Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Professional practise Blog 7 Multidisciplinary Due Friday 29th October Hannah howley

Professional practise
Blog 7
Due Friday 29th October
Hannah howley

What does it mean to be a massage therapist and a multi-disciplinary healthcare provider?

To me, being a massage therapist means being able to provide clients with the opportunity to come and get some sort of treatment in the way of reducing stress, relaxing and finding a way of being prepared mentally and physically pre and post event sport. Also, being involved and helping clients with goals and understanding of themselves is also very rewarding. I personally also feel strongly about working with in your own chosen field and abiding by the scope of practise that comes with it. I believe it is part of showing professionalism and being aware of your boundaries and what you are and are not allowed to do.

With regards to being a multidisciplinary provider, it all really depends on what scope of practise you are eligible to provide, where you work and what other types of healthcare professionals that you are connected with whether you are working with a group of other therapists or if you are in close contact with other therapists so that you can provide good referrals. There are some differences between being a CMT (certified massage therapist) and an RMT (remedial massage therapist). CMT’s mean that you are able to provide relaxation massages and an RMT is that of a remedial massage therapist so therefore can help with pain and immobility issues. In this case, the CMT wouldn’t try and fix clients injuries in much depth other than just tensional releases, whereas the RMT can do both and therefore be a referral or a helper to the CMT. So it’s kind of like we all sort of work together but sticking to what we know in our own field. Moreover, if you wanted to combine business or use an integrated practise with physiotherapist or such like, it is important to know their field, their scope of practise and to understand and respect their position as they will do likewise. For me, that is something that I am interested in looking in to – working at somewhere like Sports Med Otago, where they have Physiotherapists, nutritionists and sport massage therapists. This is the type of situation where you would be working in an integrated healthcare environment.

Integrated healthcare, cross-disciplinary and inter-professional healthcare are all words that pretty much mean the same thing but also sum up multidisciplinary provision where you are working in a place where there are several different types of therapists all with different scopes and codes.

Being an effective MDP would be you understanding your own scope of practise and respecting and understanding others and this can be achieved through research, dialogue and involvement and by research I mean finding out what they do differently and why? Being involved also, is something that is also beneficial because the more you are involved with something the more educated you are about it which is a good thing in the healthcare profession. It is important in an environment as important as that of the healthcare branch because you are dealing with people within your business and outside of your business and by outside I mean you have the power to make referrals and it is strongly beneficial if you have a good understanding of others and also effective communication skills. Overcoming barriers is also something else to look at with regards to being an effective MDP. As quoted from our notes “differences tend to act as barriers to understanding and relationships” states pretty well that if you don’t understand or respect others and there scopes of practise then it’ll be a pretty hard road ahead. The appreciation of differences is key.

The main point here that I am trying to get across is to understand all (or the ones relevant to you, but still just as important to know about the others) the different types of SoP’s. When you understand them you are able to work well with other practitioners, you’re able to ask them for help if you need to and you are able to refer your clients on where necessary.

So in summary of my discussion on the benefits of being involved with or being a multidisciplinary provider, I think it is an effective way of furthering your own profession and skills to make the most of your business and give the best service and be consistent throughout. Your clients come to you because they like who you are and they like your service so improving it isn’t going to do any harm.


Class Notes

My Own Thoughts

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Professional Practise Blog 6 Professional Development, reflective practise and supervision Due 23rd October Hannah Howley

Professional Practise
Blog 6
Professional Development, reflective practise and supervision
Due 23rd October
Hannah Howley

Professional practise isn’t just something that is given to you. It is a sub heading for several influencing factors of a professional practise. As a massage therapist yourself, it is important to be learning new things and keeping up to date at all times and also being vigilant and knowing what areas you need to work on and improve and also notice the things that you are doing well.

Being able to reflect well on what you are doing is a great attribute and skill. The reflective practitioner strives to develop self-awareness and improvement on their effectiveness. Developing awareness to reactions within your environment and the interactions that you have with others makes for effective communication. Being able to notice how your attitude and moods around clients and other staff members is a good thing to be able to notice. You affect others around you by your moods so it is important to know how to make this better. It also has a big part to do with continual clients. If they aren’t happy with you or your service they may not want to come back.

