Open Educational Resources for Massage Therapists

The RMT Education Project: Educational Resources for Massage Therapists

The RMT Education Project: Educational Resources for Massage Therapists

The RMT Education Project is an initiative that is working to promote the benefits of massage therapy to an international audience. In this post I have to put together an open educational resource page for massage therapists.

I invite you to explore some of these resources then take the information and share it with your personal learning network to promote the benefits of massage therapy.

Online Articles (Creative Commons Licence) 

A selection of articles that upend conventional wisdom about rehabilitation and pain.

Pain Science
• Pain really is in the mind, but not in the way you think - Lorimer Moseley
• What is pain and what is happening when we feel it? - Lorimer Moseley
• Fixing pain management could help us solve the opioid crisis - Meredith Craigie
• Thinking of taking opioids for low back pain? - Christine Lin
• Rub on pain products - Andrew Moore
• How to fix Canada’s opioid crisis - Andrea Furlan
• The science of pain - Benjamin Ansell
• Best way to avoid back pain? - Fiona Wilson
• Does the brain really feel no pain? - Janet Bultitude
• The guidelines on low back pain are clear - Sandra Grace

Exercise Science
• Why do my muscles ache the day after exercise? - Ken Nosaka
• Exercise more in 2018 – it really is good for your heart - Scott Lear
Can exercise help tackle the opioid crisis? - Nancy Gyurcsik
• If your knee hurts, keep exercising, says expert - Ewa M Roos
• Broke your arm? Exercise the other one to strengthen it… - Jonathan Farthing
• Does foam rolling actually do any good? - Lewis Macgregor

Anatomy & Physiology
• What’s happening when our joints crack and is it bad? - Andrew Lavender
• The skin is a very important (and our largest) organ - Cara McDonald
• Common skin rashes and what to do about them - H. Peter Soyer
• Common lumps and bumps on and under the skin - H. Peter Soyer
• Why do we get muscle cramps? - Alan Hayes
• What should my heart rate be and what affects it? - Anna Beale

Neuroplasticity and The Science of Touch
• The Brain and Nervous System - Robert Biswas-Diener
• What is brain plasticity and why is it so important? - Duncan Banks
• Touch in infancy is important for healthy brain development - Harriet Dempsey-Jones
• Nerves of endearment: how a gentle touch affects emotions - Marcello Costa
• Holding your partner’s hand can ease their pain - Pavel Goldstein
• Touch and pain - Guro Løseth
• Sensation and perception - Adam John Privitera

• How to avoid, recognize and treat concussion in sports - Kathryn Schneider
• What is traumatic brain injury? - Travis Wearne
• How concussion stresses the heart to protect the brain - J. Patrick Neary

Acupuncture Research
• Emergency doctors are using acupuncture to treat pain - Marc Cohen
• Does acupuncture work by re-mapping the brain? - Vitaly Napadow


A selection of educational videos that therapists can use to supplement continuing education programs.

TED Talks
• How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal
• The mystery of chronic pain | Elliot Krane
• A doctor's touch | Abraham Verghese
• Why do we sleep? | Russell Foster
• The brain-changing benefits of exercise | Wendy Suzuki

TED-Ed - Lessons to spark and celebrate the ideas of students around the world.
• The fascinating science of phantom limbs - Joshua W. Pate
• The benefits of a good night's sleep - Shai Marcu
• What happens when you have a concussion? - Clifford Robbins
• Oxygen’s surprisingly complex journey through your body - Enda Butler
• What makes muscles grow? - Jeffrey Siegel
• How blood pressure works - Wilfred Manzano
• How to grow a bone - Nina Tandon
• The science of skin - Emma Bryce
• How your muscular system works - Emma Bryce
• How does the immune system work? - Emma Bryce
• How your digestive system works - Emma Bryce
• How do your kidneys work? - Emma Bryce
• The power of the placebo effect - Emma Bryce
• Why do your knuckles pop? - Eleanor Nelsen
• How does your brain respond to pain? - Karen D. Davis
• How do scars form? - Sarthak Sinha
• How do nerves work? - Elliot Krane
• The mystery of chronic pain - Elliot Krane
• How do drugs affect the brain? - Sara Garofalo
• What causes headaches? - Dan Kwartler

Crash Course - Tons of courses in one awesome channel.
• Anatomy & Physiology 
• History of Science
• Media Literacy
• Study Skills

Khan Academy - A non-profit educational organization providing online tools that help educate students.
• Health & Medicine 
• Entrepreneurship 

• The NCCIH Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series - An overview of the current state of research and practice involving complementary health approaches and explores perspectives on the emerging discipline of integrative medicine.

