Open Access Resources for Massage Therapists:

If you are a massage therapist who is interested in reading massage therapy research, PubMed is a great resource but most massage therapists do not have academic access to journals. 

But, this is not the only barriers to entry, sorting through the data is like drinking from a fire-hose, if you search Massage therapy on PubMed you will get over 14,000 returns. So, if you don't feel like sorting through all those listings I have put together a synthesis of noteworthy open access article sourced from peer-reviewed publications indexed on Pubmed, to make your life easier.


Kennedy, A.B., & Munk, N. (2017). Experienced Practitioners' Beliefs Utilized to Create a Successful Massage Therapist Conceptual Model: a Qualitative Investigation. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork.


Bishop et al. (2015). What effect can manual therapy have on a patient's pain experience? Pain Manag.

Chimenti et al. (2018). A Mechanism-Based Approach to Physical Therapist Management of Pain. Phys Ther.

Courtney et al. (2017). Mechanisms of chronic pain - key considerations for appropriate physical therapy management. J Man Manip Ther.

Harte et al. (2018). The neurobiology of central sensitization. J Appl Behav Res.

Jacobs, D.F., & Silvernail, J.L. (2011). Therapist as operator or interactor? Moving beyond the technique. J Man Manip Ther.

Ji et al. (2016). Pain regulation by non-neuronal cells and inflammation. Science.

Kirkpatrick et al. (2015). Therapeutic Basis of Clinical Pain Modulation. Clin Transl Sci.

Lewis & O'Sullivan (2018). Is it time to reframe how we care for people with non-traumatic musculoskeletal pain? Br J Sports Med.

Miake-Lye et al. (2019). Massage for Pain: An Evidence Map. J Altern Complement Med.

Miciak et al. (2018). The necessary conditions of engagement for the therapeutic relationship in physiotherapy: an interpretive description study. Arch Physiother.

Moyer, C.A. (2008). Affective massage therapy. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork.

Pelletier et al. (2015). Is neuroplasticity in the central nervous system the missing link to our understanding of chronic musculoskeletal disorders? BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Price, C.J., & Hooven, C. (2018). Interoceptive Awareness Skills for Emotion Regulation: Theory and Approach of Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy (MABT). Front Psychol.

Rossettini et al. (2018). Clinical relevance of contextual factors as triggers of placebo and nocebo effects in musculoskeletal pain. BMC Musculoskelet Disord.

Skelly et al. (2018). Noninvasive Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Wideman et al. (2019). The Multi-modal Assessment Model of Pain: A Novel Framework for Further Integrating the Subjective Pain Experience within Research and Practice. Clin J Pain.


Chang et al. (2018). Ultrasound Imaging for the Cutaneous Nerves of the Extremities and Relevant Entrapment Syndromes: From Anatomy to Clinical Implications. J Clin Med.

Dong et al. (2012). Entrapment neuropathies in the upper and lower limbs: anatomy and MRI features. Radiol Res Pract.

Espejo et al. (2018). Unraveling the Molecular Determinants of Manual Therapy: An Approach to Integrative Therapeutics for the Treatment of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Int J Mol Sci.

Gobbo et al. (2014). Muscle motor point identification is essential for optimizing neuromuscular electrical stimulation use. J Neuroeng Rehabil.

Goldstein (2019). How does homeostasis happen? Integrative physiological, systems biological, and evolutionary perspectives. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.

Laumonier, T., & Menetrey, J. (2016). Muscle injuries and strategies for improving their repair. J Exp Orthop.

Ng et al. (2017). Establishing the Basis for Mechanobiology-Based Physical Therapy Protocols to Potentiate Cellular Healing and Tissue Regeneration. Front Physiol.

Schleip et al. (2019). Fascia Is Able to Actively Contract and May Thereby Influence Musculoskeletal Dynamics: A Histochemical and Mechanographic Investigation. Front Physiol.

Schmid et al. (2009). Reliability of clinical tests to evaluate nerve function and mechanosensitivity of the upper limb peripheral nervous system. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Shah et al. (2015). Myofascial Trigger Points Then and Now: A Historical and Scientific Perspective. PM&R.

Thompson et al. (2016). Understanding Mechanobiology: Physical Therapists as a Force in Mechanotherapy and Musculoskeletal Regenerative Rehabilitation. Phys Ther.

Van Hooren et al. (2018). Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? Sports Med. 

Zügel et al. (2018). Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics. Br J Sports Med.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Komaroff, A.L. Advances in Understanding the Pathophysiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. JAMA.


De Groef et al. (2019). Best-Evidence Rehabilitation for Chronic Pain Part 2: Pain during and after Cancer Treatment. J Clin Med.

Pediatric Massage Therapy

Field T. (2019). Pediatric Massage Therapy Research: A Narrative Review. Children (Basel).

Wren et al. (2019). Multidisciplinary Pain Management for Pediatric Patients with Acute and Chronic Pain: A Foundational Treatment Approach When Prescribing Opioids. Children (Basel).


