skilled practitioner creates these wonderful outcomes, and we have a responsibility to share that. Sharing it with allied health professionals, sharing it with your clients, they're going to keep coming back to you because they're going to see that integrating this as part of their lifestyle is going to lead to a more robust life. Just as a financial planner will not say that, hey, you should have a portfolio of all small cap stocks, right? They're going to diversify your portfolio. Massage should be part of that diversification for sure. And hopefully when we talk about the impact and why are we doing this research and where do we hope that it lands, and certainly there are some challenges industry-wide, the debate between personal care services and healthcare is a consistent debate in our industry. But at least we can show that, hey, here are the outcomes that can happen with massage therapy and here are the implementation studies, here are the integration studies. This is working as part of this ecosystem.

I know it's a little bit of a tangent of your original question, but I think the foundation is where we look to for those resources in order to show people that. Whoever needs to see it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And I think what you brought up there too is a very interesting and pertinent point that these things actually impact to the outcomes of your treatment when those clients have a greater deal of confidence and who you are and what you're doing. And I know Adrienne keeps up on the research and she's really interested in bringing in new things to look at what's going on with me. They have a much greater investment in you as a practitioner too. And I think it's a little bit harder to quantify, but that's one of those things that I think makes a big difference in outcomes and consistency and reliability of what they count on you as a practitioner to accomplish and bring to them.

Adrienne Asta:

You wrote in one of your books about all of these, there's six different components, and one of them was a compassionate therapist, right? A compassionate therapist who's, again, up-to-date on their info and whatnot, is surely more likely to have a better outcome than a distant, distracted therapist who doesn't care.

Whitney Lowe:

Right. Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

And that was really impactful to me when I read that section of your book was just like, man, there is something to this. There's the soft skills side to what we do, which is equally as important as the actual technique. Do I think it's more important? I don't know. There's debate over that and my peers and I tend to have this conversation over the social service side of what we do versus the physical service side.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

I think they're equal components to what we do that makes it really beautiful. In the future, I'm hoping to see some research that talks about table side manner and things of that nature. And right now we have some more mechanistic things in the works as far as research is concerned. It certainly doesn't have to end there. The more that we search, the more that we really can have this symphony of information that we can really have the best outcomes for our patients and clients.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. I want to just in wrapping things up a little bit here, I have you put on the look toward the future and look down the pike hat for just a moment and say anything in particular that you see coming down the pike for the foundation that really excites you and where we're going and what impacts that's going to have. I was really curious what you were saying too about, for example, the VA system is being kind of a filter for credibility, for acceptance on some things. There seems like there may be some more of that kind of thing going on, and of course the research work that we're doing. But what else do you see coming down there that you're excited about the foundations working on?

Adrienne Asta:

There's conversation about talking about ancient forms appealing and looking at the research and researching those things and keeping those cultures alive and honoring the cultures they come from and looking at the histories of where they are.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

It's super infant, it's really infant stages. It's really, really just a conversation right now. But man, am I excited to see that. I don't think I'll see it in my time in the presidency or even on the board, but I'm really excited about the cultural diversity that brings, I'm really excited about the history that stays alive with that. Touches a universal language that we get to experience that every day to be able to see the parallels of the languages from ancient cultures. Man, that would be really, really cool.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

I'm probably speaking way prematurely, my board and staff listen to this podcast. They're going to be like, what? But there is some conversation around it. And I think if we have our eye on that diversity piece and the cultural sensitivity piece, again, some things that we've funded, talk about cultural sensitivity as well, which I'm really excited about. I think we're really going in the right direction of whole person.

Whitney Lowe:

Mm-hmm.

Adrienne Asta:

Yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Adrienne Asta:

I'm excited about that.

Whitney Lowe:

That sounds wonderful.

Adrienne Asta:

Mm-hmm.

Whitney Lowe:

Well, Adrienne, as the president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, thank you so much for this engaging discussion here. And I hope, I'm going to say, please, those of you who are listening out there in massage and manual therapy world, get in touch with the Massage Therapy Foundation, throw some donation funds their way, read their resources, look at the things that they've got available here. There's a lot of things that we can be interacting with as a profession that the foundation has out there, and that can just do nothing but help us all advance and get farther. Adrienne, thank you so much for coming to join us here on The Thinking Practitioner to talk about these things.

Adrienne Asta:

Thanks, Whitney.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And you had mentioned in your talk also earlier, oh, real quick, before we finish off, Adrienne, just let me know any places where you want to suggest that people go to find out more about what the foundation is up to. I think you mentioned the website earlier, but let's just plug it again and we will make sure we put that in the show notes and everything.

Adrienne Asta:

Massagetherapyfoundation.org. Ijtmb.org. Massagenet.org.

Whitney Lowe:

Okay. Excellent. Yeah. All right. We'll get all those things, make sure they are in the show notes. And you had called attention earlier when you were talking about something else to Books of Discovery, and they are of course, one of our sponsors. Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy education for over 20 years, where thousands of schools around the world teach with their textbooks, e-textbooks and digital resources. And Books of Discovery does like to say, learning adventures start here. And they see that same spirit here on The Thinking Practitioner Podcast and are proud to support our work knowing we share the mission to bring the massage and bodywork community enlivening content that advances our profession. You can check out their collection of e-textbooks and digital learning resources for pathology, kinesiology, anatomy and physiology at booksofdiscovery.com, where Thinking Practitioner listeners can save 15% by entering the word thinking at checkout.

And once again, we would like to say thank you to all of our listeners who've come by and listen to us. You can stop by our sites for the video show notes, transcripts, and any extras. You can find that over on my site at academyofclinicalmassage.com and then over on Till's as well, at advanced-trainings.com. If you have any comments, questions, or things you'd like to hear us talk about, please just record a short little voice memo or send us an email on your phone and you can email it to us at info@thethinkingpractitioner.com. Or you can look for us on social media under our names, for me under Whitney Lowe, and of course, Till Lucca over there on social as well. If you would please rate us on Apple Podcast. It does help people find the show, and that makes a big difference in getting the word out there about it. You can listen to us, of course, on Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, or wherever else you happen to listen. Once again, please do share the word, tell a friend. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you again in the next time.

 

 

Huge thanks to our founding sponsors:

           ABMP massage therapy

Live Workshop Schedule

This Month's Free Online Course

Our gift to you. Includes CE, Certificate, and Extras.

Follow Us

Join us on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for information, resources, videos, and upcoming courses!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This