A New World of Research
My previous experience with research had been limited but engaging. As a massage therapy student and practitioner, I had completed a couple of case reports that had been recognized for quality work, which sparked my interest in continually reading research and looking for ways in which I could do more. Then I was introduced to research for education, and that brought me to another level I never considered before. Educational research, while there are some definite similarities to allied health, has a strong purpose in the realm of teaching adult learners. In the massage therapy educational world, many instructors have very little if any educational training. They usually become instructors because they like the idea of teaching and have been successful practitioners for a few years. When afforded that opportunity to become a massage therapy instructor, many times instructors will just pass along what they know, without any rationale behind the instructional approaches or ability to determine effective outcomes. Another massage therapy educator at a college in SC and myself have our masters' degrees in education and we realize there is such a need in improving the quality and delivery of massage therapy education. With the research I am doing now, my hope is that it becomes a viable resource for instructors to use in the classroom. I notice that there is quite a void in educational research for massage therapy education, so I see a pathway that I may continue on after I graduate. Before doing research as a practitioner meant demonstrating evidence-based practice for treating and affecting medical conditions. Now I have another avenue; creating evidence-based practice in the classroom. I am inspired to explore areas that need attention and to develop more useful research for massage therapy educators. What an interesting journey to be embarking on!