The IMMT Research Study
Any excellent product or service that is created always begins with a research and development phase. I felt that IMMT was something revolutionary, something that could change the industry. What would set IMMT apart from other massage courses? Research and proven results seemed to be the answer. I set out to conduct what truly is a scientific research trial. How would I measure the results or analyze the data when it was completed? After a month of planning I decided I needed help. To measure the results I would use the analog pain scale of 0-10 after all it is a medical standard that M.D.s and D.O.s use daily with their patients. But the thought occurred to me that pain is completely subjective. That meant case studies were also subjective evidence at best. I realized that factual measurements where needed. So with the help of an exercise physiologist, I became proficient in the use of a goniometer to measure range of motion. Now that I had the skills to scientifically track data, I needed to learn how to analyze all the data. Lucky for me, I knew just the person. Dr. Carlton Cooper, PhD in biology from the University of Delaware was more than happy to help and agreed to analyze all of the data.
A large percentage of my clientele had neck pain at the time and I decided this would be an ideal place to start. So I set up the massage trial for that population. Using the goniometer to measure the patient’s range of motion for cervical flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral flexion, the analog pain scale of 0-10 was also used. The measurements were taken before and after each 30 minute massage treatment. The patients came for treatment twice a week for 4 weeks for a total of 8 visits. I had 2 groups of patients, the experimental group and the control group. The experimental group received the IMMT cervical treatment protocol. The control group received Swedish massage to the cervical region. I blinded the patients by not telling them which group they were in. I also blinded myself by not reviewing the previous treatment results or sharing them with the patients until the trial was over.
I was a bit overwhelmed at first by the public’s response to the massage trial. Fifty patients signed up within the first 4 days of the announcement of the trial. What I didn’t realize was that was too many subjects for the first month of the trial. But I decided to try to accommodate everyone, after all the public was excited about taking part in a massage trial. After the first month was over I had done 400 thirty minute treatments. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and spread the rest of the patients out over the next six months. I ended with over 120 patients participating in the trial. The trail showed improvement of range of motion and decrease in pain.