Open Access Research Articles

If you are a massage therapist who is interested in reading massage therapy research, but don't feel like sorting through a hundreds of PubMed listings. Here is a list of Ten Open Access Research Articles about massage therapy and pain. Additionally There are a number of scientific journals that publish open access research.
• BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
• BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
• Canadian Journal of Pain
• Chiropractic & Manual Therapies
• International Journal of Massage & Bodywork 
• PAIN Reports 

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

A selection of online courses from Ed-X & Coursera. 

Health Science

McMaster University (Hacking Exercise For Health) - Learn the basics about the way your body boosts its fitness and strength.

University of Toronto (Managing Your Health) - This course will introduce learners to the concepts and benefits of physical therapy and exercise.

The University of Michigan (Four Part Anatomy Certificate) - Learn the foundations of human anatomy by understanding the major organ systems, their functions.
• Course 1: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems
• Course 2: Cardiovascular, Urinary, and Respiratory Systems
• Course 3: Human Neuroanatomy
• Course 4: Gastrointestinal, Reproductive, and Endocrine Systems

University of Minnesota (Preventing Chronic Pain) - This course uses evidence-based science to better understand chronic pain conditions and how they can be prevented through self-management.

University of Michigan (Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine, and Society) - The objective of this course is to give students the most up-to-date information on the biological, personal, and societal relevance of sleep.

Harvard University (The Opioid Crisis in America) - Learn about opioid use and addiction and how it has evolved over time, leading to the current public health crisis.

Harvard University (Health & Society) - This course is designed to introduce students to the major social variables that affect population health.

Harvard University (Three Part Fundamentals of Neuroscience Certificate) - This introduction to neuroscience covers everything from the function of individual neurons to the structure of brains.
• Course 1: The Electrical Properties of the Neuron
• Course 2: Neurons and Networks
• Course 3: The Brain

Yale University (The Science of Well-Being) - The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice.

Université Laval & University of Calgary (Concussion: prevention, detection and management) - This course demystifies concussion and explains how everyone can play a role in the prevention, identification, and management of this type of traumatic brain injury.

Stanford (Stanford Introduction to Food and Health) - This course will shift the focus away from reductionist discussions about nutrients and move, instead, towards practical discussions about real food and the environment in which we consume it.


University of Amsterdam (Methods and Statistics in Social Sciences Specialization) - There are 5 Courses in this Specialization that covers research methods, design and statistical analysis for social science research questions.
• Course 1: Quantitative Methods
• Course 2: Qualitative Research Methods 
• Course 3: Basic Statistics
• Course 4: Inferential Statistics
• Course 5: Methods and Statistics in Social Science


The University of British Columbia (Introduction to Marketing) - A Self-paced course where you can learn the fundamentals of marketing, including strategies and tools used across industries.

University of Pennsylvania (Entrepreneurship) - This is a four-course series is designed to take you from opportunity identification through launch, growth, financing and profitability.

University of Michigan (How to Start Your Own Business) - This is a six course specialization that will cover a progression of topics necessary for successful business creation including: mindset, ideation, planning, action and strategy. 

Rochester Institute of Technology (Soft Skills) - This is a professional certificate that will cover essential soft skills employers’ value most, from communication fundamentals and teamwork to advancing critical thinking.


University of Michigan (Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age) - This course presents basic concepts from statistics, probability, scientific methodology, cognitive psychology and cost-benefit theory and shows how they can be applied to everything from picking one product over another to critiquing media accounts of scientific research.

McMaster University & University of California (Learning How to Learn) - This course gives you access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines.

Anatomical Pictures (Creative Commons licence)

Dream Anatomy - US National Library of Medicine
Historical Anatomies on the web - US National Library of Medicine
Wiki Images - Scientific Animations
Human Anatomy - Wikimedia Commons

Selected Web Resources
UBC Functional Neuroanatomy