Research Tools


These tools are intended to help massage and bodywork practitioners navigate and understand research.

Meta-Analysis on Massage Therapy and Pain Database

The Massage Therapy Foundation, Samueli Institute, and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) have partnered on a collaborative project for a meta-analysis of massage therapy for pain.  The results of this collaboration were published in a three part series in a peer-reviewed journal and was discussed at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference May 12-15 in Seattle, WA.

The state-of-the-art, comprehensive database houses data of the 99 randomized controlled trials included in a systematic review and meta-analysis that investigated the impact of massage therapy on function in three types of pain populations: 1) populations who would typically visit their general healthcare practitioner with complaints of pain; 2) patients undergoing or recovering from surgical/operative procedures and 3) cancer patients.

Access the database >>

Meta-Analysis in the News

Press Release: New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Strongly Recommended for Pain Management
Published May 10, 2016
Click here for the Pain Medicine article

Press Release: New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Shows Promise for Pain & Anxiety in Cancer Patients
Published August 17, 2016
Click here for the Pain Medicine article

Press Release: New Research Analysis Indicates Value of Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain
Published September 14, 2016
Click here for the Pain Medicine article


Importance of Research Literacy with Ruth Werner and Dr. Leena Guptha
Basics of Research Literacy
Finding and Evaluating Research

Research Article Databases

Government Agencies funding Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research



Research Columns & Newsletters

  • MTF Research Articles on – As part of our continuing goal to promote research literacy and capacity in the massage profession, we publish a monthly research project synopsis, with a reference to the original article, on These synopses are authored by volunteers from our Writing Workgroup.
  • Somatic Research Column – Massage & Bodywork Magazine
  • To Your Health newsletter from Massage Today

Links to Research and Professional Resources

Research Literature Syntheses
The MTF has commissioned the writing of two literature syntheses that have been published; one on massage for stress and the other on sports massage. Each is a comprehensive review of the literature on their respective subject areas and should be helpful to those seeking research on these specific topic areas.

Massage and Stress Reduction

Sports Massage