Mead et al. (2018). Pathogenesis and Management of Tendinopathies in Sports Medicine. Transl Sports Med.


Cheatham, S.W., & Stull, K.R. (2018). Roller Massage: A Commentary on Clinical Standards and Survey of Physical Therapy Professionals - Part 1 Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Cheatham et al. (2018). Roller Massage: A Commentary on Clinical Standards and Survey of Physical Therapy Professionals - Part II. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Chughtai et al. (2019). Astym(®) therapy: a systematic review. Ann Transl Med.

Wiewelhove et al. (2019). A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery. Front Physiol.


Childress & Becker. (2016). Nonoperative Management of Cervical Radiculopathy. Am Fam Physician.

Ellis et al. (2016). Multi-Disciplinary Management of Athletes with Post-Concussion Syndrome: An Evolving Pathophysiological Approach. Front Neurol.

Ellis et al. (2018). Physiological Approach to Assessment and Rehabilitation of Acute Concussion in Collegiate and Professional Athletes. Front Neurol

Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., & Courtney, C.A. (2014). Clinical reasoning for manual therapy management of tension type and cervicogenic headache. J Man Manip Ther.

Harmon et al. (2019). American Medical Society for Sports Medicine position statement on concussion in sport. Br J Sports Med.

Kwon et al. (2018) Anatomical analysis of the distribution patterns of occipital cutaneous nerves and the clinical implications for pain management. J Pain Res.

Matuszak et al. (2016). A Practical Concussion Physical Examination Toolbox. Sports Health.

Morin et al. (2016). Cervical Spine Involvement in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review. Journal of Sports Medicine. 

Patricios et al. (2018).  Implementation of the 2017 Berlin Concussion in Sport Group Consensus Statement in contact and collision sports: a joint position statement from 11 national and international sports organisations. Br J Sports Med.

Shaffer et al. (2014). Temporomandibular disorders. Part 1: anatomy and examination/diagnosis. J Man Manip Ther.

Shaffer et al. (2014). Temporomandibular disorders. Part 2: conservative management. J Man Manip Ther.


Berthold et al. (2017). Long Thoracic Nerve Injury Caused by Overhead Weight Lifting Leading to Scapular Dyskinesis and Medial Scapular Winging. J Am Osteopath Assoc.

Gismervik et al. (2017). Physical examination tests of the shoulder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test performance. BMC Musculoskelet Disord.

Gray et al. (2016). Assessment of shoulder pain for non-specialists. BMJ.

Hangge et al. (2018). Quadrilateral Space Syndrome: Diagnosis and Clinical Management. J Clin Med.

Jain et al. (2013). Clinical Examination of the Rotator Cuff. Pm&r. 

Jones et al. (2019). Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: A Comprehensive Review of Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Pain Ther.

Koehler et al. (2018). Axillary web syndrome following breast cancer surgery: symptoms, complications, and management strategies. Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press).

Latef et al. (2018). Injury of the Radial Nerve in the Arm: A Review. Cureus.

Muir, B. (2017). Dorsal scapular nerve neuropathy: a narrative review of the literature. J Can Chiropr Assoc.

Page, P. (2010). A new exercise for tennis elbow that works! N Am J Sports Phys Ther.

Yi et al. (2018). Deep Friction Massage Versus Steroid Injection in the Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis. Hand (N Y).


Isu et al. (2018). Superior and Middle Cluneal Nerve Entrapment as a Cause of Low Back Pain. Neurospine.

Masaracchio et al. (2016). An intervention-based clinical reasoning framework to guide the management of thoracic pain in a dancer.

Oliveira et al. (2018). Clinical practice guidelines for the management of non-specific low back pain in primary care. Eur Spine J.

O'Sullivan et al. (2018). Cognitive Functional Therapy: An Integrated Behavioral Approach for the Targeted Management of Disabling Low Back Pain. Phys Ther.

Petersen et al. (2017). Clinical classification in low back pain: best-evidence diagnostic rules based on systematic reviews. BMC Musculoskelet Disord.

Taxter et al. (2014). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain in the pediatric population. Phys Sportsmed.

Tousignant-Laflamme et al. (2017). Rehabilitation management of low back pain - it's time to pull it all together! J Pain Res.

Vleeming et al. (2012). The sacroiliac joint: An overview of its anatomy, function and potential clinical implications. Journal of Anatomy. 

Weiss, H. (2011). The method of Katharina Schroth - history, principles and current development. Scoliosis.


Battaglia et al. (2016). Posterior, Lateral, and Anterior Hip Pain Due to Musculoskeletal Origin: A Narrative Literature Review of History, Physical Examination, and Diagnostic Imaging. J Chiropr Med.