Once you are able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and what you are doing well and what you can do better you will be able to begin to improve and you will be on your way to being successful and professional. A few steps that could be taken to improve the massage practise would be;

- Writing up more thorough S.O.T.A.P forms and asking yourself what you did well in the session and what you could improve on
- Asking a supervisor for help and feedback on how you are doing
- Having good client feedback forms with questions relating to the bigger picture and not just comfort levels (however that still is important).
- Writing up in a diary or journal or something of how you performed overall before, during and after the massage session.

All of these things help to support your professional development in several ways. However it is still important to notice the things that you are doing well. Practise, select, describe, reflect research plan, alter, practise and monitor.

Notice what you’re not happy with and change it.

When it comes to supervision, I believe that it is an important aspect of you professional development. For example, in the clinical situation we have at polytech, we always have someone there to guide us and supervise us as we are not fully qualified yet. If u weren’t aware of a supervisor u might want to go with asking the NZ association of counsellors (NZAC) as they have a list of registered supervisors around the area. The NZ association of pyscotherapists (NZAP), depending on whether it is necessary and can be incredibly valuable but not really an expectation of the professional body however this may change. It’s about self development and has an impact on other people. I feel that it is important to be able to have these ‘guides’ in place or available for you to contact if you need to especially to watch over your practise and give you feed back. It also sets your mind to the fact that you have someone you can ask for help and that you are not alone in the business. Creates mind/body security.

To have a professional practise, it is important to keep up with and follow all codes of conduct as well as your own routine and the way you work. Being able to understand yourself and the way you learn is very helpful to becoming successful. It’s also important to keep up with MNZ and continue to further your training at all times where possible. Once qualified, it would be a good idea to sign with the RMT’s not only for legal tax reasons but to be able to further knowledge and gain points for it. Like Debbie has said in her blog, it would be a good idea to join the professional development policy which is run through MNZ. It would help gain awareness and further education and knowledge while gaining points.

In summary, all of the above all have a influencing factor on professional development. Being able to reflect on your processes and do something about them to create a positive and effective change is a great attribute and can really help to see you become successful. It all ensures that your business is maintained at the highest level of professional performance. It creates an understanding of yourself which therefore leads to people enjoying their experience when they come to you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Professional Practise Sustainability Blog 4 Due date 25 September 2009 Hannah Howley

Professional Practise
Blog 4
Due date 25 September 2009
Hannah Howley

What does it mean by being a sustainable massage practitioner and what would you do to achieve this?

Understanding the sustainability issues in today’s society is something to become familiar with. Not only for the environment but also for you own health, safety and benefits.

There are three elements of sustainability, environmental, social and economical, that I am going to talk about with regards to me as a massage therapist and a having a massage practise set up. The first being environmental;

There are some issues and considerations that one must look at for becoming a sustainable massage practitioner and that is to think about what type of products you are using for example, laundry detergent. This is not only full of harsh chemicals that are damaging to the product, but also to the skin and to the environment. It is something to think about when and if you have clients that have very sensitive skin. For example, I had a client once who was on medication for a skin condition, immediately I thought about the linen she was lying on and whether or not it would become irritating. I personally have very sensitive skin and can only use sensitive type powders and I am a fan of the eco-friendly type. It also gets to a point when the detergent becomes harmful to the environment.

Paper use is another issue that came up. Although it is not such a big deal at the current day, it would be good to start thinking about keeping an electronic client database on a laptop or computer to think about minimising paper use. Even though, it is one of the easiest materials to recycle.

Product purchases are another one to think about and the way that it is packaged, is it eco-friendly? biodegradable? And can it be recycled? If you are that way inclined are pro-environment it is good to look into things such as this.

