Skip to content

Research space

This is the space for you to comment on research. What research do you know of or are doing on shiatsu, massage and maternity care? How we can use research to validate our work? What constitutes “robust research”? If you have any research plans and want some support from the massage/shiatsu community in regard to maternity work, I would hope that we can offer this here. I want to faciliate links between people.

I hope in this space we can put up links to useful research which as been done. There will soon be an updated Systematic Review of Shiatsu and Acupressure research. This has been commissioned by the Shiatsu Society and undertaken by Professor Nicky Robinson and her team at Thames Valley University. It will be available soon for download on the Shiatsu Society website.

ASA Ruling; what can we advertise?

Research is a hot topic at the moment as the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) has now withdrawn their ruling on Shiatsu that we can state it is good for back and neck pain, sports injuries and stress and we can only say it is good for “well being”. They have applied this to all CAM therapies. The ruling they have made which referred to the CST (Cranial Sacral Therapy) association states that Cranial Sacral advertising was stating :

“” a list of various medical conditions, (which)  would be interpreted by readers to mean that CST could treat the conditions named in the ad. We considered that those claims were breakthrough claims that required a body of robust scientific evidence, such as clinical trials conducted on people, in order to substantiate them.””

At the moment they seem to be saying that “robust scientific evidence?” equates to clinical trials, but clearly these trials are not relevant to holistic therapies as opposed to drug based interventions. Clearly the whole issue of “placebo” is hard to include: sham acupuncture always seems a little strange to me! And people know if they are receiving bodywork or not! It can only be compared to relaxation or non focused touch. Or nothing; no intervention. So it is not possible to have double blind controlled trials. We are working on so many levels: it is hard to isolate one factor. And indeed is that really what we want to research? Various CAM organisations are challenging the ASA ruling  and so we wait to hear the outcome. Meanwhile we can list what our therapy does and give information about it as long as we as the individual therapist don’t claim to be able to “treat” specific conditions. But we aren’t treating conditions but people!!!

Well Mother Research Project

I want to set up some kind of Well Mother research project . I am not currently sure exactly what this would be. Perhaps it would be supporting other people’s research in the field, or perhaps some therapists may set up their own project. I just feel that I have access potentially to so many clients and therapists and so much work in the maternity field that there must be some way of pulling together all our joint knowledge. It could involve a project involving sending questionnaires out to the therapists who would distribute them to the clients. The purpose would be to evaluate the benefits they attain from maternity bodywork.  It could include what kinds of conditions people seek help with and what kind of benefit they get. This is a general idea and needs to be fine tuned.

Perhaps there is a PhD student out there who might be interested in such  a project.

Hopefully I have put up a few ideas here for you to think about and comment on. Best wishes


Leave a Comment