Brukner, P. (2015). Hamstring injuries: Prevention and treatment—an update. British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Brukner, P., & Connell, D. (2015). ‘Serious thigh muscle strains’: Beware the intramuscular tendon which plays an important role in difficult hamstring and quadriceps muscle strains. British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Cheatham et al. (2013). Meralgia paresthetica: a review of the literature. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Cheatham, S.W. (2016). Extra-articular hip impingement: a narrative review of the literature. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 

Henning, P.T. (2014). The running athlete: stress fractures, osteitis pubis, and snapping hips. Sports Health.

Martin et al. (2017). Nerve entrapment in the hip region: current concepts review. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

McGovern et al. (2019). Non-Operative Management of Individuals with Non-Arthritic Hip Pain: A Literature Review. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Obey et al. (2016). Anatomy of the Adductor Magnus Origin: Implications for Proximal Hamstring Injuries. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tyler et al. (2014). Rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries of the hip and pelvis. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Via et al. (2018). Management of osteitis pubis in athletes: rehabilitation and return to training - a review of the most recent literature. Open Access J Sports Med.

Weber et al. (2015). The Hyperflexible Hip: Managing Hip Pain in the Dancer and Gymnast. Sports Health.


Ardern et al. (2018). 2018 International Olympic Committee consensus statement on prevention, diagnosis and management of paediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Br J Sports Med.

Bruyère et al. (2019). An updated algorithm recommendation for the management of knee osteoarthritis from the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO). Semin Arthritis Rheum.

Kennedy et al. (2018). An Overview of Clinically Relevant Biomechanics of the Anterolateral Structures of the Knee. Tech Orthop.

Porr et al. (2013). Entrapment of the saphenous nerve at the adductor canal affecting the infrapatellar branch - a report on two cases. J Can Chiropr Assoc.

Vegstein et al. (2019). Neurodynamic tests for patellofemoral pain syndrome: a pilot study. Chiropr Man Therap.


Fraser et al. (2016). Midfoot and forefoot involvement in lateral ankle sprains and chronic instability. Part 1: Anatomy and Biomechanics. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Fraser et al. (2016). Clinical commentary on midfoot and forefoot involvement in lateral ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability. Part 2 Clinical Considerations. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

McKeon, P.O., & Wikstrom, E.A. (2016). Sensory-Targeted Ankle Rehabilitation Strategies for Chronic Ankle Instability. Med Sci Sports Exerc.

McKeon, P.O., & Donovan, L. (2019). A Perceptual Framework for Conservative Treatment and Rehabilitation of Ankle Sprains: An Evidence-Based Paradigm Shift. J Athl Train.

Paraskevas, et al. (2014). Fascial entrapment of the sural nerve and its clinical relevance. Anatomy & Cell Biology.

Powden et al. (2019). A 4-Week Multimodal Intervention for Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability: Examination of Disease-Oriented and Patient-Oriented Outcomes. J Athl Train.

Ross et al. (2018). Exercise for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials and clinical guidelines. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med.

Stefansson et al. (2019). Using Pressure Massage for Achilles Tendinopathy: A Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing a Novel Treatment Versus an Eccentric Exercise Protocol. Orthop J Sports Med.

Tu, P. (2018). Heel Pain: Diagnosis and Management. Am Fam Physician.

Vuurberg et al. (2018). Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ankle sprains. Br J Sports Med.


Jacobson, E. (2011). Structural Integration: Origins and Development. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Iorio et al. (2018). Healing bodies: the ancient origins of massages and Roman practices. Medicina Historia

Nomikos et al. (2010). The use of deep friction massage with olive oil as a means of prevention and treatment of sports injuries in ancient times. Arch Med Sci.

Pettman, E. (2007). A History of Manipulative Therapy. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy.

Sherman et al. (2006) Development of a taxonomy to describe massage treatments for musculoskeletal pain. BMC Complement Altern Med.

Terlouw, T. J. (2007). Roots of Physical Medicine, Physical Therapy, and Mechanotherapy in the Netherlands in the 19th Century: A Disputed Area within the Healthcare Domain. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy.


Chang et al. (2019). Peripheral Sensory Nerve Tissue but Not Connective Tissue Is Involved in the Action of Acupuncture. Front Neurosci.

Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., & Nijs, J. (2019). Trigger point dry needling for the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome: current perspectives within a pain neuroscience paradigm. J Pain Res.

Lorenc et al. (2018). Scoping review of systematic reviews of complementary medicine for musculoskeletal and mental health conditions. BMJ Open.

Langevin, H.M. & Wayne, P.M. (2018). What Is the Point? The Problem with Acupuncture Research That No One Wants to Talk About. J Altern Complement Med.

Robinson, N.G. (2016). Why We Need Minimum Basic Requirements in Science for Acupuncture Education. Medicines (Basel).

Ulloa et al. (2017). Nerve Stimulation: Immunomodulation and Control of Inflammation. Trends Mol Med.

Vickers et al. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. J Pain.

Zhang et al. (2014). Mechanisms of Acupuncture–Electroacupuncture on Persistent Pain. Anesthesiology.