These days, as we are in an economic crisis, power is one thing that has tried to be cut back on. With regards to a massage practise, simple things can be done to avoid using too much power, however with some negative aspects. Instead of using the drier to dry linen, hang out the washing, However sometimes it’s not always going to be possible due to weather implications. As far as the ‘eco-friendly’ light bulbs go, not always such a positive idea. They contain a substance called mercury which is very harmful and dangerous especially to pregnant woman. Considering you are working in a clinic, it is likely you will get a pregnant client. Another downfall to our ‘eco-friendly’ power saving light bulbs is that they take several minutes to even reach their full watt capacity, which isn’t such a big deal in a massage clinic as we like dim shades anyway; still, it’s not so ideal.

When it comes to maintaining the well-being of the environment and yourselves , it has got a lot to do with what we do to maintain the relationships of the community to the input of sustainability and how we go about doing so. Positive and negative remarks and discussions on eco-friendly products etc creates a bad impression on the product. It’s reminds me of the plastic bag situation at New World Supermarket at the moment. Having to pay an extra 5c for each plastic bag seems ridiculous but at the same time good for the environment. People generally kick up a fuss whenever they have to pay up for something. I know that I don’t buy a plastic bag for 5c because people have convinced me that it’s a stupid thing to do, but at the same time, we are effectively helping the environment by protecting it from plastic rubbish bags. So it’s a win/win situation, and a more positive one relating to social sustainability.

Social sustainability also looks at the health of the society and maintaining good positive sustainable relationships between yourself and the work you do and the activities you do.

Furthermore, economical sustainability is the financial aspect of the operation. It is also another element to look at. Everything over laps each other with regards to a sustainable massage practise, the environmental aspect, the social aspect and the economical aspect all intertwine to make it continuous and efficient. As long as you have the work coming in, to create the funds that you need to make the practise sustainable you will be able to provide the sustainable environment that you want that benefits you and your staff as well as you clients to maintain health and a safe environment.

Fritz, S. (2004). Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic massage (3rd ed.). Missouri: Mosby.
Class Notes
My Own Thoughts.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Professional Practice Blog 3 Ethics Due date: Friday 14th August Hannah Howley

Professional Practice
Blog 3
Due date: Friday 14th August
Hannah Howley

Massage therapy and relationship with ethical considerations.

Ethics have become more and more increasingly particular in hands-on practices such as Massage Therapy. Agreeing upon which is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the way of ethical considerations remains to be difficult.

We, as massage therapists, remain responsible for the health, safety and comfort of our clients and it is our duty to maintain these responsibilities.
Ethical considerations, to name a few that we need to take in to consideration are;

- Race & Colour
- Culture
- Age
- Sex
- Religion

All of these are important topics to look at. All clients are going to be individual and different from the client before and it is important to find out such things about your client before you ask them to do things for you, i.e. taking off clothing and lying under drapes. With regards to race and religion, this can be seen as culturally offensive and inappropriate (including any other person). Communication is very important when taking clients through your chosen assessment procedure. You have to make sure that they are aware of what you are going to be doing, where about on the body you will be working and whether or not they are comfortable with that decision. You, as a massage therapist also have to be ready to understand and respect the choice of the client if their decision does not match your own.

Client Relationships

Client relationships must be maintained at the highest level of interpersonal relationships. It must be of utmost professionalism. According to the code of ethics written by MNZ;

- A practitioner shall endeavour to serve the best interests of their clients at all times and provide the highest quality service possible.

- A practitioner shall at all times respect the confidence of their client and diagnostic
findings acquired during consultation and/or treatment shall not be divulged to anyone
without the client’s consent, except when required by law or where failure to do so
would constitute a menace or danger to the client or another member of the community.

- A practitioner shall not enter into an intimate or sexual relationship with a patient whilst
the patient is under their care. (MNZ Code of Ethics, pdf)

The Massage Therapist and their responsibilities to themselves,

It is ethical, that the massage therapist, or anyone working in the business, strives to achieve professional appearance and image of themselves and the profession in general.
The MT should have all qualifications displayed on the wall or on a desk (any where visible to the clients) and it should be done so honestly.
The MT should at all times make sure the treatment and treatment process is coincided with the relevant scope of practice and that all techniques used are suitable to the existing condition.

Practitioners should always maintain the professionalism of the clinic. It must always have a code of ethics and clients rights and responsibilities visible on entry to the client. The MT must not interfere with any ongoing treatment given by any other practitioner and must call the other health care provider if there are any queries and only if you get client consent. The MT must not criticise the work of any other practitioner as this is seen as very rude and it will make you seem like you are superior to others and it doesn’t look good.


The Ethics of Touch, Ben Benjamin and Cherie Sohnen-Moe. (SMA Inc., Tucson, Ariz., 2003.)

MNZ Code of Ethics. pdf

My Own Thoughts

Fritz, S. (2004). Mosby’s fundamentals of therapeutic massage (3rd ed.). Missouri: Mosby.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dementia Condition 2 Due date 14 August 2009 Hannah Howley

Condition 2
Due date 14 August 2009
Hannah Howley

Description of the condition:

Dementia AKA Alzheimer’s Disease meaning ‘deprived of mind’ is a disease of the mind and can also be a result of brain damage or injury. It is a cognitive impairment and may be static. It is a progressive degenerative disorder of the brain causing such things like memory loss, personality changes and eventually, death.


Age and degeneration are the main causes of the disease. Most etiologies contribute to loss of intellectual function, memory impairment and loss of judgement. The precise cause of the disease is not fully understood.


Dementia is far more common than that of the geriatric population and can develop at any stage of adulthood. It generally just affects older people. Although it is possible to develop dementia early in life, the chances of doing so increase dramatically with age.
Less than 10 percent of cases of dementia are due to causes which may presently be reversed with treatment
One in 50 people between the ages of 65 and 70 have a form of dementia, compared to one in five people over the age of 80.
Dementia affects approximately 5% of the US population or about 4.5million people. It affects half of all people living in rest homes. The incidence of Dementia increases with age.

Signs and symptoms:

Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Most etiologies contribute to loss of intellectual function, memory impairment and loss of judgement.

Symptoms of early dementia:

- Word finding difficulty
- Forgetting names, appointments and losing thing
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks i.e. driving, cooking, household chores
- Uncharacteristic behaviour
- Mood swings and Poor judgement

Intermediate Dementia

- Worsening of symptoms seen in early dementia
- Unable to carry out tasks i.e. washing, getting dressed, using the toilet
- Disrupted sleep
- Unable to learn new things
- Confusion
- Hallucinations
- Falling over
- Poor concentration and abnormal moods
Severe Dementia

- Worsening of symptoms seen in early and intermediate dementia
- Complete dependence on others for daily living
- Maybe unable to walk or move around
- Impairment of other movements i.e. swallowing
- Complete loss of long and short term memory
- Complications with nutrition, bladder control and infections

Indications for massage therapy:

According to MedicalNewsToday, Massage could offer a drug-free way to treat agitation and depression among dementia patients, but there are still too few studies about the practice to know for sure, according to a review of recent research.

In two studies, hand massage and gentle touching during conversation helped ease agitation and restore appetite in dementia patients over short periods of about an hour.
It can also counteract anxiety and depression which are also factors involved with dementia.
Massage also provokes a sense of relaxation and safety with soft and slow massage techniques i.e. relaxation massage with effleurage and petrissage strokes would be effective in engaging the nervous system and relaxing it.
Dementia clients respond well to touch. Massage does not increase or decrease the process of the disease but does improve the quality of life for clients to the extent that they become noticeably less disruptive.

Contraindications for massage therapy:

It is very important to keep in mind that most of these clients will be elderly and will generally have other on-going problems that may or may not contraindicate various kinds of body work. Also, the massage therapist must remember that communication will be quite difficult and it becomes the therapist’s responsibility to communicate effective non verbal signals about the bodywork to make sure that the client understands. Therapists must always be sensitive to the clients emotional and mental state/


Dementia, Retrieved on 31st July 2009 from

Frtiz S (2004). Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic massage, 3rd edition. Mosby, Missouri

Werner, R. (2005). A Massage Therapists Guide to Pathology (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Facts about Dementia and what to do, Retrieved on 31st July 2009 from;col1 peer reviewed.

Massage and Dementia, Retrieved on 31st July 2009 from

Dementia Symptoms, retrieved on 1st August 2009 from

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog2 Professional practice

Professional Practice Blog 2 Treaty of Waitangi Hannah Howley

How the Treaty of Waitangi framework incorporates into Massage Therapy practice
In any sort of practice, culture and society must be established to promote a good ground basis of an understanding of other people and their beliefs. In this blog I will discuss the relevance of Maori culture to Massage Therapy.

Governance, authority, equity and respect are the four main categories we look at when establish cultural inputs into the clinic.

Governance to begin with is what we understand as ‘our role’ and being in charge of the practice you are doing. You must understand your role as a therapist, notice the treaty policy and legislation of the healthcare department, being aware of the treaty and knowing the cultural differences, be aware of the legislation of what you as a therapist are doing and of course policies and requirements. We must ensure the health and safety of our client at all times.

Authority, with regards to the scope of practice to MT, clients are allowed to have their own opinion about the therapists’ treatment plan and the way they go about delivering it. There is to be a partnership between client and therapist for each other to share their feelings and views. Communication is very important when there is someone with authorisations. The therapist always has rights to a client and must ensure these, but will not act as if they are higher or superior than the client.

Equity is a title we notice as ‘equal’. With regards to the Massage Therapy scope of practice, we must treat all clients equally, with the most utmost respect and total professionalism. MT’s must accommodate each individual client as they see fit, e.g. clients with disabilities. The significance of culture must be taken into account in this instance. Some cultures see touching of the head to be culturally insensitive. This is where communication is of importance, as some massage therapists tend to work into the head for neck treatments.

Respect. This is a title which is self-explanatory. The client is your client and you are their therapist. They have come to you for help and it is your position to maintain the respect and needs of your client. Understanding and appreciation of their needs, beliefs and wishes is something you have to be able to do.
The aim is to provide health care in an environment that is culturally sensitive to those who are using it. This is done out of respect for different cultural perspectives and needs. The client and the whanau must understand what is happening and what resources and support are available. (Timmins, K. Treaty Workshop, 2009)

Other considerations to think about with Maori clients are Taoka (Valuables). These are extremely important and have a lot of sentimental value. Therapists’ must be respectful of these and must discuss with the client before removing them e.g. necklaces, as they may be in the way of neck treatment. You must offer the client the opportunity to look after the Taoka when they have removed it if they agree to.

Four more elements I will look at are those from the 1988 Royal Commission on social policy for prerequisites for health and well-being.

Whanaungatanga –Family
- The family as an influence on health
- As a support system.
Taonga Tuku Iho – Cultural Heritage
- Access to Maori knowledge
- Access to family, hapu, iwi and the marae
- Intact Maori identity
Te Ao Turoa – The environment
- Physical environment
- Political environment
- Social-economic environment
- Social climate in terms of racial and ethnic equity
Turangawaewae – an idisputable land base
- Access to ancestral lands
- Self-esteem and self-respect


Bachelor of Midwifery/Diploma in Massage Therapy; Treaty Workshop. May 18th 2009

Durie,M.(1998). Whaiora: Maori health development(pp.69-74). Auckland, New Zealand: Oxford University Press.

My Own Thoughts

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Scope of practise

Assessment task 1
Due 8th May 2009
Scope of practise
Hannah Howley

Scope of Practice as defined by Massage NZL with relations to being a Massage Therapist.

"Scope of practice defines the knowledge base and professional parameters of a profession"
Fritz,(2004) (St. John, D, Assessment Task 1)

Now, this I found to be a good summarisation of what we know as ‘scope of practice’ in any area of work, namely, the healthcare profession. It is very important, not to mention, professional to have such guidelines to work from. Boundaries and such are very important when working hands on with another human being.

RMT’S must hold a National (NZQA) Diploma/Degree or equal in Therapeutic Massage. They must have a theoretical basis of knowledge in Human anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and the Theory of Massage. They must have completed a minimum of 30 supervised massage clinical hours during massage training or post graduation. Massage NZ,(2009)

RMT’S must comply with the MNZ RMT Scope of practice which is as follows

- Physical assessment
- Client history details forms
- Client reasoning and a treatment plan
- Delivery of soft-tissue treatments relevant to treatment plan and not missing out other strokes etc
- Evaluations
- Post treatment advice
- Professional presentation and behaviour according to MNZ ethics
- Referral of clients to appropriate healthcare professionals

Certified massage therapists also have a series of guidelines which they must follow and they must also hold a diploma or certificate in MT. They are as follows


- Gathering of client info specific to the client
- If relaxation massage is not appropriate, and need other treatment outside MNZ MMT Scope of practice, refer to an appropriate healthcare professional
- Client consent
- Delivery of treatments relevant to the treatment plan
- Delivery of soft tissue treatments according to industry accepted practices with regards to draping, communication etc
- Post treatment advice
- Professional appearance and ethics.

The scope of practice for both, are relatively straight forward but also broad at the same time. If the MT association was to become a lot bigger and well-known for its benefits, I believe that the scope of practice would have to become a little more in depth and be able to bring attention to new things. A good point that Deb’s made in her blog was that although a MT is requires us to have attained certain qualifications; it surely doesn’t say anything about on-going education for MT. It is very clear in today’s healthcare profession that things are changing and we are becoming more aware of different things and more knowledge is brought to us, which shows us that we need to have continual training on standby to not only become a better practitioner but also be able to provide higher qualities of treatment to our clients.

To sum up my findings, I feel satisfied with the current scope of practice for both professions as they do touch on ethical considerations and professional practice which I think are very important. Although they do need to be made a lot more in depth to prevail our knowledge and professionalism that little bit more.


My Own Thoughts

Massage New Zealand. (2009). Retrieved May 8th 2009 from

Massage New Zealand, Remedial Massage Therapists Scope of Practice. Retrieved June 5th 2009 from

Pathology Condition 1.

Plantar Fasciitis
Condition 1
Due date.18 May, 2009 5 Jun, 2009 19 Jun, 2009
Hannah Howley

Plantar Fasciitis

• Description of the condition

Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia and surrounding myofascial structures. It is a condition of the foot which is very painful. The pain that is felt by PF is felt on the heel of the foot and is felt most severely with the first few steps of each day. Its main location, also known as the calcaneus, is the common location for the stimulation that causes the pain. It is generally caused by faulty biomechanics, bad footwear and heavy landings.

• Incidence

1 out of 10 American adults are presented with PF each year.
PF is most common in athletes, such as runners.

Equates for about 10% of runner-related injuries, and 11-15% of all foot symptoms requiring specialized care. It is considered to occur in 10% of the general population as well. It can also be present bilaterally in a third of cases

• Etiology

The etiology of this condition is not clearly understood and is probably multi-factorial in nature. Weight gain, occupation-related activity, anatomical variations, poor biomechanics, and poor footwear are contributing factors. PF is caused by too much wear to the plantar fascia (or aponuerosis) that supports the arch of the foot or by unusual posture that may influence structure. A lot of athletes suffer from this condition. "Both amateur and professional athletes are at a higher risk, and it is especially common among athletes who run and jump a lot. More young people are getting involved in sports at an early age and are therefore developing heel pain sooner than many other people who are not as active." (Franklin Kase, It occurs when the plantar aponeurosis is stressed over a period of time in which is beyond the ordinary which could lead to pain and inflammation and possibly bone spurs. PF can also be a result of an injury.

• Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms for PF are limited but are gradual. It can often feel like a sharp pain in your heel and is more noticeable in the morning during your first few steps and can be triggered by long periods of time on your feet. Sometimes there may also be pain along the outside (lateral) border of the heel. This may occur due to offloading the painful side of the heel by walking on the outside border of the foot. It may also be associated with the high impact of landing on the outside of the heel if you have high arched feet.

• Indications for massage therapy

Acute phases of PF respond well to cyrotherapy (Ice) and rest. After the inflammation has gone, soft-tissue methods that address the connective tissue and sensible uses of stretching are valuable. Achilles tendon is highly irritable in this condition also as it attaches to the calcaneus as well so that has to be taken into account when massaging

• Contraindications for massage therapy

Not to be massaged if the foot has been aggravated or if it is inflamed due to overuse i.e. dancing. In the morning, it is bad for massage to occur because this is when the syndrome is most painful.

• Reference list
Marieb, E, N., Hoehn, K., (2007). Human Anatomy and Physiology, 7th Edition.

Sports Massage, retrieved June 5th, 2009 from

A client with PF

Franklin Kase, Athletes and Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain), Retrieved June 4th, 2009, from

Fritz,S (2009)., Mosby’s PDQ for Massage Therapists, 2nd Edition

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Research Methods

Assessment Task 1 - Blog 4 - Evaluation of Research Findings.
Hannah Howley.
Due 8th of May 2009 (With Extension)

Unravelling the mysteries of Unwinding.
As a reader, I was pleased with the fact that the article begun in a way in which ‘unwinds’ the title, for want of a better word. It was good to see the writer explain what unwinding meant so it was easier to understand the point of the article.

The first page shed some positive light upon Myofascial Release. It made it seem extremely interesting and worthy of a trial.
There is a large amount of unintentional ambiguity within the article 'Unravelling the Mysteries of Fascial Unwinding' which simply serves to confuse and frustrate the reader. This ambiguity reinforces the intuition that the writer may not entirely know about or understand the topic of which he is attempting to depict and explore. (T, Grinlinton) 2009. This made me very interested to read on with Tessa’s blog because it basically stated what I was thinking and I couldn’t have put it in a better way myself. The possibility of interpreting an expression in more than one way is perhaps not good enough in an article of such calibre i.e., the forcing of tissues.

The article touches upon emotional release but isn’t exceedingly comprehensive. If I didn’t know any better I would be worried that the session/treatment would make me break out in tears or laughter or some kind of emotion. It wasn’t very assuring.

On page 19 of the shorter version, it states that ‘scientific descriptions for the events (unwinding) are lacking’ doesn’t give much positive influence. It then could be viewed as a ‘half-arsed’ physical therapy with no proof which is definitely condescending to the average reader.

Also I would like to state that there were far too many foreign words at hand in the article, especially to the foreign eye. If the reader is inquisitive about such therapy it should really be as black and white as need be without so much ‘medical’ expressions. The article also got very in-depth and technical very quickly, sort of felt like I was rolling down a hill.

All that aside, the article was good and like I said before, shed some interesting light upon MFR and gave some good descriptive analysis‘s of hip, leg and neck unwinding.


Unravelling the mysteries of unwinding.
My Own thoughts.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Research methods

Assessment Task 1 - Blog 3 - Reflection of my research process.
Hannah Howley
Due Date - May 08 2009

During the past few months I have been doing a lot more in depth research and analysis than I would normally be doing. The territory in which I have been entering is very foreign and intense and it has been very hard to get amongst it with ease. It has been quite a struggle with APA referencing and locating information that is of good quality. Although I enjoy using wikipedia, it is hard to use it for everything I need to find with out having things repeated. I find it quite hard to collate a lot of the information that I am finding with having to reference everything I write.

However, I have learnt a few good ways of interpreting and understanding a research related question.

It is important to be able to break down the question into smaller parts and research it with a more narrowed down approach, trying to locate the qualitative aspect of the question and the quantitative aspect.

With regards to our collaborative research assignment we are working on at the moment, our question ( Felicity, you will no) is to do with chronic pain and massage. As of late I have been researching about chronic pain itself and how it comes about and the influences of it. This has helped me understand my question a lot more and brings me to my point of breaking down the question to find an easier approach of researching it.

I have also learnt that with researching, brainstorming ideas of your own help to make the question more comprehensive and you get a better understanding of what you are looking for and what you will find.

All and all, it is a very interesting process and takes a lot more time to get the quality information that you need to create a believable product.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Asessment 1 Task 2

Information Quality
Hannah Howley

Describe how information from different sources may vary in quality, and how to differentiate good quality from poor quality.

It is important to focus on the quality of information the researcher is searching for. The reseacrcher must take into consideration the type of info, the legitimacy of it, relevance and accuracy. The two types of information we as researchers look at is qualitative (meaning quality) and quantitative (as in how much/many).

The general elements of information quality as found in Wang & Strong (1996)






All of the above terms are used to describe the type on information the researcher is searching for, like I said before, legitimacy, relevance, accuracy, accessibility and interpretability.

Different sources of information may vary from the way that different audiences may be targeted, rather than just a general group of people. It is important to see the relevance in the information you are finding. It definitely has to be useful and it also has to be at a level in which you are prepared to read it in.

Differentiating good quality from poor quality; basically, good information is accurate, it has an objective, it is timely/current and has authority. To produce good quality information you have to be able to have good skill in the data and use the information relevant to the paper. (Golofshani, 2003)


How to evaluate information. Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP. Date of publication 3/6/1997 Retrieved from

Information Quality. Date of publication 16/3/2009. Retrieved from

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pathology - Tennis Elbow


Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a common condition of the elbow where it becomes tender and sore on the outer aspect of it. It can happen to anybody but is basically associated with tennis players.

This sports condition is also known as lateral epicondylitis

Etiology: This is what know as the cause if the disease.The most common cause of tennis elbow (lateral elbow pain) is the repetitive nature that comes with the sport of tennis; ie constantly hitting the ball with force which can therefore lead to tears in the tendons, ligaments and muscles surrounding the elbow joint, but mainly the tendon which attaches to the forearm. Basically you can call tennis elbow a case of overuse syndrome. The main age group of people who suffer from Tennis Elbow are those between their 30's and 60's. Age does have a inputting factor although gender does not.

Retrieved from (31/3/09)

Pathogenesis:This step by step development of the disease and chain of events leading up to it. It is developed over a long period of time and is known to be the tears in the tendons that cause the pain. Pain is also felt in the wrist from gripping to tightly or not properly. The extensor carpis radialis brevis has been implicated in this case as the fore arm flexors and extensors jerk in movement to cause undesireable force/use on the tendon.

Morphology: the fundamental structure or form of tissues and cells. anatomical changes that occur during the disease/condition.

This would be the tears in the tendons that was stated on wikipedia which I referenced before. Also, weakness in the surrounding muscles may be present from having to over compensate.

Histological: the changes to the ground substance and intracellular fluid etc.

Histological analysis shows that the hyalin is degenerated and fibrosis is present.

retrieved from (31/3/09)

Epidemiology: study of the factors contributing to the disease or injury . number of cases over time. incidence;number of new cases and prevalence; number of people who have it

Incidence and Prevalance;

Lateral elbow pain(tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis) is common (population prevalence 1–3%),with peak incidence occurring between the age of 40–50. In women aged 42–46 , incidence increases to 10%.In the UK, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia the incidence of lateral elbow pain in general practice is 4–7/1000 people a year.

Retrieved From /1117_background.jsp (31/3/09)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The research Process

With regards to massage therapy, researching involves a variety of different things. We are always finding out new things, investigating techniques and ideas and looking into and understanding theories.

We begin research with an idea. We begin with brainstorming to try and establish a question that corresponds with the idea. We have to see if anybody else has come up with the same question and see what they have said about it. This is called a literature review and/or theoretical framework. We must always be searching for the truth. The next step that goes with the researching process is methodology, here we are trying to seek how we are going to collect information and/or data on the theory at hand and see if the information we are going to find is valid and relevant. They (methods) are used for collecting info on your question. Some of these methods are; interviews, group discussions and perhaps questionnaires and from there it is about building interpretations. We have to make sure that when we are conducting investigations and searches that we are doing it in an ethically correct manner.

Next I am going to talk about implications of research. It is important to keep the information valid and interpreted in its original state.

By having structure to attain information at any level, ethically, research is a very powerful technique in which is very valuable to anyone including massage therapists.